Excerpt from Step 13: Human plus At plus Inside

from Conscious Dying Practice

How to die consciously so we can see the eternal spirit is the highest degree of spiritual practice. "To die, but not be forgotten, is to be called immortal." (33:2) is the Laoist's dictum which characterizes immortal self, or the man within. But how can we be not forgotten, by the self or by the others? What difference does it make? Essentially all the conscious awareness, mental intention and egoistic projection are the self and components of self. The rest are the others, whehter discharged selves and restored memories, or the names and images of objects.

Specifically, the motto is about the spiritual presence. As long as the spirit is present, regardless of whether the body is dead or alive, self is aware and others are conscious. Plato's dialogue continues through his unspoken voice and his followers' narrations. Lao Zi's way of life has never been forgotten. Edison's lightbulb continues to shine. Shakespeare's writings are read and dialogued constantly. Christ Love is forever the presence of love itself. This bespeaks the tragedy of death, the power of memory, and the glory of immortality.

The physical elements die cell by cell, memory after memory, and with task after task. They die quickly, allowing the continuous change to take place with the same momentum. Otherwise, we could not recognize that we are still alive and active and hopeful and in a dreaming-like state. This is what 'to die' means. To live is to grow with development, and to die is to become atrophied by deforming oneself. To live allows the independent growth, and to die announces the unified resurrection. To live is to smile as when inspired by a sunrise and to die is to rest in the peace of a sunset. The spirit does not die and the sun does not disappear. To live is to breathe in the power of the Tao (not for the conditional habits, but for the faithful self), and to die is to spread the seeds of virtuous Love (not only for the biological family, but also for the spiritual community).

Only dying offers us a new space where new things can continuously exist. Without dying, there can be no new fresh air, no pure blood, and no clean life. To die is to continue to live anew. To die is to announce the retirement from one's own bounded growth and maturation. To die is to be reborn. To die is to discharge oneself from the temple of the body. To die is to be free again spiritually. To die is to choose new parents who will provide the body temple where we can house the same old spirit.

On the emotional and personal level, to die means to let go of persona by allowing the final curtain to fall on the stage performance and freeing all the past experiences. To die is to free the spirit, clear the mind, and ready the body. To die is to break away from conscious habits, destroy the mental structure, and abandon the physical performance in order that change can occur, continuation can take place, and transformation can be achieved. To die is to observe but not see; to hear but not listen; to sense but not grasp. To die is to be aware but not to intend, to anticipate but not to presume, to engage but not to be pre-calculative. To die is to lift oneself from the ground, to expand oneself from the established structure and to live beyond one's limitation.

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