10.19.2005

Death - the most over whelming experience.

Death is an interesting concept, in my mind its too interesting so much so that i consider it the greatest reality, the gateway to the greatest truth which we are all looking for. Yet interestingly it brings fear with it, unfamiliarity and a forbidding void in our hearts and mind and is most often considered to be unspeakably negative.

It has been our obsession, to be remembered in history, to be revered and also maybe to leave a legacy behind - for what purpose, I wouldn't know, maybe to pamper our own ego that the world can't do without us. We want to leave impressions behind either in thought or in action. By action i mean propcreation. This brings the need more often than not,to spread our genes and in some remote sense feel good that we managed to add to the hope of our immortality.

So all in all where are we really fooling ourselves? Why do we want to be remembered? Isn't it the biggest ego hassle we really have. The want to remain in a familiar environment because you cannot digest what is ahead? I mean people dont even want to talk death, if i talk death they think i am going through problems in life. "Life is a celebration"... well so is death.

My aunt died last night. She was a very nice lady. When I heard about it, i didnt feel sad, I was watching the times, the older generation was giving way to the younger, she was the 2nd to go. We were all growing old. Somewhere in all the barrage of calls I felt she was the only one who knew the real truth while the rest of us still look for it. I envied her. She possessed a peice of knowledge i didnt have. Hmm... interesting.

The best compliment i have received is from a dying lady who told me that i had been a wonderful person during her last days on earth - our reality. That was her parting message to me . I felt she would remember me in the next world.

When we hear someone has just passed away, its a reminder that that reality will come to our doorstep some day soon. It is a reminder that it is the next truth after birth and all that is inbetween is an illusion we get sucked into and hate to get out of. I just hope
when my time really comes, i am completely equipped to handle it with my mind and my heart and do not run away from it like an ignorant fool.


8 comments:

JC Joshi said...

When ‘we’ attempt to look at the variety of ‘forms’ - on believably ‘non living’ and yet colourful, dancing, moving or ‘revolving along its orbit’ for billions of years and relatively infinite sized earth - speaking crudely, we find it varies in size from the microorganism that can’t be perceived with the naked eye to, say, the elephant that today is apparently considered by man as the biggest among ‘animals’, i.e., those which are born as a result of multiplication, growth with time and ‘death’, ultimately after appearance on earth for a limited duration that is negligible - compared to apparent eternity, ‘a flash in the pan’…

Acquisition of knowledge in innumerable fields of activity over long duration in the life of earth - because of relative negligible life-span of individuals - has been made possible to a certain extent only because of man’s inherent nature, or curiosity to reach the ‘ultimate truth’ as the driving force, and keeping/ creating a record of it to pass on to the next generation - like baton passing in a relay race…

As long as they appear on earth, all animal forms are ‘selfish’ as they apparently are doing some useful function for their own kind (as long as there is no clash of interest and/ or they are not enslaved by the same form, or another form outside or inside their own body). And, while undergoing this birth-death cycle the races/ species are constantly undergoing a process of evolution with time that continues to flow like a perennial river...

Generally speaking, the ‘superior most animal form’, man, today has apparently thus reached the ‘space age’, starting from the ‘cave age’, although even today there exist in the name of ‘culture’ or ‘tradition’ etc., in pockets, samples representing the evolutionary process without any apparent attempt by the ‘governments’ to do so – as one, similarly, conforming to the realized similar functioning of the ‘microcosm’ and the ‘macrocosm’, gets to see specimens representing ‘man-made creations of different times’ at one place in man-made museums!

Thus, if one could see from a distance, i.e., with detachment, one could accept life as only a ‘drama’, in which ‘death’ is like the end of a role followed by a period of rest before a character (soul) gets another role in another drama depending on the purpose of its ‘parent’ or Supreme soul! Thus, after one learns that he is a part of Him, we humans, after having passed through over 8.4 million roles in different animal forms, end up in the question: What was the original purpose for which I had been on earth for billions of years, without which I do not become entitled to return to my origin?

Could it be His Own origin that He seeks through me?

abhilash warrier said...

Death is unknown...

maybe life is there so that we are ready for death.

That we live so much.. so enough so contented... that we say we are ready... for death. absence of life. or after life... mere speculations these...

They say... that most people know their moment of death moments before they die. i have seen it happen.

when it comes to me, i hope i have her beside me, on her deathbed. and together, we write out a note on what we feel while we die...

what say? i hope i remember to keep a pen and paper beside me always... and i hope that then the ink does not freeze.

if i die before her, I will wait for her wherever I go after death. that is, if i exist after my death.

but truth is love remains even after death. that in a way is immortality. conceptually... just like the epic of gilgamesh.

Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Death is scary for a reason that for many people it brings pain before they finally depart. Probably that pain is nothing compared to the life full of suffereing we undergo. Yet, it is a pain and we hate to be in pain. But, just the thought that we will also be departing one day gives us comfort when we think about our close departed people. A very nice post Kavitha.

JC Joshi said...

Yes, apparently every 'loss' is painful - death being particularly the most painful...

