i asked a friend how his family were doing after the japan quake+tsunami, and he said his father was “being quite buddhist about it“; calm and stoic, acknowledging that we are all to die sooner or later.
and why not? all of us have ways of coping with the great unknown that is death. from the elaborate preparation that is the bardo thodol, to the paradise/punishment of the judaeo-christian-islamic religions and sects, the ‘happy hunting ground’-type myths of the mizo (and other) tribes, the reincarnation theories of hinduism and hinduism based new agers, or even the 5 stages of the kübler-ross model, humanity has used many many methods to grapple with death.
a few months ago, i got a mail asking if i would like to participate in a public art project called common bliss, that attempted to visualise people’s descriptions of how they saw the afterlife. i responded saying i hoped there was no after life, and that when i died it would all end, that i would just be food for worms. this vision was combined with two other’s to produce (very well, thank you pritika) the poster in the image above.
and this thought gives me a lot of strength…that this is the only life i have. that i am not being ‘prepared’ for another life, either in a paradise or reborn into this one. each living moment now fills with so much intensity and promise and meaning.
and i guess this is all i really have to say: whatever your understanding of death, i do hope it helps you live a happier life!