Meditation on death

Post By Godian Ejiogu | November 2, 2022

MEDITATION ON DEATH For More than a score of years, I had been leading the liturgical service in celebrating the yearly All Saints on 1 November and All Souls on 2 November. A prayer supplication for the repose of the souls of dead people. While writing a chapter on death and rites of passage, I had the urge to dive into meditation for some hours. Metamorphoses of death Death has always been there in our life. It is a metamorphosis in stages and passages of life. Things have to die in me for my growth. Things have to live in me for my life. When I was in the womb, life was there for me. My mother’s body was my world. The womb I was living in was a shield like a house that accommodates me. My soul developed into body and bones in the womb. I accumulated flesh and blood until the womb could not contain me anymore. When I was born, my life in the womb was dead. I had to let it go and leave it behind me. The womb where my soul was developed is broken and thrown away because my life there is no more. I had left that material. It is no more needed. The womb is death. I could not go back to it. I have more space because my metamorphoses require it. As a baby, I learned to breathe air and feed from what the world has to provide. Beginning with liquid and soft feeding. My body system has to develop to be able to digest and process strong food and what the world throws at me. The elements of nature, like the water that wets me. The fire that hurts me. The light that shows me things but also can blind me. The earth that provides for me but can hurt me. The human-made weapons that can break me. I have to deal with the cycles of the seasons and time, including my body changes. I have to learn.  Later, my life as a baby died too. I could not go back to it. It is gone forever. I could do things on myself and was no more dependent as a baby. This continues in all stages of my life. As an adult, my childhood died too. The place where those deaths are present is in my soul through my memories. I cannot visit my yesterday except in my memory stored in my soul. All that my body contains is the accumulation that I gave it. I need my body to interact and communicate with other bodies. My soul with its feelings and emotions could interact with other souls in the body. The body grows to become an obstruction to my soul. The body is like a wall of the house in which I am living. In the house, I live in a space. That space is surrounded by walls that may have windows or doors and so on. The purpose of a wall is to demarcate space to create an entity. The demarcation shapes the room. Those things surrounding the space are like my body surrounding my soul. The entity can be a burden to my soul. It affects my soul depending on the kind of accumulation I have.When I reach high age and my body starts deteriorating, most of the things it accumulated will die. One day my soul will remove the body which it accumulated beginning in my mother’s womb. When this is done, it is like removing the wall that surrounds the space in which I am living. That is breaking the house that created the space. When the wall is broken, my space will still be there, but without demarcation. It becomes unlimited space. Then my soul will be free again from the body and live on. It is like an animal that is set free from a cage. It is like a bird that was caged and then let out of the cage. Furthermore, it will soar in the sky and have unlimited space, crossing all possible borders and time zones, which it cannot do in a cage. In the transition process of giving birth, the mother goes through a birth pang to release and disentangle the baby. By death, the soul goes through a pang to release and disentangle the body. Both birth and death are a gate to transition. One is the transition to physical presence, verbal, and physical communication, knowing, and limitations. While another is a transition to invisible communication, invisible presence, unknown, and unknowable.  The soul is not death. What dies is the wall that surrounds it. That wall is given back to where it belongs, namely the humus. That wall is made up of humus. It is like when you demolish a house and give the space back to earth. The space becomes an open place without a wall.Death is a body, a permanent process of growth that never ends while the soul accommodates it. It is permanent in the body and lives in the body. The past dies continuously. That is the natural law of growth and passage.The soul separating from the body is the ultimate freedom of the soul. When one leaves the body, there is no death anymore. There is only life. The soul becomes invisible, living. It is not supposed to be called death.Celebrating All Saints and All Souls is not celebrating death. It is celebrating the ultimate freedom of life. Personal death, imagine where I will be in the year 2100 and further. I will not be physically present among the people. Probably I will be present in the memory of my children and family. Maybe also in other people. They have to find me inside of them. That is where I will actually be. It is where I am now, but because they can still see me physically, they do not search me inside of them. My friends and well-wishers and families and people I interacted with or encountered in my life are inside me. I am also inside of them in one way or the other. The people we interacted with in life are living inside of us, but we mostly look for them outside. We often fail to enter where they are inside of us. Or we fail to recognize that they are there inside, and we are looking outside. This is understandable in our logic of thinking. The body is for communication with the body. The soul is for a memory of the soul.  Looking for the physical bodies that are stored in the soul causes pain. When we could not find the body or when it is not available to us, we start missing it. The missing pain is the accumulated memories inside. The pain is the desire to get the memory back to the physical senses. Such pain can be reduced when one looks for the soul where it can be found. Interaction can continue at the soul level if contact is made inside. A loved one never leaves. A loved one is always present and inside.Longing to have one physical back demands that the transited comeback into the cage of the body.  It is comforting to know that the transited is not gone, but lives inside of you. That is the best place. Jesus resurrected for those who believe in him.  He is with those who believe in him. He is not dead. Not only that, but he is present when he is called or when two or three gather in his name. When you appreciate that the transit has reached ultimate freedom and peace, hopefully, it will comfort you. One day, you will be one too who transited to achieve ultimate freedom and peace. Free from boundaries and burdens. There is no reason to fear death. It is the entrance gate to the new birth, just like birth is the entrance gate to the physical and sensual life. The sun will rise and set. The seasons will continue. The day and night will continue. All this will go on, but most of the things we know like trees and buildings and so many other physical things do transit. What I am looking at will be gone. All the people I am seeing now will be gone latest in 2170. They will join those who are in that place where the weapons of war cannot break or destroy. The sun or fire cannot harm. The water cannot destroy. Space and time have no influence. Water cannot wet it. Wind cannot dry it. Fire cannot burn it. Earth cannot wound or consume it. It is beyond elements, time, and space.That is where we all will go. We are all part of each other. Our true self which is our souls exist in each other. We live in each other and not outside each other.  Being free from fear of death means you have discovered the state of being the real you. You are no more living in the false you. Keeping the memory on is keeping the life on.I am grateful to those who especially gave me love even without me asking for it. Those who support me in making my soul journey in this world worthwhile. May the souls of the transited be in peace and freedom.