My thoughts about death

When I feel bad, when things aren’t going well and I feel lousy, I wonder how hard and painful it would be to die. After all, it only seems so to us – boom! – and you’re gone. Tibetan lamas describe in detail the process of dying, the agony of death, describing the stage-by-stage collapse of the psyche.

After death there comes bardo – a state, where you are dragged like a hungry ghost, not understanding where you are and what you are. You still have a residual memory, so you want to get back to your world: to your family and friends, to your favourite kitty. But it is impossible. And after a few days, the memory is gone with all the husk that you called your personality. And you are no longer you, but you are still you. This moment is the most difficult for me to understand.

Of course, I don’t know if this is really the case. I don’t remember dying. But I don’t think death is something pleasant and easy, like a walk through an evening city. No, death is definitely not easy. My whole transpersonal and psychedelic experience says so, although it wasn’t even close to death.

Before I used to think that death was the end, that the possibility of killing myself was liberating. The thought of death was my greatest salvation, because I knew I could end the game at any moment. What a horror it was to have a spiritual crisis, under transiting Uranus in Square aspect to my natal one, when my awareness suddenly expanded, and I realized: no, death is never the end. Death is just another continuation. This realization was so shrill that I involuntarily considered suicide. But then I immediately remembered that it was the realization of the futility of death that caused me to have these thoughts – so suicide couldn’t help, it was a trap. It was quite funny to be honest.

Years have passed since then, and the thought of death still scares me. Death not as an end to life, but like a torturous process that on the contrary doesn’t stop a damn thing! I wish I could just die and never be born again. Then it would be okey to suffer a bit in the last moments. But that’s not going to happen.

I will die suffering. And then I’ll forget everything and be born again. And then I’ll live with suffering. And then I’ll die again. And so it will be infinite in the endless wheel of Sansara. But there is a way out. And therein lies the greatest irony: actually dying is not difficult, being born again is not difficult, living a life is not difficult; stopping all this masquerade is what is truly difficult! There is a reason why “nirvana” means “blown out” (as in an oil lamp).

I know and understand this. And it makes me afraid. Trungpa Rinpoche said about the spiritual path: “It is better not to start, but if you have already started, it is better to finish.” I would love to say to myself: “I will finish, but later. In the meantime, I will stay in my unhappiness, in my bad mood and bad feeling, with my affairs and problems – because it is so cozy and peaceful here, because here I am, I exist! Let me procrastinate some more, and then, later, I will definitely practice Dharma”.

But my Saturn return looks through my window and says: no, darling – you don’t have enough time.


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