When it’s time to die, both the unnecessary and the essential in life become obvious. Little details, previously missed, suddenly seem so prominent in the moment when life is acknowledged as temporary. Most noticeable is the love that comes into focus. Simple, direct love.
Maybe a ladybug lands on your hand and you finally notice it’s cute little legs…. Maybe a friend’s hug touches a depth you previously would have skipped over, like a thrown rock skipping on the water surface…. Maybe you notice how everything lights up when there is genuine laughter while playing with a child…. Why “maybe”?
For many, when life is seen through the lens of death – an ending – it becomes simple and clear. But why wait until you have only a short time to live to recognize that life is beautiful in all its forms?
It can be tempting to spin off into drama and minutiae when life feels like it will last forever. But drama is not simple. Conflicts, gossip, bitterness, resentment, and unfulfilled expectations can all adorn life to the point that they become all there is to life. Situations can overtake existence, but they are not the essence that lives us.
Children grow up and watch adults to learn what is valuable. Maybe they will learn that relationships are about fighting while watching their parents argue, or that one should be in love until one partner dies. Perhaps they’ll learn to value money. They may even learn to value intelligence or being persistent above all. How many parents bring humor and fun to situations, or prompt their children to feel existence beyond the myriad events occurring constantly? How many children learn to anchor themselves to spontaneity – without the frills of forgetfulness?
Human beings like to personify everything as a way of relating. Building a robot? Let’s give it a face with expressions. Such a robot is easier to relate to than a Mack truck or a lawn mower. Children’s cartoons have talking rocks and dancing toothbrushes with eyes and flailing arms and legs. Even animals are often “humanized” in media. But relationship to life is much broader than the human perspective. Everything is Spirit, and the human way is only one of the countless ways Spirit manifests. To recognize Spirit is to feel connection directly, without having to give something eyes and a talking mouth. Everything does have “presence,” even if it’s not a humanoid presentation. That presence is life.
Happiness is Spirit. We can feel That during peak experiences when we let go of the dead weight of identity. Timelessness feels real when the instict to collect and preserve dissolves during a moment. If you have awareness of the moment, you know eternity, and death itself is seen with fresh eyes. You wake up to the moment rested and energized and know that “your time” is “no time,” and It has always been there. You wake up to the moment from a sleepy life, drowned into bare-consciousness by all that stuff. You suffer because you forgot.
Just as death sometimes gives meaning and restores feeling to life, simple and bare-bones awareness can give a new perspective to death. Moving through life too fast bypasses feeling and begets the need to have charged experiences all the time. Intensity and passion are faked to conjure intoxication, and repeated over and over to add “spice” to living. Such loud experiences, then, feel necessary because life was never felt to begin with! In reality, the need for adrenaline is invited by encroaching numbness. Numbness begets more numbness and continual craving for stimulation.
One doesn’t have to live a fast life to be numb and “boring.” Those who live a slow life can become numb and bored too. At the core, boredom stems from a lack of creativity. Guarded, careful people move slowly to mentally calculate all possible moves. Their minds are like tentacles grasping at known possibilities. The mind is limited because it deals with what is already known – the mind lacks the capacity for originality. While there are different levels of Mind, creativity does not run on the mental circuit – Inspiration pours through altogether different wiring.
After we get inspired, then the mind steps in and tries to make sense of insight. But, insight is always the primary and not the pedantic thinking. I was one of the people living in the trap of constant thought years ago – now the mind is quiet and just lays ready to be active when I need it to function.
The mind is limited and inspiration is open-ended. Why not live the Inspiration circuit continuously, instead of just using the mind – who cares whether the mind is Higher or Lower? Everyone taps inspiration at some point. Imagine if we all lived inspired lives, and the mind’s tendency to dissect and reduce was relegated to a tertiary role….What, then, would our lives become?
“But if I stop using the mind, I won’t be able to function.” Well, that’s obviously not true. If all you know is the mind, then the unknown does not exist to you. If you want life to sparkle, you must be willing to leap into the unknown – instead of clutching at everything with the mind. If the mind was all you needed, you wouldn’t feel that longing and yearning for more.
The fear of death runs deep in nearly everyone’s unconscious veins. When someone dies, people close to that person begin to tussle with this fear. The dying can also waste their opportunity to engage life in a new way by wallowing in death’s imminence. Death can quickly become unnecessarily complicated.
We don’t talk about death simply. Instead, we pussyfoot around the topic, feign condolences with pat phrases, and secretly lose our shit at the thought of losing someone or dying ourselves. Sadness and fear parade in full glory. Death is personified as the Grim Reaper, complete with the scythe of massive proportions.
In reality, death is a poorly understood process – and that is all. Simple. We bring too much of our own baggage when facing death, drum up drama, and – yet again – forget to live.
If it takes living like you are dying to wake up, then why not do that? Pretend you have a terminal diagnosis and have only a couple of weeks left. Try it, but without feeling sorry for yourself or others. Strip away the layers that want to dramatize death into sadness and loss, and just plunge into what remains. Where does your focus go? Who or what feels most important?
You’ve been programmed to experience death as morbid, so stop making it something that it isn’t. After all, this is a hypothetical exercise in awareness and you’re not necessarily going to die in a couple of weeks….
As you live your “couple of weeks,” notice what comes to the forefront as being essential. If you succeed, you may have tapped that Inspiration circuit and surrendered the mind. Then, just stay there and see how your life changes. Your life may turn upside down, but was it right-side-up to begin with?