Contemplating Death and Life: Pt 2

IMG_1881This whole life-death thing is such a dilemma for us humans. We measure everything by it. Death is like a train chasing us through life. Our animal bodies want to stay alive because that is the nature of biological life. Its purpose is to live.

The question is always, how do we choose to live?

I’ve been having back and forth messages with my partner this morning about the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines. She is a staunch advocate of the vaccine. It has emotional weight for her because she’s had several friends and clients who’ve developed cancers believed to be HPV-related.

I, on the other hand, have more questions about its safety and the research the advertisements are based on. I’m skeptical of the “system”. I’m not against all vaccines, or medications, or western medicine. I also think it’s a much more complicated issue. I am so flipping glad that I’m not a parent and don’t have to make those decisions for my child.

The bottom line question is… how much risk are you willing to take in life?

What things make you feel safe vs vulnerable? How real are feelings of safety or vulnerability?

Speed limits were created and are enforced to save lives – to reduce your risk of dying in an auto accident or killing someone else. Do you ever speed? I do. Do you ever speed with someone else in the car? I do.

Risk or vulnerability perceptions are about statistical probabilities. Even if the math says you’re at a 90% probability of getting hit by a meteor today they can’t tell you if you’re one of the 90% that gets hit or one of the 10% that is free and clear. They can’t measure your unique qualities or situation that might determine your fate.

Nothing makes you safe (from death). Uncertainty is a fact of human life. 

That is, if you are anywhere other than this moment. In this very moment, there is the only certainty possible…you present experience.

We tend to hold such fear about the dissolving of this body, this form. I was just listening to Eckhart Tolle talking about death and the continuity of consciousness. Think about all your body has experienced throughout your life and how dramatically it has changed over the decades. Your awareness has been there, steady without changing.

He noted how we are only aware of the impermanence of our body and life because of the contrast with the constancy of our awareness.

In nature, there is no death. There is only reconfiguration and rebirth of new life. Think fungi on “dead” trees.



Fear is the ego. Fear is in the mind.

So, each day we must make the decisions about how we live. Vaccines or not? Tobacco or not? Fitness or not? Speed or not? Stress or not? Awareness or not? Create or not? Joy or not? Love or not?

How will we live without certainty? How will we infuse our life with Life rather than in avoidance of death?

Be here, now.

Just be in this moment. With this breath. With these sensations. Noticing.

More to come…..

I'd love to read your thoughts about this article.

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