Someone's killed 100,000 people. We're almost going, "Well done! You killed 100,000 people? You must get up very early in the morning! I can't even get down the gym. Your diary must look odd: 'Get up in the morning, death, death, death, death, death, death, death - lunch - death, death, death - afternoon tea - death, death, death - quick shower ...' "
There is another side to death. Whether death happens through an act of violence to a large number of people or to an individual, whether death comes prematurely through illness or accident, or whether death comes through old age, death is always an opening. So a great opportunity comes whenever we face death.
Why are people are so afraid of death? Why do they avoid talking about it? Maybe it's because there are no words. With my limited knowledge of the English language, there is not a word I have ever heard that accurately describes what 'death' is. You can look it up in the dictionary for yourself. I don't believe what they say it is. How can you say death is death when it is not death at all, but life?
Everybody is afraid of death for the simple reason that we have not tasted of life yet. The man who knows what life is, is never afraid of death; he welcomes death. Whenever death comes he hugs death, he embraces death, he welcomes death, he receives death as a guest. To the man who has not known what life is, death is an enemy; and to the man who knows what life is, death is the ultimate crescendo of life.
Birth leads to death, death precedes birth. So if you want to see life as it really is, it is rounded on both the sides by death. Death is the beginning and death is again the end, and life is just the illusion in between. You feel alive between two deaths; the passage joining one death to another you call life. Buddha says this is not life. This life is dukkha - misery. This life is death.
In death we vanquished enemies, In death, we slew our foes. Blood soaked rage engulfed our blades, When blood lust took its hold. - In death, a darkness troubled one, In death, concealed, undone. Deep in darkness dragons wait, When blood would set the sun. - In death, we glorified his name. In death, we saw too late, When drink, to him, we raised in praise, The dragon sealed his fate. - In death, we lived. In death, we fought. In death, we grew to hate. In death, the blackened wraith released, The blinded shade beneath. - In death, his darkened eyes grew dim. In death, his mind was lost within. With blackened eyes, he slew his kin, In death, we lost to him. - In death, I took up sword and slew. In death, the dragon's wrath ensued. We had no choice. The dragon fumed. In death, he was consumed. - In death, our brother's blood deplored, In death, our brother, did I gore, When I rose up and killed one more. His blood ensconced my sword. - From death, his mutterings are weak. From death, his voice, to me, it speaks. Entombed within my brother's keep, Revived in death, he sleeps.
Angela B. Chrysler
The greatest mystery in life is not life itself, but death. Death is the culmination of life, the ultimate blossoming of life. In death the whole life is summed up, in death you arrive. Life is a pilgrimage towards death. From the very beginning, death is coming. From the moment of birth, death has started coming towards you, you have started moving towards death.
He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind. No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death's defeat.
Athanasius of Alexandria
Laughter. Yes, laughter is the Zen attitude towards death and towards life too, because life and death are not separate. Whatsoever is your attitude towards life will be your attitude towards death, because death comes as the ultimate flowering of life. Life exists for death. Life exists through death. Without death there will be no life at all. Death is not the end but the culmination, the crescendo. Death is not the enemy it is the friend. It makes life possible.
To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more often in mind than death... We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere." "To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.
Michel de Montaigne
[There are, in us] possibilities that take our breath away, and show a world wider than either physics or philistine ethics can imagine. Here is a world in which all is well, in spite of certain forms of death, death of hope, death of strength, death of responsibility, of fear and wrong, death of everything that paganism, naturalism and legalism pin their trust on.
As deaths have accumulated I have begun to think of life and death as a set of balance scales. When one is young, the scale is heavily tipped toward the living. With the first death, the first consciousness of death, the counter scale begins to fall. Death by death, the scales shift weight until what was unthinkable becomes merely a matter of gravity and the fall into death becomes an easy step.
Alison Hawthorne Deming
We are left with nothing but death, the irreducible fact of our own mortality. Death after a long illness we can accept with resignation. Even accidental death we can ascribe to fate. But for a man to die of no apparent cause, for a man to die simply because he is a man, brings us so close to the invisible boundary between life and death that we no longer know which side we are on. Life becomes death, and it is as if this death has owned this life all along. Death without warning. Which is to say: life stops. And it can stop at any moment.
