Everything that is born, dies. This is the law of impermanence. Yet, today’s lesson says that death is a false belief. It says that we are mistaken when we believe that death holds “all living things within its withered hand; … it alone will surely come.”
So which is a statement of truth? Impermanence or ‘there is no death’?
Both. It is true that everything that is born, dies. If something has a beginning, it will also have an end. But it is also true that what has no beginning, has no end. The question becomes, which are you? Were you born? Or are you that which always existed and always will?
Today’s lesson says, “Either all things die, or else they live and cannot die. No compromise is possible.” Yet, you can watch a flower come into being, live a short time and then wither and die. What is this lesson talking about?
Today’s lesson is looking beyond form, which is temporary, to the spirit of all living things, which is eternal. Life itself, which is God and is all things, has no beginning and no end. For life, death is impossible. You can see that if you look beyond specifics.
For example, one flower may blossom and then wither and die, but if you look around, can you find life elsewhere once the flower dies? Is there life in the tree? In the insect? In you? Did life die when the flower died?
We all experience the death of loved ones in our lifetimes. This is a very sad event when it occurs. Yet, has life died when the loved one died? Or can we still find life living?
Temporary form comes and goes. That is the law of impermanence. But life lives. That is all it can do. That is its nature.
Awakening is the realization that you (and other living things) are not the temporary form. You are life itself.
It’s true that the temporary form of the body-personality that you experience now will end, but you cannot die. Life has no end.
Today we will continue to practice Self-inquiry by looking throughout the day to notice life-presence as what we are.
Today, when your mind thinks about a problem that you are facing, try this exercise:
Look at the problem that the mind is thinking about. Ask yourself, “Has this problem always been here? Will this problem, in one way or another, have an end?” And then notice that as an example of impermanence.
Next, shift attention to your Self. Ask, “What am I? What is aware of these thoughts about a problem?” Look carefully to notice the life-presence that is aware of thought. Notice that in your experience, you, as life-presence, has always been constant. You have experienced the coming and going of many problems, but this life-presence has remained the same. Reflect for a few moments on the continuous nature of life-presence, and then say to yourself, “There is no death. The son of God is free.”
For another effective method of noticing your free Self today, instead of being identified with thoughts about temporary problems, watch this 5-minute video by Loch Kelly: