Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Illusion of Death

by Thomas Kwan.

E. Ecker Steger, Professor of philosophy at St. John’s University, wrote in his book The Many Dimensions of the Human Person; The dimension of eternal life. “In this contemporary age statistics show that approximately 97% of people belief in an afterlife. Belief is partially based upon the experiences of dying persons. Deathbed visions are common in both Eastern and Western countries, as indicators of survival after death. Data on such experiences reveal the following facts. (Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson, At the Hour of Death (New York: Avon Books, 1977). Research reveals that sex, age, and education have little influence on the death bed experience and, whereas religion appears to facilitate afterlife experiences, many ‘who were slightly involved in religion and did not express a belief in afterlife, still had otherworldly emotions.’ There was no relation whatsoever between medication and experiential characteristics suggestive of an afterlife.’ Mood elevation near the time of death often accompanied visions of oncoming post-mortem existence. The dying experience a heightened consciousness of those they leave behind in this dimension. Such factual reports, however, neither prove nor disprove immortality.” (168).

When we know our authentic self is our soul and that the soul does not die, then the death of the physical body is but a change of ‘vehicle’ for the soul. If this is the case we need not try to prolong the physical body as if we are clinging onto a vintage car and deprive ourselves of the advantages of having a new vehicle to serve our growing needs. Would you not prefer to drive a dashing eye-turner Ferrari, over that of the outdated, slow and sluggish Henry Ford’s ‘Model T’?

“If you do not fear death, then how can it intimidate you? If you aren’t afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot do.” Lao Tze. Tao Te Ching. Passage 74. (McDonald 117).

Once we realize that the purpose of the soul is to evolve through the school of wisdom in this Earth life; then death is our graduation and time for celebration. That is why I prefer to refer to funerals and wakes as farewell parties rather than a time of sadness and lost. Don’t worry as outwardly I still wear the somber look to blend in but deep inside I rejoice for and with the departing soul.

To learn how to cope with and overcome the fear of death and the uncertainties of after life, contact Thomas Kwan.