Wisdom from Books

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Tao Wisdom on Death and Dying

Tao Wisdom on Death and Dying


“Life begets death; one is inseparable from the other.
One is form; the other is formless.
Each gives way to the other.
One third of people focus on life, ignoring death.
One third of people focus on death, ignoring life.
One third of people think of neither, just drifting along.
They all suffer in the end.
       
Trusting the Creator, we have no illusion about life and death.
Holding nothing back from life, we are ready for death,
just as a man ready for sleep after a good day’s work.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 50)

“Abiding in the Creator, we do not fear death.
Following the conditioned mind, we fear everything.
Fear is a futile attempt to control things and people.

Death is a natural destination of the Way.
Unnatural fear of death does more harm than good.”
(Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, chapter 74)

Dying and Beyond

On the final journey, with acceptance of the inevitable fate, there is usually no anger or even sadness—just numbness that initiates the winding down of the body.
Dying is just something we all have to do. Do you want to die with grace? Dying with grace is to end well; all is well that ends well!.

A Case in Point

Francis of Assisi, the Italian Saint who chose a life of poverty in spite of his family’s wealth, said on his deathbed: “Death will open the door of life.” He died gracefully while singing.
Maybe for a believer, death is, indeed, a triumph, a meaningful exodus from this mundane world to the eternal world beyond.

A Case in Point

Martin Luther King, Jr. said in his last speech, just several days before his assassination: “It (death) doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountain top. . . . and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.”
It was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s strong faith that led him to believe in the existence of the Promised Land beyond death. Indeed, to many believers, they are only humans having a brief existence in this transient material world, and their final destination is the eternal world beyond death.

A Case in Point

There have been many near-death experiences (NDEs) during which people claim that they have seen strange lights and tunnels, letting them have a glimpse of the eternal world beyond. Some of these instances have been written in books and become Amazon’s bestsellers, such as Heaven Is for Real (2010), about a child who saw heaven during surgery. 

Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon and author of Proof of Heaven, said in Newsweek in 2012 that his incredible near-death experience had totally convinced him that his consciousness (the soul or self) exists somehow separate from or outside the mind, and therefore it can travel to other dimensions on its own. Eben wrote: “This world of consciousness beyond the body is the true new frontier, not just of science but of humankind itself, and it is my profound hope that what happened to me will bring the world one step closer to accepting it.”

Are you ready to believe in dying and beyond?

Stephen Lau
Copyright© by Stephen Lau

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