The great questions of humanity
Thoughts and suggestions on the process of dying
At some point in life, every human being is confronted with the question of the meaning of our lives:
- Who am I?
- Where do I come from?
- Where am I going?
- What is the meaning and goal of my life?
One child asks the first question at least not consciously, the second maybe out of curiosity. The third question is asked by the adult when the end of life is approaching or when life is threatened. The fourth question probably concerns more the second half of life: it usually appears when there are crises, when the uniform, normal flow of life is somehow disturbed, when changes are imminent, when a new course in life needs to be set, or when death and dying are coming as an unavoidable and obvious fact which belongs to life and being human.
Meaning of death and dying
Every human being has to die. Mentally, we know that. But most of us live long phases of our lives as if this fact does not exist.
What does it mean: how we live our lives, how we die and what comes after death, whether we deal with the big questions of life or not?
Dying in the light – living in the light?
Years ago, nurses in an oncology clinic told me that there are light and dark death rooms. At that time, I had no idea about it, but I soon found out that it was really like that: I came to patients, dying people, where despite all the pain and suffering I felt the Sun was shining in the room, there was peace and silence, sometimes I felt that in contact with these people, I got something I had never experienced before. And then there really were rooms in which, when I entered, a paralysing spell settled on me. I could hardly breathe and stand it.
At that time, I did not understand what makes this difference, and I can only grasp it to a small extent today. But I have never forgotten this experience, and the question of what dying is all about has accompanied me ever since. Can we do anything to die in light? Does dying in light reveal something about the person as to how far she/he has lived up to the meaning of her/his life? Is there also a bright life, regardless of the more or less large baggage that every person has to carry? What sense, what meaning, what consequences may it possibly have for the people around us, perhaps for all people, if the individual manages to live and die in light?
In search of answers
Questions about life and death have probably been asked by people at all times. The higher the consciousness of humanity or individual inquisitive people develops, the more precisely the questions can be formulated. Accordingly, the possible answers will also become clear, precise, and comprehensive. However, they will never be final, on the contrary, the answers in each case only prepare the next step for further awareness of the individual human being and of humanity as a whole and thus for more comprehensive answers.
Basically there are three main directions from which one can approach these great significant questions: science, religion and philosophy.
Our worldview today is primarily a scientific worldview. The question of life and death has remained largely excluded to the present day in this worldview from Enlightenment. Till date, science has no real answer to what life actually is; death and dying are regarded failure in today’s medicine, as something that should not actually be, but not as a natural and self-evident part of our lives and of being human.
The actual natural sciences, especially physics, on the other hand, have enabled new models of thought regarding life and death in our century, which meet in many places with both religious and philosophical ideas.
Approaching the subject of death and dying, we come across the knowledge of the great thinkers in the East and the West. We want to try to synthesise these ideas with our current view, which has resulted from further development of our world up to the present day.
We start from a way of thinking that was very topical at the beginning of the 20th century and that still offers a good starting point for many aspects of these questions today. It is based on Eastern ideas and has united the important aspects of all major schools of thought, including Christian ideas. This school of thinking goes back to the teachings of the Tibetan Master Djwhal Kuhl, called “the Tibetan”, and to the writings of Alice A. Bailey, to whom these teachings were communicated. The central idea of this school of thought, which also underlies all other systems of thought and religions more or less obviously, is the idea of evolution.
Evolution and reincarnation
Evolution is the development of increasingly differentiated forms towards becoming more and more aware.
In the great cultures of the East, in Egypt, among the Greeks and also in early Christianity, the idea of reincarnation, of repeated earth lives, was also known in connection with this. Also later, this idea was still alive, at least with our great poets and thinkers, so with Goethe, Fichte, Herder, Lessing and many others. The following two quotations may serve as examples:
“The soul of man
is like the water:
From heaven it comes,
it rises to heaven,
and down again
to earth it must,
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Why could not every single human being have been in this world more than once? Is this hypothesis so ridiculous because it is the oldest? Because the human mind, before it was scattered and weakened by the sophists of the school, immediately fell for it?
Why should I not come back as often as I am able to gain new knowledge, new skills? Do I succeed so much at once that it is not worth the trouble to come back?
Is that why not? Or because I forget that I have already been here? It is good for me that I forget. The memory of my previous states would only allow me to make bad use of the present. And what I must forget now, have I forgotten it for ever? Or because so much time would be lost to me? Lost? And what am I missing? Is not all eternity mine?”
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
In recent years, the idea of evolution and reincarnation has become self-evident to an increasing number of people. To them, not only the position of human beings in the world changes, it also reveals new possibilities for the next steps in the development of both the individual and humanity as a whole. Many relevant questions find more satisfying answers in the light of the idea of reincarnation (e.g. How can God allow this?) Our life between birth and death thus stands in a different context that transcends this present life: It is only one span in a larger course of time. Death is not a stop, an end, but only a transition to another state, a step on a longer path.
Will be continued….