The knowledge of death completely rewires you

Death is thought of as an event that happens in the far future.
Nobody even thinks about it, unless there is a real reason to.
Seeing death as an event, is from ignorance (maybe purposeful).
Death is not an event that suddenly happens in the far future.
Death as an experience is continually happening.
“Death is not an event, but death IS, just as life IS”
(borrowed from Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev).

One never steps in the same river twice.
Life experience is constantly transforming.
Knowledge of death or mortality is really knowledge of impermanence.
It is the truth of the statement: “This too shall pass”.
The nature of life is aliveness and change.
Life = spirit = novelty = miracle = change = aliveness = unknown = mystery.

Death is the knowledge of unbecoming that follows becoming.
Like the outbreath follows the inbreath.
So imagine breathing in more and more without letting out anything.
Eventually at one point, the tension will become so great,
You will just drop and let go of everything.
The nature of life is like the Breath.
We enter this planet, take on a body, project all of our emotions here.
We get deeply involved, and then later leave everything behind, and exit.
The cycle of [incarnation – death] like [inbreath – outbreath].

The knowledge of death is what breaks the spell of ordinary egoic life.
It is the great disillusionment.
It casts its shadow on all desires/dreams/plans.
The thought that comes is:
“What is the use of doing anything? OR becoming anything?
If it is all going to end in dust?
Why should I bother to fight for my survival and thrive?
If I am just going to be cheated and mocked in the end by death?”

This may create an existential crisis/dark night of soul/depression.
When the knowledge of death enters your vision.
If one allows this process to fully pass through,
They emerge on the other side transformed.
It is like how you digest food and get energy later,
The knowledge of death digests “you” and liberates you,
And you emerge as a phoenix from the ashes.

For the phoenix, life is lived in the “now/present”
The past is seen as present only, i.e. the past incarnating in the present.
The future is seen as imagination done in the present.
The phoenix lives with identification grounded in “formless life/aliveness” itself.
All else is seen as the play of life, “as form” and “with form”

Different planes, death, and enlightenment

Our different bodies exist in different planes:
# Physical -> Astral -> Causal -> Spirit
# Gross -> Subtle -> Causal -> Source
# Assiah -> Yetzirah -> Briah -> Atziluth (From Kabbalah)

Death happens at different levels.
Physical death -> Astral death -> Causal death -> Merger into Source
# The source first empowers all the bodies in an inbreath like process, which is the sequence during the birth process:
Causal vessel/body 1st -> then Astral vessel/body 2nd -> then Physical vessel/body 3rd.
# Then the source is disengaged, an outbreath like release happens, and dying happens one by one.
First the Physical vessel lets go -> Then astral vessel lets go -> Then causal vessel lets go.

Birth and Death at all levels is the play of the spirit/source.
It is the breath of spirit.
# Spirit inbreath -> Becoming Maya (the various planes and bodies)
# Then Spirit outbreath -> where its lets go all the illusions and returns to true nature.

In Enlightenment:
You trade the drop for the ocean itself, which is [the ground of intelligence, quantum field], from which all drops emerge.
To be enlightened is to know/realize at your being that you are the source itself, but operating through that drop.
This realization then maximally empowers the drop to serve the higher will of the field.

Our body is of the earth and belongs to the earth

The body has various cycles:
Input cycles:
# Hunger cycles = EARTH ELEMENT
# Thirst cycles = WATER ELEMENT
# Sleep cycles = ETHER ELEMENT
# [Sights, Sounds] consumption cycles = FIRE ELEMENT
# In-breath cycling = AIR ELEMENT
Output cycles:
# Poop cycles = EARTH ELEMENT
# Urine, Sexual cycles = WATER ELEMENT
# Exercise/Activity cycles = FIRE ELEMENT
# Out-breath cycling = AIR ELEMENT
# Waking state awareness cycles = ETHER ELEMENT
The elements part may not be exact, but I used my intuitive feel to arrive at them.

The body belongs to the earth, and is made up of the earth.
It is an organic machine, built from the elements of the earth, and on death, this entire body machine will be returned to the earth (which will cycle the elements back into itself).
The body emerges from the earth, gathers earth elements onto itself and grows, maintains and renews itself periodically from various elemental transactions with the earth, and then once its time is over, the earth reabsorbs the body back into itself.
The mothers womb provides the initial body as a template, that then separates from the mother, gathers on the elements (what we call growth), and then stabilizes itself in transaction with the elements of the earth.
“On death, the earth will take back the body, atom by atom” – Sadhguru
I have heard Sadhguru(Jaggi Vasudev) on Youtube speak about this topic many times, but only now I feel like I understand it more deeply.

