Death = Life

Recently at night, I’ve been reading a wee book of Eckart Tolle called “Stillness Speaks”. It contains a collection of 200 concise thoughts touching topics such as relationships, beyond the thinking mind,  silence and stillness, nature, suffering and the end of suffering, death and the eternal and a couple of more.

It is while reading the chapter on Death and the Eternal that I got the inspiration for this new blog, it was in particular something about death being a metamorphosis, another change in form that started an inner reflection on the topic.

Eckart Tolle mentioned that when we look closely at a decomposing tree as an example, we will discover that life is thriving as there are lots of microorganisms  at work - some we can see, some too small to be seen with the naked eye - while the molecules of the decomposing tree are slowly changing and rearranging themselves. 

I often walk through woodlands looking for peace, silence and beauty to capture forever with my camera; and I often like to move away from the main paths to explore areas that are wilder. It is often here that I can observe such an intimate relationship between life and death. Decaying matter lives beside new growth, new life, and everything seems to have a purpose. 

I have been looking at death more closely in the past few years with the help of a camera and my own introspection. Death is such a tabu in lots of western cultures and especially with me it is something that I have been so scared of and tried to avoid even thinking about it for a very long time. But then during the pre-menopause years the fear of dying increased and became very intense at times. Then I began to have dreams where I was dying, and they were vivid and very real. In these dreams I experienced a profound peace at ‘death, it was a real sense of relief of finally letting go of everything and there was no fear, no panic just a deep sense of tranquillity. 

Those dreams somehow helped me overcome that intense fear that was causing so much anxiety that was almost reaching the point of panic attacks.

I began to look at death with slightly different eyes and if during my walks I came across a carcass of an animal I would always stop and look at death directly and closely, pay a silent respect to the life that escaped that decaying carcass. I quietly looked for the beauty in what was left, often found in the form of textures, colours and shapes and compose a last tribute with my camera. This allowed me to have a closer look at what as humans have been conditioned to know and recognise as “Death”, the end of life.

But…is it truly the end of life? 

It is in nature that we can witness the marvel of plentiful life forms beside death.

So, if around death there is so much life activity, is there death at all?

Or, is death another metamorphosis of life forms?

Is life eternal then?

Is birth the opposite of death but death is not the opposite of life?

I feel the answers to these questions cannot be found by an intellectual mind!

Throughout the ages, philosophers, sages, poets from all over the world have been reflecting over the dreamlike quality of our existence. An existence that even though appears so solid and tangible it is yet so transient that it could vanish at any moment.

I have often experienced this dreamlike quality of my own existence with everything that has ended. Childhood, past relationships, travels, jobs, studies and even motherhood.

Anything that is not here present and available in this moment seems to acquire this misty kind of appearance and it doesn’t feel so solid or real anymore. 

All these experiences from the past are now stored as memory somewhere in the mind and are more or less accessible to us. They become part of our story that we share with others during our life time.

Every time an experience come to an end, it leaves behind a sensation of emptiness that most of the time we try to escape so not to feel it. Are these small deaths that prepare us for the final one if that is the end of all!?

Is death just the end of an experience that leaves space for a new one to come?

Then, Eckart Tolle mentions that there must be an essence that is real. There must be a consciousness in which the dream happens, otherwise how could it be experienced so real!?

From where does that consciousness come from?

Is it a creation of the body or, is it the one that creates the dream of the body, somebody?

……………………… is in the silence that we will hear the answers!



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