What is death really? The inevitability and unknowability of death has made it a source of trepidation and speculation since human beings became self-aware. From my own experience with energy principles, I have my own take on it.
To answer what is death, I think we first have to answer: What is life? Life in its largest sense is a continuous flow of LifeParticles, or the unity of energy, matter, and consciousness. LifeParticles don’t have a beginning or end
; they are never created or destroyed. Therefore, at the level of LifeParticles, neither can we. Life itself, then, is eternal.
Sometimes pure and perfect LifeParticles
come together to make a visible form. This we call birth. Death, then, is the dissolution of this form into invisible energy. Therefore, at death you, as LifeParticles, simply change from something defined to something undefined and infinite.
If you are able to achieve a state of selflessness or nothingness in meditation, you can experience the infinite nature of life. Rather than the defined characteristics you pick up with your five senses, you can sense the life that exists in itself, of itself, and by itself.
In this state, you are free of any attachment to form—to anything that is finite or temporary. If you can be this free at the moment of death
and approach it with the consciousness that death is simply a change, then you can experience the eternal state of life itself. If you can move into the next phase of your existence with a light heart and say to your loved ones, “Don’t for me cry when I die. I am a completed soul. Why cry? Play beautiful music, celebrate my life, and bless my passage,” then you are enlightened.
Dying with this freedom and lightness means you have completed your life. I call this spiritual completion Chunhwa
means heaven, or the source of life. Hwa
refers to transformation. Through this highest form of death, we are transformed into the pure and divine source of life.
To die this way isn’t easy to achieve. I recommend a life of learning universal principles, experiencing them through mind-body practices, and expressing them in your actions. Through this process, you learn to let go. You discover how not to obsess over desires, emotions, and other attachments. You become less anxious and don’t worry about what to own and control or how to get recognition. The best way to express universal principles is to set goals that make your heart and soul happy and use those principles to achieve them.
Death is always waiting for all of us. You can treat it as something you fear, or instead, as a dear friend who is an intimate part of your life. Accepting death and letting go of your attachments in life, can make each moment rich and meaningful
, regardless of what happens in the future. In this way, your death informs your life and your life informs your death.