So from the body’s perspective:
It cares about: food, water, sleep, sex, breathing, preservation.
Each of these activities give pleasure, but only as per the cycles.
The pleasure from the body is limited to the cycles only.
When you are hungry you can only eat until the hunger is satisfied, only till then will you get pleasure.
The same holds true for thirst, sex, and even the breath.
Breathing in is pleasure until you get full, breathing out is pleasure until you get empty.
Since all of the elemental transactions are in a cycle, neither can you preserve, nor can you indulge.
It is like your breath.
You can’t endlessly breathe in, neither can you endlessly breathe out.

In terms of source energy, the highest tangible conception of that for us, is the “Sun”.
But we can use only a fraction of that energy directly, and we need all its other stored forms available on earth to survive/thrive.
Sun -> Plants
Sun -> Plants -> Animals
Water -> stores the heat energy of the sun (else without the sun it would turn into ice).
And then we further cook the plant/animal material in fire, and then we have “energy and elements” in a form that we can easily consume.
The earth itself maintains its temperature from the sun.
The core of the earth is almost like a micro sun.
Human bodies are like the most developed neurons(brain nerve cells) of the earth.

Also with only one half of the earth facing the sun at any given point of time, and with the earth constantly rotating, it is always cycling through duality.
Though the sun(source) is ever present, ever radiant, it is eclipsed from influence and view during the night.
So I would think that is why, in the microcosm of our bodies too, we have the sleep and waking cycles which is a correlate to this macrocosmic duality.

Memory creation and fading

As life moves, there are various possibilities:
Inbreath stage: Sunrise: Childhood
1. New memories are made much more rapidly, than the fading of the old memories = birth, becoming, forming, progress, ascent.
Holding stage: Daytime: Adulthood
2. New memories are made at the same rate, as the fading of old memories = balance, plateau, steadiness, refinement.
Outbreath stage: Sunset
3. New memories are made at a much slower rate, while fading of old memories is happening rapidly = ripening, descent, reverie, nostalgia, retreat.
Vacuum stage: Nighttime
4. Neither is any new memory formed, nor is any old memory faded = Statis, Sleep, Death, total withdrawal.

It swings like a pendulum:
Losses ——|—— Gains
Death ——|——- Life
Dissolution —-|—- Formation
Sleep —–|—– Waking
Nighttime —-|—- Daytime
Outbreath —-|—- Inbreath

This is the life cycle that can be seen at all scales of form:
Like look at a banana. A time lapse of its life.
As it [emerges, becomes full size, ripens, rots].
Even the process of digestion mirrors this pattern.
[intake, break down, extraction, excretion]
Every birth-death is a cycle.

Now the question would be, if this is all a cycle, it is zero sum, what is the gain?
Yes, a cycle by itself is 0 sum.
The logic here is, the gain derived from living through any cycle always lies beyond the cycle.
The part of you that is beyond this cycle, that is the part that gains from the cycle.
The gain lies not in the cycle, but beyond it.

Living through the death process

dead_trees

WARNING: This is a somewhat serious and heavy post.
For the readers not interested in the topic of death, this can be skipped.


I am losing control.
I am losing my will-power.
I am dying, fading, receding, dissolving, falling into the ground,
Into a subconscious in-between state.
The state in-between:
# waking and sleep
# waking and dreaming
# life and death
# birth and death
# consciousness and unconsciousness

I am like a dying tree,
Who is in the hands of all of nature’s elements.
I cannot weather the elemental forces anymore.
I submit to them.
I submit to their destruction of me.
The wind blows off my leaves and branches.
Animals eats off whatever they want from me.
Insects feast on me from the outside.
Microorganisms eat me from within.
I am decomposing and falling into the ground of filth,
From where I sprang forth.
It is as if god has given permission to everything in nature to finish me off.
I stand back within this apocalypse and witness tides and tides of destruction, loss, and grief.
The loss of everything I have known.
The loss and destruction continuously happens.
The only function “I” perform with my will, is opening the valve just enough so that it is bearable.
Every-time I open the valve, more of my self is torched in the flame.
Facing death consciously is like facing endless loss and grief.
I know that death is be allowed.
But I am compassionate to the me that is dying,
As every identification is being decomposed, rotted, and reabsorbed.
The process is as pretty as witnessing a vegetable rot in time lapse.
Every death of every part, fills my space with its smoke of grief.
But I only get short breaks, before the next series of deaths start.

My “senses” are going weak.
I can sense/feel/perceive anything only with a lot of strain.
I have to expend a lot of effort to crystallize a momentary perception.
And if I keep doing that, then I will be sent back into a stupor from exhaustion.
My will has become so weak and feeble,
I have to let 95% of things just happen.
I can no longer control my thought and emotion.
I have lost the unity of body mind spirit.
Now they are all fragmented.
It is a descent into chaos like what happens to a kingdom when the king falls.
The various fragments pull and push at each other and scream at the death process, which pulls off their life supports and they all struggle to survive until they fade away.

