A friend of mine is watching her friend meet death. It has been a long time and as her friend deteriorates, she is consciously enjoying each day and now is reading The Book of the Dead. I continue to think how I might cultivate and ensure a soft meeting of my transition, while also knowing, enjoying and honoring life here even as I know I slowly birth into a wider berth.
Ease, I say to myself each day. Ease!! And Peace!!
Here is Thomas Merton:
The mature person realizes that life affirms itself most, not in acquiring things, but in giving time, efforts, strength, intelligence, and love to others. Here a different kind of dialectic of life and death begins to appear. The living drive, the vital satisfaction, by "ending" its trend to self-satisfaction and redirecting itself to and for others, transcends itself. It "dies" insofar as the ego is concerned, for the self is deprived of the immediate satisfactions which it could claim without being contested. Now it renounces these things, in order to give to others. Hence, life "dies" to itself in order to give itself away and thus affirms itself more maturely, more fruitfully, and more completely. We live in order to die to ourselves and give everything to others. ...This "dying" to self in order to give to others is nothing more or less than a higher and more special affirmation of life. Such dying is the fruit of life, the evidence of mature and productive living. It is, in fact, the end or the goal of life.
Thomas Merton. Love and Living. Naomi Burton Stone & Patrick Hart, editors (New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jonvanovich, 1985): 102.
Thought for the Day
Death is, then, the point at which life can attain its pure fulfillment. Death brings life to its goal. But the goal is not death-the goal is perfect life.
Thomas Merton. Love and Living: 105