We can try to proceed in denial about many things in life but there is one thing that is a constant certainty. We will, at some, point die. Our lives will simply end. This fact is something most of us go to great lengths to resist. Most consider their deaths and the deaths of those that they love to be an outrage. It is sadness. It is a loss. This realization brings on great fear in us. Again, for the imminent peril, a point of no return. A place where we change and are supposedly no longer alive. We supposedly are no longer connected to those people who have been so dear to us. Those memories of hope, family, and friendship tie us to our self-preservation. We try so hard to stave off that finality for ourselves. We all remain vigilant against our demise.
All beings tremble before violence. All fear death. All love life. See yourself in others. Then whom can you hurt? What harm can you do?- Dhammapada 129-130. From this, we become programmed. We are preoccupied with fear about the inevitable nature of our dilemma. We are going to die. We live with grave consideration of what the circumstances might be. This is practiced not only so we can attempt to resist peril but anticipate how very painful it might be. We suppose and ponder about what suffering might be in store.
Up until this point, we have many experiences of great pain. Life itself can offer us great suffering. It is a wonder that we prevail at all. Life is dangerous. We seem be in conflict throughout our entire lives. So we grow up learning to fear the process and nature of our death. We wonder about the process. Will we suffer?
We also learn to fear what our lives may bring. This fear is very compelling. It can inspire how we live our entire lives. We try to control everything. We try to put everything into a systematic and useful classification framework. We want to define and control our lives. We want to know what that diagnosis is. We want to label everything. We try to establish the good from the bad, the useful from the not useful. It is a system of labeling good and bad.
It is how we define and quantify our pain. In an attempt to contend with it on whatever level we must.
There will be moments for which there is no way of understanding our lives. Sometimes there is, just what there is to life. Sometimes there is no why or how. Sometimes there is no justice. Even if we do manage to get this diagnosis, a label, it is futile. We will perish. The doctors will eventually longer be able to enact their practices on us to avail, and we will go.
We get so well schooled about our peril. Should it shock us that it happens? We are told it is a tragedy. This mirrors our experience so we become certain that this is so. But is death itself actually an outrage? So unsure of our selves, we hang to consideration of our continuity. What happens to this life I invested so much into? Will I exist? Is there a heaven? But is death itself an outrage. Who can tell really? We have not experienced ourselves in it. Our date has not arrived even though at times it can feel so close.
So perhaps it is not death that is the outrage. Consider instead, that it is the experience and circumstances that lead up to that death. Maybe it is our life itself that is the outrage. While we are living is when we experience the suffering. This suffering is about fears of the past and future.
Stop. Right now, look around? What level of peril are you in really? Is this the final moment? Is it just moment that could be? Are you sure you know the difference? This is the moment that you have to decide but do so with humble sobriety. Realize that you only have this moment to live and ask if you really must suffer at this moment. Ask yourself if at this very moment is it bad? Are you instead, having a bad moment now based on the consideration of another moment? That my friend is folly. Because you can only deal with that moment at that moment. In this moment nothing is worth your peace of mind. Because it is all those many strung together moments, where we have no peace of mind, that the real the outrage exists. Life and how we choose to see it is the substance of that outrage.
Live now. Die Later. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. If you want others to be happy practice compassion. Do not let that outrage prevail. Be vigilant about living on purpose. Be sober in appreciation for everything. It is all we get. Don't spoil it for yourself or for others. Our experience is the part that that is perpetual. Our experience and our experience of others in a symbiotic relationship.