Friday, June 20, 2008

My Life

Me, in a state of Profound Awareness.
Today I had the following thought.
I thought [and this was just out of the blue, I was at work, thinking away, and I thunk…] I thought something along the lines of “If I were to find out that I had some terminal disease, I cannot really complain about everything I have experienced up to this point in my life, especially health-wise… and especially in comparison to what other people have had to go through, health-wise, in their own life.”

Now, while I essentially believe that what I was thinking has a lot of valid sense to it… the more I thought about it, the more I wondered exactly what it is I mean when I use a term like “my life.”
What is “my life”?
In what sense is it “mine”?
Well, obviously, it is “mine” in the profound sense that whatever happens to me [especially physically] happens only to me, and not to you, or to anyone else, busy living their own life, and having thoughts in their own head wherein they are frequently using the term, “my life” in reference to their own self.

My consciousness, my sense of “self” is housed in a head… in a brain.
My brain.
As long as that brain is functioning properly, I maintain a sense of wellness, and/or not-wellness, in reference to my self.
But more and more often, as of late, I am being struck with the idea that using the term “my life” is…… well, there is something wrong with it.
Even in the sense of how we tend to think of the Afterlife© , if we believe at all in such a thing.
I think that a large part of the problem we have with understanding it [and by “it” I mean the idea that we maintain some sort of conscious existence after physical death] is that we attach too much “individuality” to the entire concept.

For instance, if I think of my own beloved father who passed away 18 days before the new Millennium… I find that the difficulties I have in imagining his continued existence [in the afterlife] involve aspects of his individuality. Things like… “Is he wearing pants?” If so…. who gave him these pants? Do they wear out? Who washes them and irons them? Or are they just sort of….. wrinkled?
He liked to drink tea after supper.
Is he [tonight] drinking tea after supper…. somewhere?

Someone who knows everything might answer, “No. We don’t wear pants, nor drink tea in the Afterlife.”
Well…. whoever answers the question[s] like this is presuming that they know an answer that they cannot possibly know. [Except by what is called “faith” which is intrinsically not transferable, hence, not applicable to another person, unless received in a similar attitude of faith].
Ultimately, the questions remain valid, and unanswerable.
As to Continued Existence after bodily death, I used to think I knew about this.
But now I know that I do not, and that no one does.

And I am currently re-interpreting those phrases we tend to use, so flippantly, "going back to God" or "going back to the Source" or some people may say "becoming one with the Universe"... as silly as all those phrases do, in fact, sound, I think there is a profound truth to them, in actuality.

The key, though, is getting away from the idea of Individuality or Personality.
As in, thinking I am going to be wearing pants there or something. Or eating endless amounts of hamburgers. Or shaving.
All of that will not be going on. Because of the inherent absurdities involved.
And even though all that I am right now will still be alive and Aware, it will not be, in any sense, "I" [me, myself] aware of that awareness. I will be BEING.... in a sense.
As though all along, [before I was ever born], there was a Stream, and then when I was born, I entered into that Stream [as did you, when you were born]. The Stream existed before me or you, and will exist after our physical expiration.
But that’s just it.
The only thing that matters [really] is ongoing Awareness.
The kind of Awareness that would remain Aware if I were to right now drop dead immediately after posting this blog.
Whatever Life is, therefore, has very little to do with my Individuality.

More and more [I know this may sound crazy]… I just want to try and oust that possessive aspect of the term, and think more along the lines of, “If I were to find out that I had some terminal disease, I cannot really complain about everything I have experienced up to this point in Life, especially health-wise… and especially in comparison to what other people have had to go through, health-wise, in Life.”



May said...

I found this a Very Interesting Post in which you speak of a topic that really matters.

stefanie said...

Your post had a very buddhist sensibility to it I thought. When I was a kid I always used to wonder if there would be ice cream in heaven and if I would have to play a harp. I've since decided heaven is here and now, there is plenty of (soy) ice cream and I don't have to play a harp. When I die "I" will disperse into the cosmos and "become one with the universe." Something I find both frightening and liberating.

cipriano said...

Thank you, May. I really do muse upon these sort of unanswerable questions a fair bit.

Stefanie, I recently read two books by Eckhart Tolle, and he said in one of them, Your physical form is dissolving, is no more. [He means like right now.... we are right now, slowly dying... not getting more alive, but ever more dead...] Then a moment comes when all mind-forms or thoughts also die. Yet you are still there -- the divine presence that you are. Radiant, fully awake. Nothing that was real ever died, only names forms, and illusions. [p.196-197]

I read this to say [in part, at least] that , in a very real atomic sense, we do not ever die. In the sense that the atoms that are right now sustaining the divine presence that I am, did not originate for that reason. They did not come about because of me. Prior to my me-ness, they existed elsewhere, as something else, or in something else. And will do so again. [Re: Your dispersion theory.]
It's all very terrifying and yet there is something wonderful [to me] in its unavoidable mystery. For me, it has been very liberating to realize that I do not really know what I once thought I knew.
I realize that for other people, the same process would have become a great alienating horror.

The Bookman said...

You truly have touched on that aspect of our greatness that I sometimes overlook......Karma. I only know that it makes sense to have insurance. I don't kill bugs, I use the dustbuster to pick em up and release them to the outside. We cannot know what lies in store for us after. My wife recently made a profound statement " I wan't to die in my sleep" to which I immediately added, " Me too, the same night". UH, did I get off topic..? I don't usually, ever comment. You touched a soft, bright spot Cip, Thanks.

Beth said...

We had a discussion similar to this over the weekend, with me saying there is something beyond our mere existence and others insisting there is nothing. They asked me, "Where is your evidence?"
I simply replied, "Where is yours?"