DEATH: Life's Gateway to Eternity. . . .
by Dom Martin

Death is an awful thought. Lachrymose indeed! Yet, one must die, imminently between this moment and the next. Kings, Popes, trenchants or murderers . . . . it does not matter! Death is the only honorable or dishonorable discharge from the service of life. And there are no exceptions. Only eternity is deathless, and only death has a glimpse of eternity!

Our biography, undoubtedly, begins with life but does it truly end with death? This question has its intriguing corollaries and perhaps, may have even laid the foundation to religion, and to the making of heaven, hell and reincarnation.

If life is a predestined struggle, then heaven would seem to be a deserving epitaph to every being who sets foot on this planet. By the same token, hell would be a befitting crown to those who knowingly, or wilfully make their lives an administration of hatred and evil unto others.

But such, however, is not the order of existence, insofar as it pertains to human life and human choice. To the contrary, we appear to be drawn from nowhere unto existence, only to be seemingly burdened with presumptuous hope, unforeseen guilt and other maladies.

On the other side of the spiritual terrain looms the issue of reincarnation. That we degenerate through reincarnation according to our previous deeds is a rather intimidating thought, if not petrifying. Logic would prompt otherwise, that perpetrators of evil should be overcome by evil in this life time itself rather than be posthumously absolved through a series of reincarnations.

According to Buddhist thinking, nothing is permanent. Neither life nor death! However, as the mind creates experiences in life and death, it grasps at its illusions and essentially holds onto them for security and identity. This initiates a cycle of recurring fear and desire; guilt and suffering, until one disentangles oneself from the bindings of the mind.

As the saying goes: "When the student is ready, the Master will appear!" It is no coincidence then that when one's final moment is at hand, the essence of eternity becomes perceptible, and the transition from life to eternity via death, becomes no less natural than the coming to life itself.

When my father's moment came, his last words were: ". . . I am going to die . . . ". And he died at age 77. His birth number was 7; his name number was 7; his death number was 7; he died at 6.10 am (adds up to 7), and was buried on November 7, in a grave marked 34 (adds up to 7).

Where do we walk from here, and why was it necessary for us to be here in the first place if our stay was to be positively short lived? If death is such a straight forward fact, why it so painful on those left behind? Why is it that heaven and eternity are only accessible through the gates of death? Why can't one simply resurrect unto eternity without having to go through the ritual of death, burial and tears? And most tragically yet: Why must the human clock have death for its pendulum?

Obviously, we are only afforded with the means and the resilience to endure these questions, until our life sentence on earth is commuted by death. And it does not matter to which God or object one's soul is affiliated to. When the moment is come, the passage becomes clear and unimpeded. It is time to leave, quietly and without protest. One dies, as naturally as one became born.

In summary: The journey to eternity begins with life, and earth merely happens to be one of the transitory points via death. Bon Voyage!
September 28, 1994