By Steve Clayton
Fall has arrived once again. Here, in Atlantic Canada, the trees are proudly displaying their fine array of autumn colours reminding us that death can be, and is, a beautiful thing. Years ago when I heard these sentiments for the first time I balked at the notion. “Sure”, I thought, “It is easy for the trees to express beauty in death; they will reawaken in the spring. In fact they are not really dying at all. They are just experiencing their own form of hibernation. Things might be different if they were truly dying.” Today, after a lot of reading, discussion, and doing energy work, I realize that death is not our ultimate ending. True, it is the ending of our physical bodies as we know them. It is also the ending of the stage in which our minds are held under the sway of the ego and all the fear that ego generates in its quest to protect us, ironically, from ourselves. This is true for each and every one of us. For Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi for Hitler or Stalin this is a truism. They have all lived and died, as have countless millions and millions of others. Rich or poor, good or bad, spiritual or fearful, no matter how people have led their lives, their physical ends are all the same. The body dies, but the soul does not. We are taught in school that energy cannot be destroyed. It can be transformed, transmuted and altered but it cannot be destroyed. We, our souls, are made of pure energy and they are not destroyed with the ending of the physical body.
Now the ego, again in its quest to protect us, (and you have to love and forgive its exuberance) would have us believe that death is something to be feared. Death can be feared for a number of reasons. To the ego, death appears to be our ultimate end. Certainly, we are here and then, one day, we are not, leaving our physical remains to become dust in the wind. And, even if our ego believes that we have a soul that will live on after death, it fears the notion of being judged after death. Being the imperfect creatures we are we can expect to be punished for all eternity for these imperfections. So, from the ego’s point of view, we face either obliteration or eternal damnation.
Plain and simple, we are all in the same boat. The next time you think you have nothing in common with the person up the street, in the next town or in a country half way around the world, remember each of us shares this same fate. We cannot escape it. The fear it causes within can be debilitating, but we can learn to live with it. We can recognize it as a common thread of humanity which binds us together. Aside from the struggle to earn our daily bread, we are truly motivated by our desire to love and to be loved. This takes up a lot of our energy and, when things do not work out according to the plan we have in our heads, we do not always react well. The driver who honks, shouts or waves his fist at you, or the surly clerk at the mall, is probably just venting his frustration over the fact that love is not flowing freely in his world at the moment. Do not judge him or take his actions personally. Have compassion for him instead. Remember, everyone is dealing with, and reacting to, the same fear that plagues you too.
When you go out into the world, fill your heart with love and compassion, and then project this loving flow of energy from your heart outwards to everyone you meet. Make this a regular habit, not just for strangers but for family and friends also. Then, watch how your daily life is transformed for the better.