Existence and Non-Existence

December 3, 2011

I’ve written about an “ideal end-state” of the evolution of Life, which we seem to be moving toward.  This end-state seems to be the perfection, through evolution, of an organism in which the qualities of Spirit can be expressed naturally, as a self-existent quality of that future being.

We see evidence of this idea in the trend of the development of matter and life, which has brought forth ever-increasingly complex and intelligent forms, culminating in modern human beings, who are the present peak of the evolutionary mountain.

Along the way, life has been brutal, blissful, boring, bleak, and beautiful. We, as humans, feel all these states in our lives, if we live long enough and experience a wide enough variety. (Don’t ask “of what?” Instead, ponder that last phrase for a minute.)

Most of us strive to feel the blissful and beautiful as much as possible, when we are able to feel or at least imagine those feelings. Many of us are unable even to imagine them when we are in the midst of brutal, boring, or bleak experiences. In the end, these feelings (and the multitude of others) are all that really matter in life, for they determine our choices and decisions.

In the best of circumstances, they light within us a spark that drives us to improve our state of being. At other times, we fall into the turmoil of the bleak or brutal present and stay there, sometimes for a long time. Every feeling or state feels eternal while we are in it.

Sometimes it can seem better not to exist at all, rather than to have to endure excruciating present circumstances. After all, life continues whether it brings us brutal or blissful events. In those times that we wish we did not exist or have to endure, we seek relief, as we always do when we feel negative. This is the realm of suicide (an attempt to end consciousness and therefore pain), chemical abuse (an attempt to reduce consciousness and therefore pain), and violence (an attempt to destroy externalized pain).

Life, though, continues to exist even beyond the physical. My own experience has hinted at this idea over and over again, enough that I accept it as fact and not hyperbole. I don’t know what existence we encounter after we die, but I feel that it’s related to the life we live here in the physical.

So, if I’m correct, non-existence isn’t even an option. Despite the pain, misery, unfairness, and brutality that we encounter and are forced (by being alive) to endure, to exit the game is only to continue the game on some other level—and, like Hamlet asked, “in that sleep of death who knows what dreams may come?”

“To be or not to be” is not the question. “Not to be” isn’t even possible—if I’m correct. Therefore, we must endure. In the cycle of life, with the variety of possible experience that lies before us, brutality and bleakness cannot endure forever. When death does not grant us possible reprieve from our misery (or, perhaps, only a continuation on some unknown level of the misery we’re trying to escape), the Divine spark within can light a fire that brings us again to bliss and beauty.

That Divine spark is the reason why we cannot un-exist. If this is true, then everything must happen for a reason, and the Divine Itself must be the guide of all our experiences, whether we want them or not, whether we know it or not. It might be a good idea, then, to try to understand what the Divine wants in this life—for us individually, as well as the world in its totality.

Because we cannot escape existence.

Life and Death

October 8, 2011

In a way, life is only an interruption of the state of being that we call “death.” Living bodies are animated by Consciousness while they are alive, and at death that Consciousness continues without the body. A similar thing happens in our dreams: we are conscious, we interact with other people in an environment, and we think it’s completely real while we’re “there.”

My view of death is that, when you die, your spirit (with your memory of experiences from this life) will be rejoined with itself. The spirit that animates your present body is the same essence as the Spirit that animates all life. At death, this Spirit is released from the vantage point of your body, which it occupies in order to live and interact with other life (meaning “with itself in other disguises”).

At some point, you (as spirit) will rejoin everyone and everything else, and you (as a currently diminished form of the Universal Spirit yourself) will share in all the experiences that have ever been had. (From the viewpoint of Spirit, this is a current event and ongoing process, always occurring NOW, while all forms of Itself live in the space-time world of flesh.)

If you live in the flesh again, it will be without memory of the experiences you had in this life, just as you now have no memory of any “previous” life before your birth. Your character, nevertheless, will be changed—improved—because of what you’ve learned from all your experiences, in whatever form you lived.

At death, you don’t really “go” anywhere. You change. You’re released from limited perception and limited understanding. I see death as just like waking up from a dream. When you “wake up” (die), you realize the unreality of the experience you just had, even though you remember that it seemed real and you still carry the understanding you gained from the experience.

Imagine an ocean, with lots of little waves on top of it. Now imagine not being able to see anything below the top half of each wave. You would see a lot of separate little waves, but nothing between them or connecting them. Life is like that. We only see the waves now, but there’s an entire ocean outside our limited view, and we are a part of that ocean. We are waves.

Does the wave continue when it drops below that line? Yes, but not as a wave. It partakes in the entire ocean.

When I Die

September 15, 2011

Even when I die, I shall live…not as I, because he will be dead. But, though I be gone, the real I, which pervades All and never dies, lives on in all beings–so that I continue to live in all beings.

I will live their experience as they live, breathe, and move. I am and will be them, too.

I will be the caterpillar crawling on the dew-covered leaf. I will swim with my fellows in the blue waters of the Caribbean. I will crawl through caves, blind, where light never reaches. I will experience childbirth—both natural and “modern.” I will die on the battlefield (again?).

I will know love, hate, and sorrow. I will be rich and I will live richly. I will live a tragic life, dead before I’m grown—at my own hand.

I will experience, through All That Is, Life—in its full intensity and meaning.

All That Is is in me, living through me, connecting me intimately with all of Life. Call it Brahman or God or Life or All That Is; it’s the same. It’s One.

It’s you and it’s me. Can you see it?

(Written in 2004 and freshly edited on December 19, 2016.)

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