Death As A Teacher


I have been thinking about death as a teacher. It has a remarkable leveling effect on everyone. It does not matter if you rich or poor, what your race is, or your age, if you are a good person, or a bad person, what your nationality is or was. It does not matter if you are happy or suffering, well or sick. None of these things about people make any difference in the matter of death.


The body, returns to an inorganic state, sooner, or later. It is gone, but it never leaves this world. When we face the fact of death, we are confronted by loss, but we think of it in our terms. We think that the person who has died has left us, and has left the world. Now, we never wonder at all about the world. What is this world that we are alive within?


We see the world in terms of our self, but we don't consider the question, what is the world that we live in, and what is our life in it. Clearly, we live in the world, or at least our body does. And we are conscious, meaning, that we are the observer of our life in the world. Naturally we assume that our consciousness is also in this same world. What is troubling about death is not that the body dies, as that is obvious. What's troubling is that we do not know at all what happens to our consciousness. Yet, we can't even explain how that consciousness operates in us. We are faced there with a mystery here about its very nature. Yet, we assume that consciousness has left when someone dies. As if it is not any longer in this world. Yet we never really knew even in life where this consciousness actually exists.


Science is now speculating about the sources of consciousness and its relation to our biology. Questions arise if it is a function of our biology, or if our biology is a function of our consciousness? That is an interesting way to think about it. As if consciousness is dependent on the body but not as a result of it, but rather perhaps as a source of it. Or, that there is a symbiosis between body and consciousness that is embodied in life. A speculation that a non-local entanglement creates a world in a moment shared between observer and object, or between consciousness and matter.


A quantum duality may exist that we do not understand, in which all time exists in eternity, and all matter exists in time, requiring space. Dimensions that we know of that are connected like embedded Russian dolls, one within another, and at the deepest level is that which penetrates all levels. For life to the best of our knowledge requires this embodiment to exist in the world, which otherwise is just inorganic matter. This question goes deeper than the sense of personal loss and identification with those we love, because we are all dead, eventually.


It is not a morbid thought, because it is fundamental fact about life that we also die. This is and always has been a great mystery for people, and one we need to think about, because if higher dimensions exist, we cannot assume that we are privy to the knowledge of them while alive in the conditions of our embodiment, but that there may be dimensions that exist, along with our own familiar domain of space and time, from which consciousness may arise and to which consciousness retreats, of which we are ignorant.


We might say we have the fantastic stories in our religions about them. But we find eventually that those stories are just what we say in the face of a mystery that we do not, and cannot understand. That is the mystery of where we come from and where we go, and especially what the world is, and what the world isn't.


Photo by Jan Canty on Unsplash


© Copyright 2017 Robert Fertman, All Rights Reserved

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