Occasionally we may hear the phrase that serves as the title of this article: “That will be…the death of me.” It implies that a stressful situation or difficult task will spell our end. What I propose to relate in this article is that such is impossible—no matter how challenging the task. This basically means that you can never—”not”—be. Why? Because the true “I” does not die. This stance, although certainly contrary to the belief held by the majority of the world’s population, is not new. It’s in alignment with the following quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj in I Am That:
“The Real does not die; the unreal never lived.”
I am not denying that body-minds (aka, persons) die; for the daily news is filled with obvious proof: an earthquake results in the deaths of several hundred persons; an armed gunman enters a mall and kills twenty-five innocent bystanders; a multi-vehicle pileup on the freeway leads to the death of eight persons. Why, then, am I writing an article in which I state—unequivocally—that we do not die? The answer is related to the following inscription that was engraved on the frontispiece of the Temple of Apollo, in Delphi, Greece:
If you believe that all there is to “you” is the body-mind that is apparently reading this article, you will be left with little choice but to scoff at its content. Who could blame you? If, however, you’re eager to investigate a deeper dimension of Being that is beyond name and form, you may be tempted to continue reading. We may get a taste of our essential nature through meditation; for when we become still, we can, indeed, realize that Awareness is prior to mind. We are the Silent Witness of all sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts. When we re-cognize true Self, we know with certainty that we could not possibly be a name; nor could we ever be a body, which is exchanging approximately three-hundred million cells per minute. Our essential nature is That, the changeless Source of all that is changeful.
In his best-selling book entitled The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle (a famous spiritual teacher and author) shares what happened to him at the age of twenty-nine: “I woke up in the early hours with a feeling of absolute dread.” He had experienced similar occurrences several times previously, having coped with anxiety for several years. Suddenly, he was caught off guard by the following thought that kept repeating in his mind: “I can’t live with myself any longer.”
Eckhart Tolle then became increasingly aware that the sentence implied two: the “I” and the “myself,” which was the cause of all of his suffering. As his puzzlement deepened, he began to wonder if only one of them was real. It would be the night of his awakening to true Self; which basically means liberation from identification with the false self of name and form. Humankinds’ great confusion about death occurs because the majority of persons remain asleep to a deeper dimension that transcends name and form. In short, we erroneously believe that consciousness is personal; when, in fact, Consciousness is impersonal and Universal—the Foundation of all that is. This knowledge may help to explain the following passage from Psalm 23:4 and its use of the specific word shadow:
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
for thou art with me; they rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
To merely believe the information that is being shared in this article is pointless; for such means next to nothing when the rubber meets the road, so to speak. To know the realness of what is being shared, we must be willing to set aside our assumptions related to identity and directly investigate our true nature. Can you really be J-a-n-e or J-o-h-n Doe? Please consider this deeply. Are letters strung together in the form of words (which are merely symbols that refer to things) actually you? No; of course not. It’s why the noted author and speaker Alan Watts stated that you can’t get wet from the word water. If you can acknowledge that a word is only a symbol for that to which it refers, you’ll easily apply the same logic to your name. It’s what William Shakespeare meant when he penned the following famous line from Romeo and Juliet:
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Although persons might be persuaded to accept that a name cannot possibly be their identity, most will struggle to accept that they are not their body-mind. We’ve been conditioned since infancy to believe that we are the person; that deep belief is completely understandable. However, it may help us dive deeper into the nature of our Being if we understand that all effects (including our person) are rendered by the mind, contrary to what most persons believe. In The Law of Success, Paramahansa Yogananda states the following:
“Mind is the creator of everything.”
Consciousness, not a supposedly material world made of “matter” is the very substance of every form and experience. We could not, indeed, have an experience of any nature in the absence of consciousness. This also helps us understand why Jesus stated the following, borrowed from Luke 17:21: “Neither shall they say, lo here! or, lo there! for behold the kingdom of God is within you.” He meant that universal Consciousness cannot be located in time and space as an object. Contrary to popular belief, our body-mind is actually a function of mind; not an independently-existing entity. Our true identity is Spirit, aka Consciousness. Could all of this, as Edgar Allen Poe penned, actually just be a dream within a dream? Most definitely.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