My mother loved the song Lara's Theme from the movie Doctor Zhivago. I was
reading Boris Pasternak's book "Doctor Zhivago" last night. Yura is
speaking to someone who fears she is dying. She wants to know his
thoughts on "death, the survival of consciousness, faith in
resurrection...." He has the following to say.
“Resurrection. In the crude form in which it is preached to
console the weak, it is alien to me. I
have always understood Christ’s words about the living and the dead in a
different sense. Where could you find
room for all these hordes of people accumulated over thousands of years? The universe isn’t big enough for them; God,
the good, and meaningful purpose would be crowded out. They’d be crushed by
those throngs greedy merely for the animal life.
But all the time, life, one, immense,
identical throughout its innumerable combinations and transformations, fills
the universe and is continually reborn.
You are anxious about whether you will rise from the dead or not, but
you rose from the dead when you were born and you didn’t notice it.
Will you feel pain? Do the tissues feel their
disintegration? In other words, what
will happen to your consciousness? But
what is consciousness? Let’s see. A conscious attempt to fall asleep is sure to
produce insomnia, to try to be conscious of one’s own digestion is a sure way
to upset the stomach. Consciousness is a
poison when we apply it to ourselves.
Consciousness is a light directed outward, it lights up the way ahead of
us so that we don’t stumble. It’s like
the headlights on a locomotive - turn them inward and you’d have a crash.
So what will happen to your
consciousness? Your consciousness, yours, not anyone else's? Well, what are you? There’s the point. Let’s try to find out. What is it about you that you have always
known as yourself? Your kidneys? Your liver? Your blood vessels? No.
However far back you go in your memory, it is always in some external,
active manifestation of yourself that you come across your identity - in the
work of your hands, in your family, in other people. And now listen carefully.
You in others - this is your soul. This
is what you are. This is what your
consciousness has breathed and lived on and enjoyed throughout your life - your
immortality, your life in others. And
what now? You have always been in others
and you will remain in others. And what
does it matter to you if later on that is called your memory? This will be you
- the you that enters the future and becomes a part of it.
And now one last point. There is nothing to fear. There is no such
thing as death. Death has nothing to do
with us. But you said something about
being talented - that it makes one different.
Now, that does have something to do with us. And talent in the highest and broadest sense
means talent for life.
There will be no death, says St. John. His reasoning is quite simple. There will be
no death because the past is over; that’s almost like saying there will be no
death because it is already done with, it’s old and we are bored with it. What we need is something new, and that new
thing is life eternal.”
He then touches her head, and tells her to "Go to sleep." She sleeps, and wakes refreshed, and so, we heal.
Healing means wholeness, and wholeness is my goal, acceptance of the
wondrous cycling of life and death, the ferris wheel on which we lift
and drop and swing.
A glorious day to you. I'm out to Point Reyes, to look at Heart's
Desire Beach with Jeff and Jan, as a possible wedding spot for
them. Yay!! A September wedding is their goal.
May it be so!