Nothing in this world is not touched by Death, yet in the Western World it remains for the most part something best left unspoken. Ghosts, things that go bump in the night, those things are best left for the masses in the form of B movies and pulp fiction! But for those in the know, such a statement is accurate, and honest, because nothing in this world is not touched by Death.
Look for example on how Death is treated in a hospital setting. For the most part in Western hospitals it is denial by both the individual’s relatives as well as the hospital. Think of all the useless tests given a dying person in the final hours simply to confirm his or her coming demise, almost a religious ritual to say that Death is definitely coming when the fact is already confirmed. Do not forget as well, that those tests to confirm the approach and arrival of death puts a lot of money in the pocket of doctors and those wonderful non-for profit hospitals. This is a true example of greed at work.
And what about the pain situation oftentimes accompanying death? Why not put a blanket over the dying body if it gives a sense of fleeting warmth and comfort, why not cover those cold legs? Make the person comfortable when possible. In the United States, the government taxes and makes profit off plants such as tobacco. Yet, on the other hand, punishes and eradicates certain plants and people who use them for pain, identifying them as evil and bad! Death is not a feared enemy, but pain can be. Much re-thinking on death and dying and the use of plants to ease pain should be reviewed, and not dismissed out of hand.
Death is simply stepping from one sphere of existence into a different one. Many mystics have stated it in many different ways. Sri Ramakrishna said that it is like walking from one room to another, passing through the doorway, so to speak. We each will pass through that doorway, one way or another. That doorway waits for each of us from the day we are born; patiently waiting, forever there.
People die, but they are still with us. A beloved relative dies, but he or she is still with us. Memory and appearance. If a person truly believes the soul is immortal, then that person must also entertain the concept that reincarnation is a respected consequence and part of that immortality. Death. The immortality of the soul. Rebirth in another human form.
Yet, the majority of Americans and Western countries continue to avoid Death. They play at understanding it in terms of outdated religious doctrine peculiar to their own faith beliefs. Death is not the end. Death is the beginning of another existence. What is needed here is a true existentialism of mysticism and religion that prepares each of us for the afterlife, and the rebirth to follow that afterlife. It is something vital each of us should learn as we grow up and mature in a physical world.
Death is not the enemy. Misunderstanding of the nature of Death is the enemy. Life is full of misunderstandings, but Death is not. Death is the existential outcome of living a meaningful life, and it is only the beginning to further development in the next incarnation.
Nothing in this world is not touched by Death, so we must do the most good we can do before we pass over. It is our divine nature to do good, not evil.
Lee Prosser is Ghostvillage.com’s book reviewer and a regular contributor.