Someone asked me ‘You had a death experience at 8 and then again at the age of 40 and you write that it was like what Ramana had at 16. What happened?’
I had a few close encounters with physical death, but nothing compares to that first conscious seeing of Boundless Emptiness beyond. At eight it was THE moment which defined the rest of my life. Unlike Ramana I didn’t try to visualise what it would be like to be dead; at the age of eight I had no serious capacity to perform such a feat. It came on its own, a lightening bolt of vision. What it would REALLY be like not to exist. Total blackness. No movement. No sound. No matter. No self. Nothing forever. It enveloped like an invisible shroud, held me for a good part of an hour and scared beyond anything I had known.
I didn’t tell anyone.
Real physical dying, if not taking place in prolonged agony of pain – is easy. There is no fear in it, time disappears, total acceptance of what is taking place – takes over and keeps one in tune with the moment. But realisation of death as one blank Nothingness – is a different matter. I am not dead yet, but I know I will enter into that blankness one day.
For a while it was impossible to accept the totality. Well, at eight? But it changed my internal world forever. People say ‘Sure we all gonna die’. They say it with the easy carelessness of someone who does not get it from within, with a sense of urgency and appreciation of own fragility.
It was no less brutal when I was forty. I remember I was doing something mundane, like tidying the house, when suddenly every bone in my body froze, the ice-cold grip of Death from nowhere.. it WAS icy cold, exactly as the metaphor says. I had to slowly sit down and stay very still for a few minutes, trying not to freak out and just breathe carefully and deliberately. It was NOT physical, and yet – it was both a physical and mental assault of understanding which had a lasting impact.
It never left since. Every few weeks and months it rips apart my reality, completely destroying any accumilated life debris. I am grateful to Death Realisation. It brought sadness, but also an unbelievable appreciation of being alive. Perhaps, it was the First step which pretty much defined Reality for me. I realised that nothing has intrinsic meaning, and so one has to create the meaning for themselves. Otherwise, there is no reason to stay in this world.
‘Jed’ covers the reasons for being in his many many words in final parts of ‘Dreamstate: The Conspiracy Theory’. I have now reluctantly hopped through the book, as part of my investigation. Being the entity of Presence – I simply don’t have as many words, but yes, as much as the book feels as if put together by two different people – it perfectly reflects where one arrives.
Perhaps, Death is why I was mesmerised by Mozart’s Lacrimosa when I heard it for the first time at the age of eleven. I still have it on my playlist. And perhaps that is why I don’t listen to classical music much. Most classical music has this connection to mortality, written from great internal awareness that we are fireflies dancing in the night and extinguished too fast. It deals in Eternity.