‘In a minute, in a second,’ he thought.
The ascent stopped. And stone among the stones,
he returned to the joy of his heart,
to the truth of the motionless worlds.
It’s seems impossible to broach the topic of Death without causing an avalanche of reactions springing from distaste for the subject, especially if it is one’s own and, naturally, shared with people who are close to us. The horror or sense of loss is palpable in the way we go somber, discourage with disinterest or wish to shut the matter there and then.
But matters of death, and life, do not disappear by wishing away. They are there, as sure and stark as the afternoon sun blasting its heat through gaps in the drapes over our window. And, while I look on the creamy glow with the cheer it raises in my heart, I find myself contemplating
* * *
To speak of happiness, a space-time-event phenomenon of quite, quite another kind than the one we have — pegged to time and space that are anchored in money, material environment, physiology and psychology — would immediately seem unsatisfactory compared to the experience we have in our intent, of happiness as it was.
Later, talking of his subscription to the “Absurd” nature of life and the world we live in, Camus clearly indicates that he has “moved on.”
The personal disclosures of mature Camus give ample clues to realisations of a wholeness from where the ephemeral is better, if intuitively, illuminated.
Camus said, “I don’t know whether this world has a meaning that transcends it. But I know that I do not know that meaning and that it is impossible for me to know.”
The spiritual wealth he found in the waves breaking in the distance and the star-strewn sky sweeping over his head is transcendent to a time scale rooted to mere money or space dotted with qualities derived of wealth. Since the experience of happiness is direct and could not be disputed, the transcendence implies the disconnect it has with events in ephemeral space and time.
Hence would the work “Happy Death” prove inadequate to the theme of happiness in general, especially to the man who could conceive of being “absolutely free” so that one’s very existence is an “act of rebellion.” That is how I understand and appreciate Camus’ decision not to publish his first novel.
More particularly, death as a first-person theme can flow only of something in our imagination. We have never experienced it and, however close we may have come, it ever means nothing to us, without a reference to personal experience, except as a romanticised sense of ceasing to be, of the yet unknown reality of rupture of life chord that takes our being away from ourself.
In all the works that followed, Camus grapples with the task of expressing the “mystery” but strictly through material events in world and life, and always with a reference to personal experience. “There is beauty; and there are the humiliated.” He wishes to be faithful to both. This compassion for ugliness that the sight of human indignity and humiliation evokes in us is not commonplace. It is the mark of a very evolved person, having access to consciousness that is relatively liberated to a high degree.
* * *
If I would have my way, my death should not call for elaborate medical attention to postpone it, least of all in the environs of a medical institution. It should leave me free of all concerns, care or thought, for matters of this world and beings in this life.
It would be presumptuous on my part to predict or specify what or how my close ones should deal with my demise, with the body as it lies without life. Yet, if I had my way, it should be disposed off without any ado, ritual, and social flurry.
Least expense would be possibly a very good measure of how I would like it to be.
* * *
I quote herebelow an NDE description that Anita Moorjani submitted to The Near Death Research Foundation in August 2006. It is something that I find plausible and very likely in truth. And I have no cause whatsoever to doubt the veracity of the direct experience merely because it is “personal.”
Anita had end stage cancer (Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), and was being cared for at home. On this morning of 2nd February 2006, she did not wake up. She fell into a coma and was rushed to hospital. The senior oncologist declared it was the end, and that her organs were now shutting down. It would be over within the next 36 hours. They started her on a cocktail of medication on a drip and poked her with tubes and pipes for nourishment, drugs and oxygen.
She thought that she was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because she was aware of everything that was going on around her…
” I thought that I was drifting in and out of consciousness during this time, because I was aware of everything that was going on around me. But it was confirmed to me later by my family and the doctors that I was in a coma the whole time. I saw and heard the conversations between my husband and the doctors taking place outside my room, about 40 feet away down a hallway. I was later able to verify this conversation to my shocked husband.
” Then I actually “crossed over” to another dimension, where I was engulfed in a total feeling of love. I also experienced extreme clarity of why I had the cancer, why I had come into this life in the first place, what role everyone in my family played in my life in the grand scheme of things, and generally how life works.
” The clarity and understanding I obtained in this state is almost indescribable. Words seem to limit the experience – I was at a place where I understood how much more there is than what we are able to conceive in our 3 – dimensional world.
” The amount of love I felt was overwhelming… I then started to understand how illnesses start on an energetic level before they become physical…”
* * *
Vedanta Brief :
Look at the pic… lovers alive. Actually, exquisite carving from solid rock.
Is it the rock ? Well… it is, was and will be… nothing apart from it. Isn’t it ?
Is it a man and woman ? A couple ? It sure appears, as forms with names we have for them.
The rock is the lasting truth… the Truth that would outlast the form, even after time and weather has eroded their being.
The form, and the forms it includes, are true… truths as of now, untill time negates them in a century or a few millenia.
So… what is for you ? Rock or forms ? Brahman or Maya ? If it is the rock, there is no form. It is rock. If it is the form, where is the rock ?
In the compromised world of words, we’d say it is both. Or, that they are the same.
But the puritan would insist… it’s got to be one.
And the pagan would see it everywhere, in every bit of the form in his sight !
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