The Art of Death

In other posts I have shared thoughts about death and my favorite kind of death which is psychological death. In the out-of-body experience I had in 1987, there was anything but "nothing." There was everything that I could imagine...everything that was right, beautiful, fulfilled and alive. In other words, it was clear that there was "stuff" but not the dense, heavy "stuff" you experience in the physical life. The "stuff" that I encountered was made of "heaven," made of love and enlightened "stuff." It was anything but inert, immobile and purposeless. It was a dream come true except it was real. I experienced that death does not exist.

So, to introduce the art of death, let's begin with the idea that there is an "It"...whatever you want to call "It"...Allah, Jesus, Christ, God, Yahweh, Mohammed, Shiva or the hundreds of other names used to depict "It." That "It" is omnipresent, timeless, invisible, at rest,  and un-manifest.

You are a supreme example of this very energy, this "stuff," this "It." The "unmanifest" became "manifest" and became physical matter...just as you did! Nine months before you were born, two people had an idea and an experience (not to say it was a good one!) and the next thing you know, you're here! The invisible became visible.

Now, the physical matter that is now visible is somewhat of a distortion of the real "stuff." But make no mistake about it...you are the same "It" as described above that has taken form but without being aware of what you are or where you came from. Now, in this physical realm, that "It" is still omnipresent and timeless but "It" is now manifest, in motion, and is now governed by time. Because it is governed by time, it will experience death whether it is a person, a car, a pet, a sweater or a home. "Stuff" disappears all of the time.

Assuming that up to this point, you are still reading this, it is important to notice with absolute clarity that in spite of the changing of form in the physical realm (death), the human being is eternal and that there is no end. As Socrates (Nick Nolte) says in the film "Peaceful Warrior," "Death...it's a little more radical than puberty but nothing to get particularly upset about. Death isn't sad. The sad thing is that most people don't live at all." And here is where so much incredible progress can be made.

In the horizontal where all things are governed by time, the "It" in you (actually, you are "It" but playing a game that you don't know that) is trying to realize itself in physical form. Instead of talking about it, "It" wants to experience "It." Put another way, the "It" is trying to manifest, trying to come true. And in order to do that, it becomes clear to each of us by the time we're young adults that certain things are going to have to die off. The hardened, unsophisticated, and unenlightened parts of us are going to have to be addressed. Because few people do this consciously, "It" arranges it for us.

This is the true nature of setback, failure and loss. Its true purpose is the refinement of the gross matter that remains undeveloped and unaware. If what I am saying is true, then this is nothing but good news! Life is not doing anything to anybody. Loss is about the increase of consciousness and understanding. Failure is about the increase of growth. The horizontal is the playground of the vertical whose goal is to bring about "heaven on earth." And that word, too, is known by hundreds of terms.

So, the art of death is best approached not by focusing on the dissolution of the physical body but by focusing on the taming of the barriers in each of our lives that prevent us from experiencing "heaven on earth." What parts of yourself need to die off? What habits, psychological knots, emotional turmoils need to come to and end? What addictions, destructive mental and emotional patterns and regrets need to die? And most importantly, do you have the courage to set in motion those parts of yourself that can accomplish this so that you can truly live? Because if you don't, life will do it for you and will arrange circumstances, events, people and conditions in which you have no choice to address the un-enlightened parts of yourself. May as well be uncomfortable on your terms instead of someone else's!

So, the art of death is the doorway into the art of life and is most wonderfully experienced while still being in the body...not in the afterlife. The art of death centers around the conscious act of surrender, letting go, and letting the old parts of you die off so that the new parts can be born. The question "How do I die?" is the heart of the art of dying. I didn't say it is easy or fun. But I do say that you're going to go through it whether you like it not! So, you may as well choose it on your terms! You may as well start getting conscious and enlightened about the nature of compression, setback and loss.

Therefore, you already know what my next question to you is: What needs to die off? So,  do this today. Do this now. Identify and target a fear that needs to die off...even just a little bit of it. "I am willing to let go of this fear. I am willing to begin believing that everything is going to be OK, willing to believe that whatever it is that is happening is supposed to be happening. And because of that I can be at ease and let go of the fear."

Psychological death is one of the most remarkable conditions of human life and one of the most invaluable because I know, and so do you, what comes after it: Life! What comes after setback? Growth. Failure? Success. Loss? Gain. Divorce? Relationship. But the extent to which it transforms from the loss to the gain and the amount of time that is required to complete that transformation is dependent upon how conscious you are going through it.

Tag. You're "It."

Ashleigh Stoia