Death is not as terrible as you think. It comes to you as a healer. Sleep is nothing but a counterfeit death. What happens in death we can picture in sleep. All our sufferings vanish in sleep. When death comes, all our mortal tortures cease; they cannot go beyond the portals of death.
1. Who is a Death Warrior? Anyone can be a Death Warrior, not just someone who is terminally ill. We are all terminally ill. A Death Warrior accepts death and makes a commitment to live a certain way, whether it be for one year or thirty years. 2. When does one become a Death Warrior? There is a specific moment during which you can decide to become a Death Warrior. That moment is when death shows you that you will die. 3. How do you become a Death Warrior? Once you accept that life will end, you can become a Death Warrior by choosing to love life at all times and in all circumstances. You choose to love life by loving. 4. What are the qualities of a Death Warrior? A Death Warrior is grateful for every second of time given and is aware of how precious each second is. Every second not spent loving is wasted. The Death Warrior's enemy is time that is wasted by not loving. 5. Why should you become a Death Warrior? So you can live and die with truth and courage, and because life is too painful when you're wasteful with the time given to you. -The Death Warrior Manifesto, by DQ
Francisco X. Stork
But how to know the falsity of death? How can we know there is no death? Until we know that, our fear of death will not go either. Until we know the falsity of death, our lives will remain false. As long as there is fear of death, there cannot be authentic life. As long as we tremble with the fear of death, we cannot summon the capacity to live our lives. One can live only when the shadow of death has disappeared forever. How can a frightened and trembling mind live? And when death seems to be approaching every second, how is it possible to live? How can we live?
The first thing I would like to tell you about death is that there is no bigger lie than death. And yet, death appears to be true. It not only appears to be true but also seems like the cardinal truth of life - it appears as if the whole of life is surrounded by death. Whether we forget about it, or become oblivious to it, everywhere death remains close to us. Death is even closer to us than our own shadow.
Life rises out of death, death rises out of life; in being opposite they yearn to each other, they give birth to each other and are forever reborn. And with them, all is reborn, the flower of the apple tree, the light of the stars. In life is death. In death is rebirth. What then is life without death? Life unchanging, everlasting, eternal?-What is it but death-death without rebirth?
Ursula K. Le Guin
What we put into every moment is all we have. You can drug yourself to death or you can smoke yourself to death or eat yourself to death, or you can do everything right and be healthy and then get hit by a car. Life is so great, such a neat thing, and yet all during it we have to face death, which can make you nuts and depressed.
Death begins before birth. I have always found this an odd notion, but were it not for the death of certain cells during our initial development, humans would be born with webbed toes. Death moulds our physical being from the very start of our existence. It sculpts us, determines how we begin, and where we end. The events in life that define us, that break us and remake us, all stem from death-the death of a place, a time, a relationship, of those we hold most dear, and finally ourselves. Death is the one inescapable aspect of life, the only immutable force, the single thing in this world that cannot and should not be changed. But death is never the end. It is the beginning.
Death is a part of all our lives. Whether we like it or not, it is bound to happen. Instead of avoiding thinking about it, it is better to understand its meaning. We all have the same body, the same human flesh, and therefore we will all die. There is a big difference, of course, between natural death and accidental death, but basically death will come sooner or later. If from the beginning your attitude is 'Yes, death is part of our lives,' then it may be easier to face.
We tend to suffer from the illusion that we are capable of dying for a belief or theory. What Hagakure is insisting is that even in merciless death, a futile death that knows neither flower nor fruit has dignity as the death of a human being. If we value so highly the dignity of life, how can we not also value the dignity of death? No death may be called futile.
The religious man, the mystic, tries to explore the mystery of death. In exploring the mystery of death, he inevitably comes to know what life is, what love is. Those are not his goals. His goal is to penetrate death, because there seems to be nothing more mysterious than death. Love has some mystery because of death, and life also has some mystery because of death.
She is no longer a solitary being. She is a million different parts, each reborn, granted the miracle she prayed for in the months before her death, to be completely healed. Death is the price for rebirth. Death. Who would have thought it would come with such great joy? Yet, after long years battling illness, death is suddenly more than welcome.
