Idea from a talk by Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa
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.
As well as fear for myself I was concerned for my family, my wife and my children. And the family business, how would that survive? We also had 2 children less than 12 years of age and I wanted to be there to help guide them through the difficult teenage years. It looked as if that wasn’t going to happen!
I have spoken to others who have gone through this and it is very difficult to talk to people about what we are feeling. We are reluctant to talk too much to our loved ones for fear of upsetting them, and people we thought were friends often keep their distance because they don’t want to talk, or think, and be reminded about cancer, about death and dying.
So thoughts like I wouldn’t be around to help my wife and children etc. really played on my mind. I admit it was a very fearful time for me. I was full of fear.
But the thing is we all have a genetic disease with a 100% death rate. It’s called mortality. But we choose to ignore it, we choose to think that everyone else will die at some stage but somehow we will not. The only way we will believe it is if we go to a doctor and he says to us “I’m sorry but you have a terminal disease, there is no cure. It’s called ‘mortaliosis’.” “How long have I got doc?” “I’m not sure, it could just be hours, or weeks, or some people survive for decades, it’s unpredictable, but it is fatal, it’s best to prepare, put your affairs in order.”
It’s only when we are told by a doctor that we start to believe we are going to die even though the evidence is all around us. It’s why many people don’t go to doctors. They’d rather not know. But it’s only through knowledge that we can conquer the fear of death.
For me, being diagnosed with cancer is the best thing that has happened to me. It forced me to address the mortality of this body, and in doing so I discovered I was living in a dream state. This material world is real, but it is only temporary.
The eternal spiritual world is there and it is so much more than what we see in this temporary day to day existence. This spiritual world is one where there is a loving relationship with the Supreme Soul and all other living entities. This spiritual world does not leave me when my body dies. When we experience this reality then there is no fear.
Then there is real happiness.
Life is then so much fun!
Thank You and Namaste