You are going on a trip….the biggest trip of your life. You are leaving very soon. Have you made arrangements?
Time is running out….stop mucking around…have you purchased the ticket for the flight? Do you have your bags packed yet? Made arrangements for someone to get you to the airport? And do you know what flight you are on, and even where you are going?
Welcome to dying….the death of this body! We should be prepared at all times, have our bags packed and know which aircraft and flight we are on. But who even thinks about this and knows how to get ready?
(This post is my personal view and does not necessarily reflect the position of any organization or group).
In 1976 when I was 26 years old, I said to my younger wife “Do you know in the year 2000 I’ll be 50 years old!” We both burst into laughter. 2000 was so far away! Now it is 2020 and my body is 70 years old and it’s not so funny anymore. The years have gone by in a heartbeat.
As I get older, and because I’m suffering from a terminal disease, I realize my body, and my mind, are never going to get any better than where they are today. Not only have I all the usual onsets of the body deteriorating with its’ aches and pains, but I also have the side effects of taking 6 different drugs daily to keep cancer and other body ailments in check.
So, realizing my body and mind will only worsen from this day onward, I can see why people in my position may contemplate ending their lives. But this is not a solution to the suffering of the body. It is an option that will only cause more suffering to others and the person who kills his own body. Why?
There was a movie called “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” from 1956. The story is such a classic combination of sci-fi and horror that it has been remade several times.
In that movie, alien life forms were killing and replacing people. From memory ‘real people’ had to figure out who where the aliens and who weren’t.
The fact is we are allaliens in this world. We come from a place not of this world, a place where there is no time, a place that does not change.
In this world everything changes. Time gradually changes everything. Everything has a use-by-date. Even a rock becomes sand eventually, then that sand becomes dust, and that dust becomes minerals and chemicals that are absorbed by grubs and worms or by plants, which are then eaten by different animals. Continue reading “THE ALIENS ARE HERE – coming from another world!”→
I’ve always been a collector. When I was very young, I collected coins. My parents owned a corner store and I would go through the coins at the end of the days sales and pick out any foreign or unusual coins and add them to my collection.
As I got a bit older, I would buy rarer coins and collect those. Eventually I lost interest in numismatics and my collecting had a decade or so break. I got married and started collecting kids, six of them, each quite rare and valuable.
(Inspired by talks by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa)
Make your way through this impermanent, transitory life in whatever way you can, keeping the goal of worshiping the Lord foremost in your minds.
Don’t abandon this goal, even in the face of hundreds of dangers, insults, or persecutions.” Shrila Bhaktisiddanta Sarasvati Thakur 1874-1937
When I was young I would often lie in bed and before sleep overcame me, I thought a lot about my existence and wondered who I was. Often the walls of my bedroom seemed to close in on me and I felt imprisoned, or I felt very small and the walls were miles away. We lived in the country, and sometimes I would go out at night, lie on the grass, and look at the vastness of the universe – how insignificant I felt!
At such times I would contemplate about death: what would happen when I died or, as I know more correctly now, when my body died?
It seemed to me that there were 2 possibilities: when I died there was either nothingness; or as Lord Jesus taught, if we love Him, we can go to the Supreme Father. Any another possibility I did not want to contemplate!
Many of us feel we’ve been ‘wronged’ at times in life by others, and we harbor these feelings sometimes for many decades. Such things can tear families apart, tear friends apart, and sometimes tear nations apart.
We all know that at some time these bodies are going to die. I think the longest recorded age for someone in modern times is about 122 years, and if we make it to 100 it is a huge achievement! But we usually put this to the back of our minds and get on with life. What cancer does is make it so the concept of death is always there, always there at the front of your mind.
Every waking moment for the first few weeks when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I was thinking of death and dying. Usually when you are facing some adversity in your life you can get some reprieve when you sleep, but I found even when I managed to get to sleep I dreamt of death! Sometimes I’d be in a semi conscious state and trying to sleep, but with re-occurring thoughts of death it was often impossible.
The online and print newspapers have been full of reports and tributes to Muhammad Ali following his death yesterday. My local newspaper, the Brisbane Courier Mail, attributed a quote to him:
“I think maybe my Parkinson’s disease is God’s way of reminding me what is important”.
I can relate to that.
I quote from the same newspaper:
“Ali’s daughter Hana last night described her father’s final moments: “We all tried to stay strong and whispered in his ear, ‘You can go now. We will be OK. We love you. Thank You. You can go back to God now.’ All of us were hugging and kissing him and holding his hands, chanting the Islamic prayer.”