In the recent times, however many incidents of ‘life after life’ have been reported… I remember one particular incident, out of many, reported in Reader’s Digest based on research work of a paramedic in the USA, under the above cited title...

A patient was operated upon for appendicitis. However, he died and remained dead for four minutes, during which time the surgeon performed a surgery of the chest to massage the heart that had stopped beating. When he recovered and was resting in the hospital room, the paramedic learnt from him how he was able to narrate all that happened to his ‘dead body’ during those four crucial minutes. He said he felt himself leave the body and watch it from the ceiling level. What surprised the researcher was that although he hadn’t studied medicine, he described the surgery performed on him with every minute detail of the operation! He said that in the end he felt himself descend into his body as he recalled his responsibilities towards his wife and children…

The above cited incident seems to confirm the age old belief in the East about existence of some energy form that in reality is the real 'actor' that resides inside the animal form as long as it is alive... This, of course, needs confirmation and now one is declared dead only when the brain stops functioning, unlike earlier when man was declared dead when the heart stopped beating. That is now termed as ‘clinical death’… Functioning of brain therefore is being gone into greater depth… Maybe this is how the ancients also ultimately realized universe as forms inside the head of the Creator, like illusory human dreams!

Revathi said...

I always wonder why the word death evokes so many different feelings in all of us. This thought about 'need for spreading our genes' is very interesting.
I never think of death. Not because I am afraid, but because I feel it is just the logical continuation of life. I never wonder what life is going to be like when I'm 40, or 50, or 70, or 80. So why worry about what life is going to be like at death? Do I make sense?
I also believe that death is a greater celebration than life, but its omnipresence should in no way cast a shadow on our present life.
Having said all this, I really don't know how I will handle death...when it does knock on my door....either mine (do I even have time to react then?) or a loved one's. Knowing very well we can't be prepared for it, why bother now? Again am I making sense?

JC Joshi said...

Logically, every individual is born of a ‘mother’ and remains primarily attached to it, emotionally - even after physical separation from her after its birth - and generally speaking, as long as one lives even if she dies at a certain stage in his life...

There can of course be many role models to conform to the Nature’s variety in all other aspects, which might therefore not be so accidentally. For, the phenomenon is comparable to a tree that is born from (mother) earth and remains attached to it through its physical roots as long as it lives on earth...

The ancients described the relation between these two forms, saying that man is an inverted tree, having its roots in the sky instead of the ground.

The same phenomenon today is described by ‘scientists’ saying that in the process of evolution, one out of the same chromosomes ended up in man while another in a tree! Thus, they are cousins (Universal brotherhood!)

With the above in mind, one can compare a tree in the wild - that grows ‘naturally’ under the care of the 'Panchabhootas' - with the plants that one cultivates in one’s kitchen garden (This particular thought appeared within my head when I was talking to a lawyer to help a poor man over two decades ago when he was watering his weak looking plants in a region that was surrounded by ‘natural’ green hills). And now visualize the original man in the wild and the domesticated ones in the present in the ‘concrete jungles’ because of distancing one from the literal 'Five Ghosts', perhaps! Today, because of the ‘highly advanced education’, even a sixteen year old says, “I don’t believe in God!” This was referred as the effect of time by the wise ancients...

One needs to find out the source of the thoughts, i.e., are these really mine or are being received from some external source, like I am apparently influenced by thoughts of other people also?

appa said...

dear kavi kanna,
i went thro your blog and the latest about death of your aunt - i agree with u that no one is eternal and that one day they have to leave this world - whre - i do not know - and that eterrnal bliss - which relieves on one's soul from its current place - is inevitable and as such that does not deter me or make me afraid of facing the truth that it is not far away - but still the time at ur disposal - need to do whatever one can for the betterrment of life in a small way.

appa

Shekhar Veera said...

You wrote on a topic that I've been thinking about for a while. And here is what I think...

Death: A topic that we seldom think about, but inevitably must confront. Irrespective of what the biological and metaphysical implicatons of it are, one thing it does is that, it irreversibly severes all enduring relationships that were nurtured while living. Which is why mourning seems an integral part of the process of dealing with death. But perhaps there may be a day, when death is understood very differently. Death may represent for e.g. "living in "virtual". "Virtual" in that, the innumerable signs that the person would have left (perhaps even intentionally so) by way of media artifacts, such as videos, interactive content and so on...may serve as a means to further nurture those living relationships, just as they would if they were alive. It is perhaps nothing new, in that, such nurturing, already takes place, by medium of books, videos and other artifacts left behind. But it doesn't have the same impact, as when the person would have been living, since, the content of these artifacts is limited by its lack of dynamism. Perhaps there would be a day, when people would leave behind robots that looked like them, spoke like them, and laughed like them, thereby, leading to a new notion of death as not a complete negation, but only a biological process.

But then all this is for the benefit of people who continue to live, but what of the person who experiences dying and death? It seems a rather fearsome proposition to deal with at times, but more so only because of the unknown factors. May be some day, we would understand the psychobiological process much better as well, so that future generations may handle it better when the time comes.