Under the surface of being friendly and civilized, how many lives are struggling in silent despair? We can never know what is going on in other people’s lives, can we? We are polite strangers in this life, passing each other by, nodding and smiling, with no communication of substance, wasting the chance to love and comfort and understand one another, dying and being gone for ever. This is the truth she disclosed to us. And this is disturbing.
Today is a fine day in early March. The sun is shining after a weekend of heavy rain. Spring is approaching no matter how resistant winter is. Trees start flowering. In the office people are working, planning for a wedding, or expecting babies. This world still revolves. But she left forever. She refused to participate any more in this sun-lit world.
Her funeral service was held this past Saturday. I did not go. The ritual may serve as a closure people needed. However, I feel something more substantial should be done to rest my conscience in peace. It is too late for the dead. What can be done for the living?
Life goes on. We will get over it and move on. We are blessed with forgetfulness. We’ll be happy, interested, and vain again, and worry our a thousand little worries. However, the reality of her death changed each of us permanently, more or less. The undeniable truth of life and death was face to face with us, in this society where death is a taboo. When death is denied, people lose the foundation to take life seriously in the most fundamental sense.
She showed us death is a choice. So is life. How do you live? Do you live in a way society has assigned, or do you go out and create you own way of life? How precious are these awake, pain-free, workable moments! What do you do with them? Science, art, or other pursuits? Anything less than learning, creating, or loving, is a waste. Do not commit this crime to yourself. Cherish this life. This is the only toy you are given. Play fully with it.
This world for ever moves in mindless motions. Everyone feels safe following the herd: job, marriage, home, kids, retirement. Yes, I admit, there is tremendous wisdom and true happiness in this routine road of life. But sooner or later you’ll have to answer the big questions: Why are you here? What do you want to do? Where does this world need you most? What should you know to live your life in fullness, enlightened? How do you come to terms with this world around you? Are there any other possibilities? What has happened? What will happen if we do nothing? Is there a higher beauty and nobility beyond what you have seen and imagined? What would you like? What is the relationship between you and the universe?
Throughout this life we learn. If we didn’t do better, that was because we did not know better. The Education school did not provide us, we sought it in life, in our adventure in this vast yet confining world. How many mistakes we have made! How many punishments we have suffered! Wouldn’t it be nice if someone had shared with us the best things they learned? Wouldn’t it be nice if the best heritage of human beings was presented to us in a systematic way, allowing us to explore and develop on our own, while providing the framework and a few steady, solid stepping stones? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were so wisely educated that we knew what we needed to learn?