Another Tom and Dave discussion.
“Hey Tom, do you know the paradox we are born with?”
“Can’t say that I do, Dave.”
“Let me enlighten you. All humans are born with urges toward Self-Preservation.
We want to survive, to stay alive, yet we live with the knowledge that this desire will inevitably be thwarted!”
“How did we get into this situation?”
“Well Tom, we evolved into a species that became extremely intelligent, so we were conscious of many fears. The greatest fears are:
The Fear of Pain and Suffering.
The Fear of Death. This fear is incapacitating because it literally stops us from living enjoyably.”
“Dave, I do know there are two immortality beliefs.”
“Tell me, Tom.”
“Religious belief is one that people believe literally that our existence continues in some form after death.
Then there’s Symbolic belief in which people believe they will “live on” through their work, through people they have known, through memorials marking their graves, and finally through their children.
These two beliefs help us manage the terror that comes from knowing that our physical death is inevitable.”
“Right on, Tom. The other resource for managing terror is a feeling of personal significance known as Self-Esteem.
Self-Esteem helps us to believe we are important beings rather than just creatures destined to be obliterated.”
“Facing Pain and Suffering is a problem isn’t it, Dave?”
“Yes my friend, but we can do it. As long as we are embodied (incased in a body), we will be vulnerable to Pain. Because of this we are susceptible to illness and accidents. We must face the pain of getting old and seeing our body wear out. Pain is a fact of life, but when you face it you will be free of the fear.”
“Life has its sweetness and its dreadfulness. To live enjoyably we MUST ACCEPT life as it is.”
“Right on Tom. Now what about suffering? Suffering occurs when the mine responds NEGATIVELY to pain.
So, it follows, Pain in life is inevitable while suffering is OPTIONAL!
“What brings on suffering, Dave?”
“Suffering is generated by RESISTANCE, which is wanting the moment to be other than it actually is.
Some people respond to illness, in themselves or loved ones, with fear, panic and anger.
This is resisting the pain of life and the more we resist, the greater our suffering.”
“What do we do, Dave?”
“Deep breathing is great therapy. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. You will feel relaxed and you will be in the Here and Now.”
“Dave, what about facing the grim reaper?”
“When you face death you will free yourself from the fear and give you a greater appreciation for every moment you have.
So, reflecting on and facing the grim reaper is not only liberating but essential to living a full satisfying life.”
“I see, Dave, face our fears and we are liberated to enjoy the Here and Now and our minds will be tranquil.”
“Yes Tom, and often we forget that our lives are TRANSITORY, NOT PERMANENT, plus we have a habit of worrying over everything, but when we face death we recognize that worrying is Not worth the fight and agro.”
We both were quiet for a minute soaking up the knowledge.
“Tom, it will help to liberate you if you remember these five statements:
I am subject to aging. Aging is unavoidable.
I am subject to illness, mental and physical. Illness is unavoidable.
I am subject to death. Death is unavoidable.
Someday I will be separated and parted from the people that are dear to me.
What I do, good or bad, I will reap.
“Tom, when you are deep breathing be aware of each breath and then:
Notice how great it is to be alive this day.”
Silence to ponder.
If we can live in the Present and Accept that all things are impermanent, we can enjoy this moment, right now.
ENJOY THE DAY—THE NOW IS ALL YOU HAVE!!!