Death is one of our most practiced activities though not well recognized. “We have died many times and shall die again and again” – says the Tibetan Master. Death is essentially a matter of consciousness. Our consciousness shifts from plane to plane and is an ever changing one; it can be at the physical plane for a while, emotional plane in other moments and could be purely mental drawing oneself away from the surroundings. Frequently poets, painters, authors and thinkers are away from localized state. So is the case with lovers, their consciousness is else-where and not at all times in the physical plane. We withdraw from one state of conscious activity to another state and essentially we should know that we are units of consciousness posited in a frame of body.
Our withdrawal from one state is death to that state while we are born in another state of awareness. When we are at home we do not entertain in our consciousness the activity at the bureau when we are at the bureau we are not at home in our awareness. We live to that state in which we presently are and die to it next moment when we are done with that state. The changing consciousness is unconsciously dead to some constant while it is alive at another state.
When we are at sleep we are dead to the worldly activity, when we are at worldly activity we are dead to the sleep. When we are in dream state we are dead to the daily activity and also to sleep. The ever shifting consciousness successively causes death to the preceding state and life to the present.
We should shift our emphasis from ‘form aspect’ to our ‘awareness aspect’. When our awareness or consciousness is fully identified with the form relating to us we are affected by the event of death but when we know that we are units of awareness, that we are the indwellers of form. The degradation, deformation and destruction of form is then not seen as death. This is because as awareness we do not die. The events take to birth, live for a while and die. But we remain, with or without body.
Our form is but our outer shell which as a terminable period. We the units of consciousness do not terminate with the termination of the form. We remain at one plane or the other according to our state of Will or awareness.
Death is dreaded because it is not understood. We continue to feel that we are our form. We do not feel that we are the indwellers, the conscious ones. The minds of men are so little developed that our attachment to form causes the dreadful fear and we need to distinguish between ourselves and our form.
Lord Krishna initially teaches Arjuna that we as units of awareness are eternal; the forms that we gather are like the vestiture which we put on and put off in tune with the time cycles relating to the form. He even compares the phenomena with the process of our daily putting-up and putting-off the clothing.
We notice our changing form from infancy to old age. Even while the form is changing we do not feel the change by ourselves. We do not notice how the change happens from infancy to childhood, to youth, to middle age and to old age. So also the case with the change of form. We did not notice how we grow out of infancy, youth, middle age and are growing into old age. These transformations happen smoothly. So also changing the form to gain yet another form is also seen by the wise as transformation but not termination.
As soon as we know ourselves to be units of pulsating consciousness (souls), our sense of awareness in relation to form divests. We are all invested into form and eventually divest from the form. It is as simple as entry and exit. Whatever we enter into we shall necessarily exit. Association with respiration and pulsation is the first step towards conscious divestment from form.
A man of wisdom remembers himself and functions as a Soul. He constantly holds in awareness that his form is but his vehicle. In fact on a daily basis every night, in the hours of sleep we die to our physical plane and yet are alive and are functioning elsewhere. When we ponder upon this we know that we daily exit from the form as units of awareness and enter the form once again as we wake up into the form at the end of the sleep hours. The dreams are but a sample of such exit and re-entry.
……..to be continued