Contemplating god/the gods is an excellent practice. It structures our perception of our narrower lives in a useful way. Even if your highest principle is an abstract notion, it serves the same purpose.
So shall we do the fifth and final precept? There is no death, there is the Force.
Many of our leading contemporary scientists in neuropsychology, and as social science advocates of something they call terror management theory, basically all human behaviour as it is exhibited today, is driven by a fear of death. So we either seek to distract ourselves from it, rationalize some way we may transcend it, or defer the issue of our own mortality onto the survival of a group, of a religion or a nation. Does this leave any human behaviour uncovered? Does this fail to touch on anything?
I don’t think so.
I don’t really fear death. I fear pain mostly.
For myself, my personal death is not scary. It’s not desired but it’s not scary, neither is my personal pain. I do fear the death of others, potentially at least.
When I would get dizzy while driving, my main fear was causing an accident and hurting other people. Also, my mother lost her husband in an accident, and I didn’t want her to lose a son in one too.
Yes, the worse thought is leaving others.
I’m afraid that death won’t be something amazing and transcendent.
Well, speaking of my personal experience and it having any meaning for you are unfortunately two separate things. Even my demonstrations of the principles I understand when I can do them in person is unfortunately still rather shallow as well. It is a mild frustration of mine, but death should not be anyone’s big interest anyway.
You died at one point? Died repeatedly. It’s what a seizure is. Are you familiar with the physical process of immediate death and seizure?
I guess not. You have a seizure as you are dying, everyone does. The unstable neuronal signals cascade throughout your body. This is why we stiffen when we die, and it affects all the organs causing the bowels to void themselves, the stomach as well, and profuse sweating. Your senses stop making any sense. This is why when someone is dying they can seem almost conscious, but can’t respond to people around them. They are conscious, but their brain isn’t giving them any kind of picture of the world around them. Where my own seizures stopped short of actual death was the unplugging. The neurons in your brain will shrink away from each other, and thus your bodies messages at that point are potentially completely lost.
Life flashing before your eyes? My life constantly flashes before my eyes, every day, whether I want it to or not. This is the basis of my abnormally good memory. It’s really uncomfortable to be thinking of the taste of bottle formula when something else is nauseating you.
In the hospital I fainted from loss of blood, but as it happened, I started shaking violently which never happens to me during a ‘normal’ faint.
I have fainted many times, but I don’t remember anything from it, but I don’t think I was ever near death.
For me, being conscious but having only the lightest sense of connection to my body was really frustrating. I was not asleep. I was not tired. I was not eased into it, and I did not return from it in a comfortable or gentle way. All my muscles burned, my stomach clenched, my eyes hurt, my ears as well, and I couldn’t at first make sense of what anyone was saying. There was just an all consuming sick feeling, but yes, to be immersed in life, and then shut out, as if some obnoxious being was channel surfing and decided to turn my TV off… It really made me angry.
So the root of the fifth precept is in the fourth. Chaos is death, death is chaos, and there is no chaos there is harmony. All that we are, all that makes it possible to be what we are, and all that will make it possible for us to continue and have new experiences, to grow and change, existed before our bodies, exists alongside our bodies, and sustains them to the best degree we allow it to, and will preserve itself in us when we move beyond this state of being.
Life seems to seek to preserve itself quite adamantly, no? Even to points that still amaze and confound our scientists. The Force is us, and it is ultimately the grounds for the anthropic principle. Nothing is lost, because nothing was ever absent before it was supposedly gained. You did not gain life, you were life, are life now, and will continue to be life.
Does this explain the fifth precept adequately?
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.