There is no death.
Not really. Or, not in the way we might commonly think of death.
Time, for example, is much stranger than our everyday minds allow for. The only moment that is real, is this precise moment – ‘the now’. So, who I was in the previous moment – the one just gone – has already passed away. And the being I am to be in the future moment is not yet. The only being I am, the only place life is to be experienced really, and all reality, is just in the unfolding moment right now. Codependent origination; everything unfolding all at once, and disappearing as quickly as it has gone.
But what about memory? The sense of continuum? A personal journey? A story? Well, yes. This is part of experience. But memory itself is quite a weak force. We are prone to misremember, to elaborate on memories to suit something happening in the present. Or simply to get material facts wrong at our subconscious choosing. It is a part of experience.
When we fear dying, what we really fear could do with a little more study. Perhaps we fear pain. If I cut my finger, it can really hurt. And that’s just my finger! What about an experience which extinguishes all of me! That must really hurt! Yes, but some may pass away quietly in their sleep.
Perhaps we find not existing too strange to comprehend. Of course. But it is our ego thinking this. Everyday mind. The ego cannot imagine itself not being, because the ego exists to preseve the vital prerogative to persist. To continue. And so not existing is counter to the purpose of the ego. But when we practice meditation we come to understand that the ego is not everything that we are – it is just one necessary function of our being.
The rest of our self, our being, is shared with all being; is One. And we know from experience that One persists beyond time – before, during, after, without, within time-space-movement.
We know Oneness has no death. The Source. Buddha-nature. No death there. No birth. No not-death. No not-birth. And so on.
If it is our fear of pain, fear of losing memories, fear of losing free will (is there free will? whose will?), missing habits – all of this comes from the small self – the individuated self.
Death and time are very strange. But, it’s not really death itself or time itself we fear or dislike.
Life is beautiful when we are ready to die. When we have nothing to fear.