& Meeting Death
Christine Breese, D.D., Ph.D.
The terrible tragedy on
December 26, 2005 has touched everyone at some level or another. It has
brought up questions in everyone’s mind about suffering in the world,
the forces at work in these times, and the horror of such an event. It
makes us grateful to be alive and awakens compassion in our hearts. It
helps us realize the frailty of life, and that it is fleeting with no
We must treasure each other, and appreciate the gift that life is. We
are in a cosmic dream together inside the mind of God. The characters
that we are is the gift that we give to each other. We are sources of
love for others, as well as teachers to each other in which our characters
are caused to grow in self understanding and rise to the challenge of
loving even when love is not given in return.
We can be here one moment but gone the next. There is no protection from
the reality that a possible loss of a loved one can occur. As this is
a sobering realization, it is also liberating. It can teach us to live
each day as if it might be our last. If life is lived from this point
of view, fear dissolves and life can be an exciting new adventure every
day. Every day, every moment, is to be savored and enjoyed, even if it
is an ordinary day with nothing to notice except that the fact that life
is a miracle. Somehow it is here, even though no one can really explain
Entire families were wiped out in a matter of minutes, children playing
in the yard one moment, gone the next. Lone members, still alive, have
been faced with the deepest pain that a human can barely endure. To imagine
the horror of this is mind-boggling for most of us if we are to think
but a moment about those we love possibly being lost in a sudden tragedy.
The resulting despair is an abyss unimaginable.
The event of the Tsunami drives home the realization that we must use
our time together wisely. There is no guarantee that there will be a “tomorrow”
together. None of us is immune to death. It comes for each of us sooner
or later, without exception. The question is…when? Will it be tomorrow?
Will it be next week? Will it be next year? Will it be 10 years from now?
And how would we live our lives if we knew the date that we would meet
death of the physical body?
The elders in our communities are faced with these questions more directly
than young people, for the mortality of the physical body looms ever closer
for the elderly. The beauty of youth is that human mortality has not yet
been realized. It seems to hit people somewhere in the 30s when they first
see the lines of aging on the face, small as those signs might be. By
the 40s, there is a realization that it is already half over, and if no
action is taken soon to “make something of oneself,” or accomplish
the task that each of us has come to do, then the opportunity of a lifetime
might be lost. From the 50s on, the question must be given true attention.
If we could live each day as if that date was coming sooner than later,
it would be a rich life indeed. Life would be lived more passionately,
more courageously, more righteously, more lovingly. Attention would not
be frittered away on petty grievances with the shortcomings of others.
Not a moment would be lost on negative thoughts, or self criticism. If
each of us only had one day left, a great allowingness would become the
natural way of being. The most prominent change would be the fact that
life would be lived in the fully awake state, and one would be grateful
for it. Even the simplest things would suddenly become wondrous, including
things that we take for granted in our daily lives, like the people we
How many people walk around in life hating the fact that they are here
on Earth? We all know someone who is not happy to be here. Which one of
us has not been in this state ourselves for some length of time or another?
What we forget is that it is a gift to be here, that it is a lucky miracle
we are participating in.
Suffering happens for those who have not remembered who they really are
yet, who still identify themselves as the broken human condition they
were “born” into. Suffering STOPS when we realize the eternal
nature of our being, that we are only here for a “moment”
when compared to eternity. When we realize this, life is no longer the
burden we thought it was when we looked at it from a smaller perspective.
Rather, it is perceived as a fortunate opportunity to “dream”
in the third dimensional existence that physical reality is. That dream
becomes more and more liquid and beautiful as we free our hearts and minds
from suffering, and realize how fortunate we are to be here.
There is nothing that can wake a person up more quickly than a close brush
with death. In Buddhism, there is a saying: “Die before you die.”
What this means is to meet death now, RIGHT now, before it comes for your
physical body. By meeting the reality of death, of yourself and others,
you meet your mortality. It can be a terrifying experience. Ramana, a
famous spiritual teacher from India, was lucky enough to meet his terror
of death, his mortality, at the young age of 16 years old. What he found
under this fear of death in the physical body was his immortality. Very
few people wish to meet this fear of death, for it is a terrible place
in the psyche indeed.
What Christ spoke of, when he referred to eternal life, was the immortality
inside each of us. Being in touch with this immortality helps us realize
that this life on Earth is but a fleeting experience, and knowing this
makes us a “new person.” The born again concept refers to
the human who is asleep, but then wakes up to find himself or herself
to be a completely different identity than what he or she thought of the
self before and the life is lived differently, more benevolently, from
that point on. This is not a personality transformation. Rather, it is
a sudden awareness of the eternal self and its already perfected state.
So let us realize our mortality, meet death now. Let us realize the great
luck we have in this opportunity to be with each other, in this moment,
in this virtual reality that is Earth. There is no guarantee that we get
to stay for even a moment longer. We must let each other know how glad
we are to be dreaming with one another in life, that we treasure the moments
we have together.
Our hearts are connected to those directly effected by the Tsunami. They
have experienced the great loss of loved ones and everything they have
worked for. When we imagine it happening to ourselves, our hearts jump
and our horror makes us turn quickly away from the idea of possibly experiencing
the same thing. We must be present for those who need our help, whatever
form that is for each of us. As we witness the loss that others experience,
let us rise to the task of demonstrating our benevolent nature. Those
who are suffering are our brother and sisters, our own selves. Let us
take a moment to be grateful for the fortune we have in being able to
treasure those we love, here in this moment. Let our love flow even to
strangers as we realize them as beautiful beings in our dream. Let us
be more aware of how beautiful our lives are, even with its challenges
and obstacles. Let us awaken to the miracle that we are.
Visit the Christine Breese website to read articles on consciousness and awakening, visit University of Metaphysical Sciences Video Satsangs to see talks on spiritual subjects. Read articles on Wisdom of the Heart Church. Visit Starlight Journal for blogs, newsletter, and forums on spiritual subjects. Visit Christine Breese's Metaphysical Sciences youtube channel to view free video satsangs.