Today’s musings, Part 1

Well as this is my first post, I am going to dive right in to what I was thinking about today and why I wanted to create a blog in the first place. The last “official” blog I had (not counting the random angst filled posts on myspace) was when I was going through a very rough time. Then when my dad passed away a few years ago I started writing in a personal journal on my hard drive…which I have since lost access to. But since I find writing to be a very cathartic experience I decided to create this place on the web and see how it goes.

So now that is all out of the way, the rest of the post today is going to be a bit…well…depressing I guess. It’s just that time of year for me since it is around the anniversary of my dad’s death. However, I would like to share something with you all that helped me a lot when I was going through the grieving process and my thoughts on each part of it.

It is two separate passages from Kahlil Gibran’s the Prophet, and as I go I will break them down.

On Death
 Kahlil Gibran

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

Isn’t the secret of death something we all look for? Not just people who are grieving a lost loved one but everyone in their heart fears death to some extent. And yet he says the secret of death is found in the heart of life, and that you cannot have good without bad, light without darkness, or life without death. And the imagery of the river and sea make me think of our life’s path and then the final destination. I once had a philosophical discussion where I tried to use the analogy of God as the ocean to explain how we are connected to Him. To see echoes of this same wisdom here is certainly interesting…and is that not what happens after death? We are absorbed into the infinite. I think everyone must believe that whether atheist or theist.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

Here he points out that even our fear shows we desire what is beyond this life. We are so concentrated on our fear that we cannot see beyond it when in reality what lies beyond is glorious. Are we not often nervous and fearful in our lives and yet in the moment of decision when you are forced into the situation in which you are nervous you find yourself imbued with a terrible clarity of vision and purpose if your will is strong enough to overcome your fear. I think facing death is much the same, truly facing it, and knowing when your end is coming. It seems like as the end approaches it is the people who will go on living that are trembling and fearful and the person who is dying is calm and collected.

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

And this final part is a simple statement that most Christians, and indeed most theists believe: Death is only the beginning.

Since this post is very long see Today’s Musings Part 2 for the rest.

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Posted on August 31, 2011, in Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I think that’s a very deep way of phrasing the way I feel about the journey of death. I’m not looking forward to dying, and I am not ready to go yet, but one in the future I will be ready for the next step. The next adventure. Like Peter pan says in Hook “To die will be a great adventure…”

  1. Pingback: Today’s Musings, Part 2 « The Caterpillar Guru

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