May 26, 2008

Death as being nothing?

The other day was eating lunch with a few of my buddies. Somehow the topic of death was mentioned and a close friend of mine was talking about death being nothing. As in well, human beings come from nothingness and it is into that at our final breath. It make sense to a certain point that well, as far as we try to recall back to our beginning, there is a point where it is nothing. Empty in another word. Existence as a despair and misery one could look at it that way. Which I probably would agree on it to a certain extend.
Kierkegaard quoted: If there were no eternal consciousness in a man, if at the bottom of everything there were only a wild ferment, a power that twisting in dark passions produced everything great or inconsequential; if an unfathomable, insatiable emptiness lay hid beneath everything, what would life be but despair?
But then again, if life is all about despair and misery, why is it that we go on living everyday? I would think that life is beyond just that, and not denying the fact that despair and misery will not be left out of life at the end of it.
Back to the conversation of death that I was part of it and though I was keeping quiet most of the time, I realized that so much that I am absorbing through that conversation. No wonder sometimes people said it is better to keep quiet than to boast of all the knowledge that you think you have. Anyway no doubt I felt that the perspective of death from such an angle is not at all irrelevant yet I felt the perspective posted by Mitch Albom in his book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I know the book sounds Christian but really, it isn't.
And yet I must said it is one of the more neutral perspective that I learned of throughout my 7 years into spiritual and religious studies.
Well, my look at death at the moment is very much influenced by that book and not to ignore my spiritual background...Buddhism and Christianity. I need to embrace the fact that being born into a Buddhist family and how conversion took place in my family into Christianity, and how is it for me to look at conversion from a new perspective now and moving back into Buddhism...not as in being a Buddhist but learning the "Buddha way". I like it the way my friend put it, because people (christians) are so often offended by that statement by their fellow brothers. (and I still don't understand why)
Alright, I don't look at death as empty and nothing or void.
But I look at it as a moment of making sense of those that don't make sense on Earth, which is mainly what was taught in the book "THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN".
I believe it is a time where we learn how the lives of those around us are connected.
Not just people that are close to us but people that are somehow related.
It is a time where our stories on Earth are carried on in a new realm. How we share the values with those that failed to see it and how we learned from our mistakes here on Earth.
And being a Christian, how the story of Jesus could connect us with those around us, redeeming every single lives.
How to make sense of the despair and misery one must go through...
A learning process...how an ending means a beginning.
A story where God started and allowing us to be co-author of this BIG STORY, and eventually bringing into a new start, a fresh page at the start of the chapter, DEATH.

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