November 6      

Today's quotation:

Death has always been pictured as a dark angel, as a sinister figure.  I wonder if the metaphor of going home to a mother, to a father, isn't a better and more accurate one.

Norman Vincent Peale

Today's Meditation:

I have absolutely no idea what happens to us when we die.  I do know what people from many different faiths believe happens, many different possibilities, but the bottom line is that I don't know anything for sure.  I have my thoughts and ideas on the subject, but they're simply that:  thoughts and ideas.  I wouldn't even call them beliefs because I'm so unsure of their veracity.  And I'm fine with that.  My focus while I'm here on this planet is to live as well as I can, and that takes all my time and effort, to be honest.

When I think of death, as I do from time to time, I prefer to think of it as Norman portrays the concept-- going home to a loving someone.  It may be completely wrong, but that's fine.  I'm not going to fill my head with thoughts of judgment and retribution, and I'm not going to worry because I don't know what happens-- neither of those strategies offers me anything positive at all.  I prefer to just think about death in the most positive ways that I can because there really is no way of knowing what's going to happen.

When we think about what we're going to do tomorrow, we try to think in the most positive ways possible.  I'm going to have fun, I'm going to do something positive, I'm going to do great on that test or that presentation or that interview.  If we dread tomorrow and we spend time thinking of how bad it may be, we're setting ourselves up for a bad day AND we're wasting much time today that could be spent on much more useful pursuits than dreading an unknown tomorrow.

Death is death.  It awaits us all, and it plays no favorites.  I can think about death as something dreadful, or I can think of it as something positive-- that's up to me.  The way that I think of it, of course, won't change death at all, but it can change my own life today when I'm not afraid of something about which I know absolutely nothing.  I can hope for a peaceful, calm death, and I can hope for something positive after death.  If I do this, then my today isn't going to be wasted on negative thoughts about something that I truly don't know anything about.

Questions to consider:

What do we truly know about what happens to us after death?

How have so many of us come to dread death?  How has that worked out for us?

What are your personal feelings about death?  Do you think death will be something to dread if we live a rich and full life?

For further thought:

There is nothing that Nature has made necessary which is more easy than death; we are longer coming into the world than going out of it; and there is not any minute of our lives wherein we may not reasonably expect it.  Nay, it is but a moment's work, the parting of the soul and body.  What a shame is it then to stand in fear of anything so long that is over so soon!

Lucius Seneca

more thoughts and ideas on death



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