By 'coming to terms with life' I mean: the reality of death has become a definite part of my life; my life has, so to speak, been extended by death, by my looking death in the eye and accepting it, by accepting destruction as part of life and no longer wasting my energies on fear of death or the refusal to acknowledge its inevitability. It sounds paradoxical: by excluding death from our life we cannot live a full life, and by admitting death into our life we enlarge and enrich it.
The deepest and most organic death is death in solitude, when even light becomes a principle of death. In such moments you will be severed from life, from love, smiles, friends and even from death. And you will ask yourself if there is anything besides the nothingness of the world and your own nothingness.
Emile M. Cioran
There are two kinds of death, the death which is inevitable and common to all beings, and the death which is voluntary and particular to certain ones of them only. It is the second death which is prescribed for us in the words of the Messenger of Allah: "Die before you die." The resurrection is accomplished for him who dies this voluntary death. His affairs return to God and they are but one. He has returned to God and he sees Him through Him. As the Prophet said - on him be Grace and Peace!
Abdelkader El Djezairi
Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you're wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet.
To be able to die consciously, we need to prepare for death while we are still living. Only if we live consciously, we can die consciously. Only a meditator is able to die consciously as life is an opportunity to prepare for death. Meditation is a death, a death of the ego. Death is not in opposition of life, death is the finale, the crescendo of life. How we die shows us how we have been living. Death is not an end, death is a new beginning, a new life.
Swami Dhyan Giten
Death is only dreadful for those who live in dread and fear of it. Death is not wild and terrible, if only we can be still and hold fast to God's Word. Death is not bitter, if we have not become bitter ourselves. Death is grace, the greatest gift of grace that God gives to people who believe in him. Death is mild, death is sweet and gentle; it beckons to us with heavenly power, if only we realize that it is the gateway to our homeland, the tabernacle of joy, the everlasting kingdom of peace. How do we know that dying is so dreadful? Who knows whether, in our human fear and anguish we are only shivering and shuddering at the most glorious, heavenly, blessed event in the world? Death is hell and night and cold, if it is not transformed by our faith. But that is just what is so marvelous, that we can transform death.
When I arrived at the house in the suburbs that night I seriously contemplated suicide for the first time in my life. But as I thought about it, the idea became exceedingly tiresome, and I finally decided it would be a ludicrous business. I had an inherent dislike of admitting defeat. Moreover, I told myself, there's no need for me to take such decisive action myself, not when I'm surrounded by such a bountiful harvest of death-death in an air raid, death at one's post of duty, death in the military service, death on the battlefield, death from being run over, death from disease-surely my name has already been entered in the list for one of these: a criminal who has been sentenced to death does not commit suicide. No-no matter how I considered, the season was not auspicious for suicide. Instead I was waiting for something to do me the favor of killing me. And this, in the final analysis, is the same as to say that I was waiting for something to do me the favor of keeping me alive.
[N]either in war nor yet at law ought any man to use every way of escaping death. For often in battle there is no doubt that if a man will throw away his arms, and fall on his knees before his pursuers, he may escape death; and in other dangers there are other ways of escaping death, if a man is willing to say and do anything. The difficulty, my friends, is not in avoiding death, but in avoiding unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death.
For me, the good death includes being prepared to die, with my affairs in order, the good and bad messages delivered that need delivering. The good death means dying while I still have my mind sharp and aware; it also means dying without having to endure large amounts of suffering and pain. The good death means accepting death as inevitable, and not fighting it when the time comes. This is my good death, but as legendary psychotherapist Carl Jung said, "It won't help to hear what I think about death." Your relationship to mortality is your own.
Yet in another and still more definite sense despair is the sickness unto death. It is indeed very far from being true that, literally understood, one dies of this sickness, or that this sickness ends with bodily death. On the contrary, the torment of despair is precisely this, not to be able to die So it has much in common with the situation of the moribund when he lies and struggles with death, and cannot die. So to be sick unto death is, not to be able to die - yet not as though there were hope of life; no the hopelessness in this case is that even the last hope, death, is not available. When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life; but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one's hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die.