If we want to see the course of how our thoughts impact reality, the quote above is a good example. The vast majority of people would chain their thoughts together in a habitual way and then conclude that this statement to be about our biological death. In fact, it applies just as neatly to the death of our ego.
Rephrased it could read,
Do not be afraid
We are all part of an infinite collection of beings whose existence is to flow from one state to another, so we need not fear our next unknown.
Everyone before you has died
You cannot stay
Any more than a baby can stay forever in the womb
Our births define the beginning of a phase of experiences, and it is only the course of our individual thoughts that lead us to feel separate from each other, this flow, and all that is.
Leave behind all you know
All you love
Leave behind pain and suffering
Whenever we cease our flow of thoughts, and all of the attachments, expectations and desires they bring, we can access our sensations of connection, flow and all that is.
This is what death is
With no personal thoughts to create our illusion of separateness, we are left in a state of connection to the larger flow of being. This is what it is to live in the gap of life with wisdom, clarity and purpose.
We are infinite beings with infinite possibilities. Yet each morning we each rise to fill our minds with memories of our pasts, resurrections of belief, and ideas about our future. It is as though we are are a patient with amnesia; a blank slate on which external sources can rewrite our old and painful identity.
We do that repetition despite knowing that we have seen others –and we ourselves have at times– had moments of awakening in which we suddenly saw a small glimmer of our freedom. A new job, a proposal, a divorce, a new place to live, a willingness to move past some event, or even some simple change in our habits, or in how we choose to view our Selves.
It is our nature to develop this ego. For we cannot enjoy the pleasure of being found –or of coming home– if we are not first lost and away. And every path can only be defined by where the path is not.
This is the natural yin and yang of life. This is why our wisdom is a practice, as all lives will ebb and flow between our thoughts of being lost, isolated and separate, to a state of being, wherein we thoughtlessly return to a state of knowing, connection and meaning.
We are never wrong. We are never lost. Our only purpose is our journey. And through our experiences of both wants and needs, we can come to appreciate the vastness of what we represent. And once our appreciation is full and complete, we are free from the bonds of resistant thought, leaving us to naturally flow back into the greater whole.
My own task is simple. I am here for only one purpose. I am here to help others move from the separateness of thought, to the wholeness of being, but they light they see is always theirs.
Following a serious childhood brain injury Scott McPherson unwittingly spent his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and the self. This made him as strange to others as they were to him. Seeing the self-harm people created with their own overthinking, Scott dedicated part of his life to helping others live with greater awareness. He is currently a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB, where he finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.