If you don’t understand what living is, deeply and passionately, then you will not understand about physical death. A man (or woman) who often is psychologically dying to the dead past, to corrupt (limited) conditioning, to illusory limititations, and to robotic traditions and habits… is someone who is deeply living.
By the way, regarding physical death, it’s not what you have been told. It’s not any of the crap that people have dished out to you. It’s not that your special human soul floats away to a bliss with an anthropomorphic god or gods. It is not that when you are dead, you are dead (and that that’s it); it is not that you are reincarnated to some kind of better life; it is not that you go to some kind of heaven or hell; it is not that you float around like a ghost or specter, looking down upon everyone else. It is not what you have been told (by others). So what happens? One must find out. Intelligence must find out. I certainly am not going to tell you. It’s for deep perception to find out (and discover); it’s not for being told (for people to merely robotically believe or not believe). Again… it’s not for being told.
It’s not a subject that most of us care to consider. We, most all of us, tend to push it off, avoiding thinking about it. Shortly before my wonderful wife Marla recently passed, i tenderly said to her, “If things should happen to go south with this, death will not keep us apart for very long; death is too superficial, too shallow.”
I am very appreciative of the warm condolences within my previous blog posting and in cards and letters that people have sent to me. It means a lot.
Death is not (at all) what most people think. As Walt Whitman sagaciously wrote, “And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.” There are different kinds of death/dying. There is the death of the physical body; there is the death of a mind that merely goes through life blindly accepting things according to tradition, organizations, and leaders (who, themselves are not truly living). There is the death that permeates a mind of indifference, callousness, and narcissistic behavior. (Perhaps such a mind was never truly alive whatsoever.) So many of us assume that we are living and free; we may not be.
There is, however, a dying, a “good dying,” throughout life, that can exist, psychologically, that may truly be a very highminded, splendid, and vibrant kind of living. A wise entity, who is frequently psychologically dying to dead, stale, stagnant, second-hand thoughts, may be engaging in one of the highest forms of living. As one has often said, thoughts and words are merely symbols and are, for the most part, never the actualities that they stand for and represent. However, most of us live in (and exist through) the domain of thought/thinking. (And we perceive through the screen of thought/thinking.) It’s tragic, really, and (actually) few of us are truly living. We accept authorities and organizations that are, in themselves, rather static, barbaric, and dead. We are followers, rarely thinking and discovering for ourselves. To be second-hand, repeating what was fed into you, is what computers are essentially capable of; it is also what too many of us exclusively do. We were trained to imitate and copy… not to feel and question.
My beloved wife Marla passed away on 10/07/20 due to complex complications from Wilson’s Disease. Her Hepatologist at the University of Chicago Medical Center said that it was amazing that she lived as long as she did. This makes me feel that i succeeded rather well at helping her with her illnesses. Marla was very brave and went through a lot of suffering. She was born with Wilson’s Disease, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder rendering the body to be unable to eliminate excess copper naturally. She had an auto-allergic reaction due to the penicillamine medication that she was on for Wilson’s in the past; penicillamine has a lot of very bad side-effects. At that time, she almost died from ARDS and ended up with only half-lung capacity. She suffered from dystonia — a strong tightening of the muscles involuntarily — and had to have Botox injections deep in her neck every two to three months. Due to the chronic dystonia of her neck, she had to have 8 cervical vertebrae replaced with titanium implants. She then lost the ability to swallow and had to (permanently) eat via enteral feeding (i.e., by a tube going into her stomach area). Before i retired, i was a teacher for the multiply handicapped, and — for decades — helped with enteral feeding (i.e., stomach feeding tubes) with some of my students; so i was very experienced with helping Marla with hers. Marla then had to have shoulder surgery… and then reconstructive shoulder surgery. She had Elastosis perforans Syndrome, a skin disorder (on her thighs) caused by having been on the penicillamine for years before getting on the better (less intrusive) new zinc therapy. She often told me that she had a low threshold for bearing pain but she was way more brave and stalwart than i could have ever been. Despite her pain and struggles, we had a whole lot of great, joyful times together.
I fell in love with Marla largely because of her warm and compassionate heart. She always put others first and was always thinking of others. She often made things for others, like quilts, fancy embroidery things, and homemade lotions. She was a nurse and often would take her elderly mother to the doctors. Everyone who met Marla loved her radiant, caring personality. I am so honored to be her husband.
The following is one of the E. E. Cummings poems that i read at her beautiful outdoor memorial service along the Kankakee River:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
[Note: The common name for this Illinois woodland wildflower is Spring Beauty. The entire width of the flower is less than 1/2 inch (around one centimeter wide). This wildflower is still rather common throughout Illinois. It, fortunately, can survive more environmental disruption than most wildflowers. Its eternal essence has nothing to do with its persistence in Illinois or elsewhere.]
This is the poem that came out of the grave to tell you what death is.
Everyone has avoided the answer but here is the answer:
Death is indifference; Death is mental fragmentation; Death is accepting immorality; Death is accepting mortality; Death is belonging to separatist organizations that one thinks are “right,” and death is the limited space surrounded by boundaries.
It is very rare to see two Ambush Bugs together with a victim like this.
Two Ambush Bugs with their Bumble Bee victim on Thistle Plant … Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
Our wonderful, little dog, Gabby (who was over 16 years old), passed away on Monday. Marla and i really miss her! Since we don’t have human children, this hits us especially hard. That little sweetie was perfect in every way. We still have a number of other pets, including a Miniature Dachshund, Lola, (who is also quite a sweetie).
They cling to guns to feel safe while callously letting the environment go to hell. It’s all really starting to smell.
[Note: So sad that the U.S. is a country addicted to guns. Even the children have taken up shooting each other. On another note: So many fly in jets to go on vacations to “beautiful places,” or to take “beautiful” nature photos. The carbon footprint of jet travel, for human beings, is unbelievably high, massively high; there is nothing beautiful about ruining the environment. People who frequently go traveling around the world are admired by others, not by me.]
Our Dying Environment… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
[Note: Most people are afraid to die psychologically, so they are never really living.]
no method no practice no effort no goal no system no beliefs no process no analysis no past no future no present no nation no religion no ideology no “shoulds” no wants no opinion no fear no escapes no thoughts no me no authority no time no tomorrow
no yesterday no separation no excuses no them no being no becoming no controller no labeling no indifference
Skipper Investigating… Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2018
[The book that I wrote (i.e., “The Eternal Fountain of Youth”) deals a lot with the existent, basal nature of eternity, consciousness, and time. This book is not for the masses. Only read the book, by the way, if you are very stable and have it together, so to speak; it is extremely strong medicine. Even though the content of the book is extremely potent, it is not really dangerous; the real danger is for us to continue in our barbaric ways without changing.]
“If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry. If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry. These are the only ways I know it. Is there any other way?” ― Emily Dickinson
life and death forever together. Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016
If, each and every day, one is wisely psychologically dying to the hullabaloo and clamor of superfluous thoughts, then one isn’t afraid of the mystery of dying (as so many are). Then living and dying aren’t two separate things… nor the latter something horrible to be frightened of.