Wikipedia tries to define death as the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism . The definition of death is fuzzy, but defining death is not the purpose of this post. This post aims at killing the fear of death itself, because ‘daar ke age jeet hai’. Let us challenge the authority of Yamraj. Death brings fear, fear brings grief, and grief brings misery. Each and every moment we are struggling not to die, we are forgetting how to live. One day we will grow old and look back at the road traveled and repent all the opportunities missed.
We hail medical research in such high ground, only because it postpones death. It has helped increase the population of human beings in such enormous numbers that life itself is now struggling to cope with the anomaly it created. Market for illegal wildlife is around 20 billion US dollars . Majority of these animals are killed for medical research. It is not only the forests that are reducing; the animals within them are reducing at a much faster rate. Numerous species have already gone extinct, and we have brought millions more to the verge of extinction. We are killing other species to test medicines that will in turn help us live longer. Yes, we are stealing life from other species! All this, because we are afraid of death! True happiness will always elude a soul that is afraid of death.
We witness death everywhere, everyday, there is no point denying it. Your cells are dying every second and are replaced by new ones. Your body itself is not the same one you were born with. Death, thus, is necessary as it keeps you healthy. You do not shed tears for your cells. Same holds true for humans. Death is nature’s way of maintaining the balance. Without it the whole framework of nature will come crushing down. Our grief for the death of our loved ones is a selfish emotion arising from the fact that we are going to miss him/her. That same selfish emotion wants us to be immortal. Both religion and science have wasted their precious moments in the quest for immortality. To me it is just a futile effort because death is obvious to things that have birth. Only that which had no beginning has no end.
Death is not the end, it is a transformation. Atoms are long lived and durable. They were there at the beginning, and are going to be there till the end. As we die our atoms dissemble and gets recycled vigorously only to become part of something else. In fact the atoms that makes you was once part of a distant star, ones it was the part of a dinosaur, and some of it may have belonged to Buddha, Genghis Khan and Shakespeare . Part of you is the reincarnation of these great legends. Your avatar dies, but the energy that makes you is eternal.
There has been lots of report about near death experiences (NED) . I have no evidence to say anything against or in favor of it. But people who claim to have NDE’s have reported to have lost the fear of death. If their claim is valid then death becomes a mere door that takes you from the physical to the spiritual world. If you believe in souls and past lives then your soul is also eternal. Neither your body, nor your soul dies. You are immortal, indestructible and eternal.
Death exists only when we hold on to the illusion of our individuality. The moment we break ourselves from that shackle of individuality and feel part of the eternal entity, death ceases to exist. The feeling of ‘I’ is a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. The illusion of time and space also exists in that same brain. According to Robert Lanza “Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether” . In a timeless, spaceless, multiple parallel quantum world death is meaningless.
For a moment if we forget the multiple parallel worlds and take the world as we know it, even then death seems to be insignificant. If the 4.5 billion years of earth history was compressed in a single day, human beings will emerge only one minute seventeen seconds before midnight, our civilization only last few seconds, and the life of an individual just an instant. Death is insignificant as is our life as an individual. Let’s be happy in that insignificant instant when we are just us. Let go of your fear, let us age gracefully, let’s embrace life and let’s embrace death. Life just is, you are not going to get out of it alive anyway.
 GEO, Indian Edition, July 2011
 A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, 2005
This post is part of the series MIND OF GOD DECODED. Other articles from the series: