If I were to tell you that all roads you take lead to an end, and at the end of this road is a deep abyss. Once you reach there, there is no turning back and you have to take a plunge. If I were to tell you that… you will tell me I just want to be right here and now… don’t want to drown in that abyss. That is how most of us live, by fooling ourselves that there is no abyss. Now for some of us this road is full of happiness and pleasures, while for others it is pain and suffering. But the end is the same for all of us.
This road, is the road of life and the abyss is death. We try to find meaning in life’s existence, but what if there was no meaning? What if the death is not the end, but a beginning of another road to another end. It is like one of those dreams, where you wake up inside a dream, and you think you have gotten up even though you are still dreaming. If we think about it we will find there is no meaning in life nor in death. People commit suicide because they want to end their miserable existence, but what if they knew there is no end even in death?
Almost every day, I ask myself what is the meaning of my existence. Till now I have no answers that make sense. Some people believe death is the end, if that is so why not live in love and peace and enjoy the journey. The very people who believe that are miserable and make others miserable. Others tell me there is life after death, and this is an unending journey. That is like a dream within a dream where you never wake up, that is even more scary to me. Still others believe in immortality, I don’t understand this one. Do I want to live for ever, even if in an ethereal body, that is a scary thought! Still others tell me about the great ocean of the cosmos where you will be assimilated, reminds me of the Borg in Star Trek where everyone gets assimilated into the supreme. You without your identity, part of the whole?! Not too happening. There are other theories that talk about Saints/Gods that control everything and tell me I am puppet. I don’t have control on my life. I sure don’t like that. And there are many many more…
All of the above are meaningless and scary (at least to me), and because there are so many versions of the truth, I believe none of this is true at all. All this is bull shit that is limited by our imagination, when we try to describe the unlimited with our limited mind. My answer is, live in the present, be good, and don’t worry about life after death. You will know once you are on the other side (if there is one)!
I love stories especially ones where there is more than meets the eye. Some movies are thought provoking and provide a steady feast of spiritual knowledge, only if you care to look. The movie “Life of PI” has extraordinary spiritual undertones and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The most significant is how PI Patel, deals with the tiger. For me the tiger in the movie represents “fear” and the consequences of facing this fear; death. How PI deals with this fear, something that is on his face all the time is truly significant. The first thing he tries to do is to run away or ignore it. When we face a death of a loved one, we tend to ignore it as if it is never going to happen to us, even feeling sorry for the one who died. But we all know that the more we resist the more something persists.
The next thing PI does is confront the fear. Confrontation is a good way to deal with small fears, but when we are faced with something we are more deeply affected by, then this simply does not work. The fear comes back to hit you a vengeance, especially when you are most vulnerable.
Next, PI the tries to train the tiger. Training the fear, understanding it roots and where the fear originates is more useful then either of the above. This helps to deal with the problem by maintaining a fair distance from it and remaining calm during the advent of fear. This allows you to better respond and not simply react to that situation. Say if you are afraid of confrontation because of something in your past, you will be able to better deal with it when you train yourself to respond to it.
Finally after many tries PI finally surrenders when he realizes that the only way to survive is to embrace the fear. Once he does that the fear disappears and what was his biggest weakness, becomes his strength that allows him to live. Most of us suffer because when we face a problem in our life we don’t know how to deal with it, Life of PI attempts to offer some solutions.
Dealing with loss of a loved one is never easy. What makes dealing with a loss of loved one difficult? Our memories of them perhaps, a shock runs through when you realize that this person wont be there to talk to or welcome you when you visit. It is usually a sense of disbelief followed by sorrow and then an apathy towards life. That moment when you realize the inevitability of life, of our existence, of how we go on as if it never going to end. Life is like a stream it moves constantly and even death cannot stop this very existence. However, we want to stop it… hold on to the memories… freeze that moment in time, however hard we may try this is not possible. At some point we realize the futility of the effort and move on.
However that moment, when we feel apathy is so important in our lives, because death is a bell that makes us realize that all of this is going to end. We can use that moment and shape it to change the way we live. Ask yourselves how much helpful I have been to the world and the people in it? In the answer to that question lies the path of freedom. Realizing that your circle should be extended beyond me and mine into the world is your ah ah moment. Once you realize that and extend your circle of giving, you will have achieved the tools to deal with your loss.