My mind reacts to the dissolution with painful dreadful suffering visions and agonies,
Which immediately affect the body too with an assortment of painful hormones.
Death is something that is done to you, I am not doing anything.
In fact with the structural dissolution, my power to do decreases more and more.
All I can do with the me that is left is let it happen or resist it.
And resisting it only gives me short breaks.
The flood of the death process, cannot be dammed away for too long.
My motto is: To bear it and allow it as much as possible,
With minimum-damage and suffering, which is the only priority.
The challenge is to go through it with as much grace as you can muster.

Every structure resists death, every structure wants to live.
And so every dissolution of every structure suffers onto its own demise.
Birth and death are suffering.
The growing pains and the dying pains.
Creation is painful and destruction is painful.
There is no escape from pain and resistance.
There is a fundamental duality of:
Statis(inertia, death) ——- Movement(life)
So because the whole of existence/experience is a play of opposing forces,
Resistance as an experience is going to be felt no matter what.
If you sit still, your life force will push on you.
If you move, your inertia will drag on you.

Death and Life are both NOW

When we speak of death, or think about it,
That is death as a thought/concept.
The concept of death is always connected to time.
It is a thought about the future, usually the far future.
“What will happen to me after I die, maybe 40 years or 60 years later?”
“How will I die? What will be my state at that time?
“What will I be feeling at that time?”
“Who will be beside me at that time?”
“What place will I be in (a hospital, my bedroom…)?”
All of that is death as a thought.

Fear of death happens when death is thought about.
The more imaginative a person is, the stronger he will feel it.
Because of the extent of deep extrapolation and conception he can do.
A powerful imagination superimposes itself over the base reality overloading it with “context/meaning/memory/past-future/likely possibilities”.
And then the body reacts to whatever picture that presents.

Death as a reality however is always NOW.
You face death now, You face life now.
Every moment is changing.
If you see what was lost(negative existence), you see death.
If you see what was gained(positive existence), you see life.

The repression of the reality of death

There is a fundamental imbalance I have noticed as a pattern throughout civilization and society (the one around me now).
Death has not been integrated into Life.
We repress anything to do with death and handle it in a kind of desperate uneasy way, we shield the reality of this as much as we can and when it happens it carries the context of: “What an unexpected tragedy, this should not have happened, this is unfair and sudden, but I will have to do whatever I can to manage this (said despondently)”.
Why should this be the case?
Why is the collective repressing the reality of death?
That I feel is the true elephant in the room that is being repressed.
We all play/act and pretend like it does not exist and we have an implicit agreement to never speak or discuss it unless really needed and only to the extent required.

This collective repression and denial of the reality of death has consequences throughout the ways in which we live our lives.
Every aspect of our lifestyle carries this feature too.
Marriage/new relationships are celebrated, while breakups are looked down upon, like “There must be a mistake, this is really wrong, should not happen etc.”.
Even the word breakup carries such a violent unceremonious negative connotation.
How can creativity flow freely if things once acquired are simply frozen?
Both the processes of acquisition and dissolution are like 2 wings of the bird of freedom/change/creative flow.
We are actually stifling the movement of life by denying the reality of death, because they both need each other for the higher purpose which is flow, expression, and creation.

There is a similar situation with consumer products.
It is so easy to purchase products now with the whole global e-commerce now booming in the online sphere.
But it is at least 10 times more difficult to find information and sell what you already possess. It is even difficult to find useful ways to pass on what you have even free of cost in a way that someone else could benefit and use.
The information is not AS READILY available as when you want to purchase.
There is definitely a gigantic imbalance I see.
There is so much hype about the building of a new product, with all the marketing, first day sales etc.
But the phasing out of old products with proper burial (which in this case might mean, the dismantling and salvaging of all of its raw materials, and reusing or returning it to the environmental cycles efficiently) is not done.
Where does all the garbage go?
It is not recycled and put back to its right place.
There is a right place for everything.
Like even poop forms great manure for trees/plants etc.
So as a result of this, we have an endless accumulation of the garbage created by old products.
Who is going to do the cleanup?
The responsibility is on us, it is our willful ignorance and denial of the reality of death that is the root cause here.
We emphasize creation, but not the efficient passing on of the stuff we have gathered to the next generation, or the proper recycling of stuff back into the environment.
Deep inside, there is a denial of the reality of death, which manifests as a feeling that we will live forever. We never even CONSIDER the reality of our own death.
Only if we did that, would we put effort into the correct recycling of our possessions (RE-CYCLING is the key word, life and death is a cycle, and nature has its own cycles. Ideally we should study these cycles and work in harmony with them.)

This is a collective problem and also an individual problem, as I see it.
There are many other smaller instances of this pattern.
Most of us forward bend far more than backward bend in our lifestyles.
We focus on what to eat and treat it like a ceremony and ritual, but when it comes to poop, we want to get done with it with as little consciousness as possible.
We emphasize work/achievement/building but sideline aspects like relaxation/rest/deconstructing (or we do those things only to get back to our prime focus of work and use it instrumentally).