Birth & Death
As a hospice volunteer for the past 15 years I've spent many hours with several dozens of people in the final stages of their lives. And, I've talked with family members who are each coping with their thoughts and emotions. This is often a time for the caregivers to be asking questions about life and death, a time for reflection, and for some, a time to reconsider their beliefs about death. It was the death of a child that intensified my need for greater understanding and eventually contributed to a nondual knowing that "all is well."
From the perspective of nonduality one can discover that the words 'life' and 'death' represent opposites in the world of duality, the world of language, the "adult world." But. to a child, who had't yet adopted the cultural beliefs and fears about death, life appeared as simply effortless and spontaneous. Our search for greater spiritual understanding offers us the possibility to recognize the oneness that unites the opposites of life and death.
Since there's a general tendency to view death as something undesirable, however inevitable, it might prove helpful if you were to explore the question "What do you know with certainty about death?"
Death is not the opposite of Life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.
~ Eckhart Tolle
Take the idea "I was born". You may take it to be true. It is not. You were not born, nor will you ever die. It is the idea that was born and shall die, not you. By identifying yourself with it you became mortal.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
To eternity, death has no impact; death is more like changing the scene in a play, changing your clothes at the end of the day... What you are is never born, never lives, and never dies. Birth, life, and death happen within what you are... When the fear of death comes up, say yes... Because our associations with death are wholly negative, we don't see that death is an intrinsic part of life... When you realize what you are now, the issue of death will solve itself.
Until we know that death is as good as life, and that it always comes at just the right time, we're going to take on the role of God without the awareness of it, and it's always going to hurt.
~ Byron Katie
You, your body mind, and the world that you see are all part of the same virtual reality . . . You—the real you—is formless consciousness, and once you identify with that, you see every other identity you had is provisional. Whether it’s husband or father, or son, or wife . . . all these are provisional identities that have a birth and a death, and they keep transforming, they’re not real. . . . The only absolute identity you have is infinite, formless, inconceivable being that morphs itself into any reality based on its constructs.
~ Deepak Chopra
This place is a dream. Only a sleeper considers it real. Then death comes like dawn, and you wake up laughing at what you thought was your grief.
We are beings who exist in two worlds at the same time, while believing that we exist in one world, the world we know. But the way we need to live is with one foot in each world all the time. With one foot in the appearance and the other in the reality, we will never forget one or the other. In the world of appearance there is suffering, strife, success and failure, pain and pleasure, life and death. The true reality of things is the absence of all these. There is no birth, no death, no you, no not-you, neither pleasure nor pain. There is complete freedom, complete release.
~ A. H. Almaas
When you realize that you are free from the illusion of body and mind identification, you will know no death. Death applies to the physical form only. On realizing the Self, your innocent body is insignificant to your beingness. You are it all, there is no place you are not and you are not subject to time.
~ Jac O'Keeffe
You exist in time, but you belong to eternity. You are a penetration of eternity into the world of time. You are deathless, living in a body of death. Your consciousness knows no death, no birth. It is only your body that is born and dies. But you are not aware of your consciousness. You are not conscious of your consciousness, and that is the whole art of meditation; Becoming conscious of consciousness itself.
What is real does not die. What is unreal never lived. Once you know that death happens to the body and not to you, you just watch your body falling off like a discarded garment. The real you is timeless and beyond life and death. The body will survive as long as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Death is the end of The illusion that one is mortal because Death reveals what cannot die. Self realization is the other means to End the same illusion.
~ Wu Hsin
What happens when a person dies, nothing! What do you want to happen? Whatever you believe that is what happens. But in truth if you practice sadhana, spiritual disciplines you never have to concern yourself with things like that. For there will never be a time when you have to die. You don't die! Who dies? Somebody who doesn't exist. Only the person who never existed dies. What exists can never die because it was never born and you are that. Therefore do not confuse yourself with those kind of questions. Soul, death, birth, they're all illusions, they're all impostors. Accept the fact that you are God and be finished with it.
~ Robert Adams
How fascinating the idea of death can be. Too bad though, because It just isn't true.
The existence of ego is purely conceptual. When a person sleeps, consciousness is absent, but he is not dead. We are neither the warm body that is alive nor the cold body that is dead. We are the birthless and deathless vital current of Consciousness itself.
~ Ramesh Balsekar
Death is a tax the soul has to pay for having had a name and form.
Soul does not die, form dies; soul does not die, name dies.
Life is a journey from eon to eon
and yet is not a journey.
Circumstances change, essences never.
We don and doff cloaks, which we call bodies,
which are not ourselves. Such is the nature of creation.
Dying before one dies is the way to pay the tax easily.
By doing so, one knows oneself
and is not troubled by the loss of the body,
for it is like an outer coat which wears out.
When you are able to shed your vehicles of mind and body
with as much ease and as little attachment as a worn out coat,
you will know the relative value and importance of form and name.
~ Hazrat Inayat Khan
When you wake up, all fear, including the fear of physical death, goes away. This is because what ‘you’ have turned out to be isn’t something that’s subject to harm.
~ Jan Frazier
This body is not me. I am not limited by this body. I am life without boundaries. I have never been born, and I have never died. Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations from my wondrous true mind. Since before time, I have been free. Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey. Birth and death are a game of hide and seek. So laugh with me, hold my hand, let us say good-bye, say good-bye, to meet again soon. We meet today. We will meet again tomorrow. We will meet at the source every moment. We meet each other in all forms of life.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
If you take yourself to be the body and mind only, that ‘you’ will certainly die! When you discover yourself as unborn and imperishable awareness, the fear of death will trouble you no longer. In fact, this is the death of death.
I-am that. I-am that absolute reality. That was never born and will never cease to exist. I-am pure intelligence. The same yesterday, today and tomorrow. I-am empty space. Nirvana. I-am sat-chit-ananda ( being, existence, bliss.) I-am bliss consciousness. Water cannot drown me. Fire cannot burn me. I have always been and will always be. This is the truth it is unchanging. Like the chalkboard. No matter what pictures appear it has absolutely nothing to do with me. I abide in the Self. The Self is my protection. The Self is my Self. I may appear to have a body, a mind, but this is an untruth. This is hypnosis, mesmerism, illusion, maya. In reality I am not the body or mind. I am not the doer. I am pure consciousness, absolute reality, parabrahman. That is the truth.
~ Robert Adams
Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannizes their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl.