The Illusion called “Death”

Life….Death. What do we do when you lose a loved one? And I feel so many of us, we have lost someone, someone who has passed. For me, when I look at death. It’s really just a change of state. It’s nothing more nothing less. Essentially, for me there is only life, we are immortal. When I tell a lot of people, they go nuts. They retort, quite often –

What do you mean we are immortal?!

You are going to die as well!

To that I say yes, I’m going to die in a physical sense. Then again energy can’t be destroyed; it just gets transferred into something else. So many of us, even as a society we aren’t ready to talk about death. We don’t mention death on a dinner table. Even when I go to a funeral, it gets awkward – a lot of times before I had the feeling of not knowing what to say. I have had friends and relatives who have passed away during my journey that made me enquire this area deeply with me and my mentors. Sometimes I have even used the word “passed” which everybody does and I realized it’s often used with such a euphemism that a lot of us haven’t really come to terms with it. For me, death and life are so interconnected with each other. In essence, there is no separation really! Yet, there are so many of us that look at it with “eyes of duality”. If there is life, then there is supposed to be death.

DeathFor me, life and death are one and the same because essentially how do you even know you are alive? And this is something I have asked myself, and people say – Duh! You know because your heart is beating. But, essentially the answer comes only when we put it in our mind and start thinking and also deeply feel about it and discover it for ourselves. It’s everything that we put in our mind which tells us who we are. It’s the image that we have of ourselves, whether it’s our bank account or our name. All of these things are all coming to an end everyday! Yet, there is something that is eternal. That’s what I’m connected to. For me, I just realized that a lot of people are afraid of physical death as they are afraid to leave behind everything that they have worked for in this world (reality). The name, the cars, the status, the bank balance, the relationships and essentially what is going to be left is this impersonal energy.

Society is funny, because one way we are afraid of death. So many of us, we don’t talk about it. We celebrate life! Someone is born, say a child is born. Beautiful! Everyone is smiling, light just magically shines in all around us and we are all in a state of grace so to speak. On the flip-side, when someone dies we don’t even know what to do!

Essentially I realized that a lot of us, we aren’t even mature enough yet to talk about this transition which is taking place which is so fundamental. In essence, it’s the other part of birth. And a lot of times I look at it like – We are afraid of death as a society but at the same time we are involved in wars. We are the only species on the planet celebrating people dying on the silver screen, and at the same time, it’s one of these things because when we look at the elderly as well. A lot of people are fearful of death. But at the same time, many people live life like the show must go on and it must go on! And at the same time we don’t really realize…for me I had to realize that death is humanity’s shadow. And I myself had to merge with this shadow to realize that I’m timeless, I’m immortal. Essentially, I have been here not from the beginning because this whole concept of having a beginning and an end is again an idea; as in my mind there is no beginning and an end. The whole concept of time is really a human man-made invention and for a lot of us time is fear.

We celebrate birthdays in our society and there is nothing wrong with it as well. Essentially all of this leads us to count our own demise.

Hence, TIME = FEAR which = SCARCITY which helps us and keeps us in a perpetual state of survival.

Many of us are living our lives and at the same time we aren’t able to see that we are living in a transient universe and for me this has been something that I had to look in the mirror and tell myself. Wow! Isn’t this amazing! Even in the cosmetic industry, there are products that are out there to make you look young which again isn’t wrong in itself. What I feel though is that there is something that is so fearful in people and they aren’t going through this movement through life. For me, as co-creators on this planet, it doesn’t matter if I live 100 years or 500 years on this planet. It is again just a drop in the ocean when compared to the amount of time and space and eternity. It makes me realize the fragility and sacredness of life and also the fact that we are limitless beings.

Essentially, for me everything equates. Death equals everything how? Everyone is equal through death. Then again, death is just a change of state. I’m not afraid of death because I’m not afraid of life anymore.

Since the last couple of months, my journey has been of surrendering and dropping the sword. To see that there isn’t any battle to be fought. Death is just a big business and to see it etched in humanity’s mind that this is it! This is the end which makes me laugh at this indoctrination we have been infused with. It’s a virus that can be zapped just be recognizing it with our cognition. For a lot of us, we begin to worry that we can’t live past a hundred and twenty years which again is another set of B.S. code we have picked up in our programming from schools where we were crammed with facts. I’m wondering if this is also programmed into our DNA!  Because more and more I realize that with a cure, there is no profit and that’s why do really the host of pharmaceutical companies that keep pushing the limits on increasing longevity and wellness, do they really want people to live past a 120 years? This question cracks me up every single time! Then again, it is a frightening thought with all these people now who are realizing their greatness who now are beginning to see that we are transformers, we are timeless, we can live as long as we want. Even within this human body, a lot of us have just accepted this indoctrination that this is how we are going to age. It’s almost like we have been put under a spell of some sort.

Some cultures celebrate death. Certain African and South-American cultures embrace death. Why stop there! In West Indian funerals, I have read that people dance around and celebrate that person’s life. A lot of this really is based on our belief systems. It’s amazing just to see how such cultures view death. It’s not about being in fear of the unknown. This fear of the unknown in me surfaced when I was talking to Kiran (another mentor of mine) a month back and from then I have made the resolve to get to the bottom of this and this blog post is my experience of all my reflections since then.

Death is the unknown. It’s the grim reaper. Death is the shadow. It’s what lies behind closed doors which no one wants to see.  When I realized there is nothing to be afraid of and there is no battle, I realized that all of this is beyond human comprehension in terms of words anyways. It’s indescribable. Only silence can maybe get even close! But words, just forget about it!

There is a saying as well –

WORDS WERE CREATED TO HIDE THE TRUTH I love this sentence! Gives me goosebumps all the time.

All the words that we use to talk about death through words is only going to contaminate it. We just need to be silent. This is it!

As I see it, the universe uses everything in nature. It doesn’t waste anything in it. It will also do with our bodies what it needs to do. Whether it’s to create grass, trees or what have you. But, for me I have always seen that the universe is this impersonal energy. Nature is a transformer and we aren’t separate from that. In my mind, I know that I will be used for something else. For me, it’s empowering to know that and there is nothing wrong in talking about death. A lot of people don’t like to talk about death still there is death all around. As if by not talking about it it’s going to disappear.

A lot of people are dying all around us every single day. I believe most of us don’t have a holistic approach to death to realize that it is the incomprehensible. No one really knows why people die. Of course some people do certain things which lead to their death. I’m talking about the random things that happen, for me this shows me the infinite possibilities as it’s really incomprehensible. Sometimes, only in silence do I get most of my answers towards the mysteries of life as it speaks volumes. For me the body never lies, why don’t we become alchemists? There is no death in nature. There is always creation everywhere. For me, a part of being an alchemist is to always stay in a state of creation or co-creation. There is only transformation and immortality! Essentially there is only life in existence. I just see it like that! This is nature’s secret for me.

Just look at a garden, where is death? The flowers are continuously blossoming; there is only a change in state. Yes, a lot of people have lost loved ones! But, energy is never lost. Everyone is constantly undergoing continuous transformation like how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Some people have other ideas about death. Some people become very masochistic and say we are all going to die so let’s create as much havoc and pain as possible. All of these people have neglected their heart space. All of these people have shut down their hearts due to which they have become desensitized. When you can’t feel anything how can you be aware of what’s happening and this is what has happened to most of us.

So, while we are here, for me it’s about living in the moment. When we are in the moment, we aren’t aware of fear. When we aren’t in the past nor the future we are immortal we don’t have the illusion of death. Sometimes, I wonder if we created the internet to only find ourselves or maybe it is the way of the universe to make us realize who we are. A mentor of mine, Glen Martin who happens to be a psycho-therapist with decades of experience under his belt with whom I have most of my conscious conversations indirectly pointed this out to me. After our chat when I woke up the next day I had this stroke of insight, instead of allowing the pointer to point. We make the grave mistake of trying to understand the pointer and getting ourselves even more confused than before.

Why can’t we just develop the willingness to put aside all our education to know this place-less place and stay in touch with it? Maybe then we can see that the universe let’s us flirt with anything that we desire 🙂

The Live Full Die Empty Hack

Live Full Die Empty

Just few days back, my cousin passed away in one of the most unfortunate ways possible. Ever since that incident, I have come to look upon “DEATH” in a different way. This post is more of a way of living than a HACK per SE. I already began this way of living a few months back. Since, then things have never been the same. Deadlines at work don’t seem so serious, I often get things done without breaking a sweat about it. I have even noticed I complete work faster than I used to before.

I have always wondered, when do people truly live? In what moments do they truly express themselves? Is it by living a life connecting themselves to a higher purpose and a richer context? Is it when they set ambitious goals and have a burning desire to get something done that bugs them? Is it just living a life that’s full of love and inspiration? I found that there are many ways to live. Heck, one can even renounce everything they have and just live a spiritual life. I’m not here to argue semantics of which path is the best and to take sides. I’m making a case to put forth this notion of living every day as it is your last without having to prove anything to anybody and us getting everything that’s inside of us out there in the “WORLD”.

What we need most in this world, is not more SKILLS, not more SMARTS, not more STRATEGY, but US SHOWING UP!

In our LIVES, AT WORK, every place wherever we are. What we are should define what we do and not the other way round.

We have got it all wrong by believing that we can’t be that or come up with self defeating beliefs that creativity is this esoteric, elusive that only a select few among us are able to demonstrate. I believe everybody in this world has their own music that’s unique to them which their HEART craves to sing. We choose to follow other people’s songs while being oblivious to what’s inside of us.

Now, how might we go around chasing / developing / searching / nurturing this spark in us? I believe the answer to it will come from us building rituals in our lives. We all at some point in our lives have had these streaks of creative insights, yet we wonder how often can we tap into this seemingly limitless reserve that seems to elude most of us.

I believe 200% that by building rituals in our daily lives everyday, we can unearth this by building rituals around these areas (I call them the seeds of creativity)

  • SPACE
  • ENERGY
  • TIME
  • STIMULI
  • RELATIONSHIPS
  • FOCUS

Building practices in each of this space provide us an under-guiding infrastructure for our creative process and positions us for those moments when we have to be brilliant at a moment’s notice.

So the dirty secret is this:

IF WE NEED TO BE BRILLIANT AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE, WE NEED TO BEGIN UPSTREAM FAR UPSTREAM FROM THE MOMENT WE NEED A BRILLIANT IDEA. ~ Todd Henry

Often, I ask my MENTORS what are the times that they get KICKASS ideas and go into states of “FLOW” and what is their process and invariably if I have to nail down one word before which they get that next ground breaking idea it’s

                                      SPACE. 

Space to be themselves, space to get their creative modes on.

Space to give their complete attention to the present by silencing that voice in our heads that feeds us distractions like this:

Oh! What has my BOSS planned to shove down my throat next?

How much am I going to make this year?

To ignore this serpent’s voice as Mooji so beautifully points out is what we ought to be doing!

It’s this perpetual sense that something out there is more important than something that’s in front of us. The first seed – ENERGY. I think there is no such thing as time management. It’s only how best we manage our energy. And we are abysmal at it. At work, in schools, we have meetings after meetings, period after period after periods of dis-engaged learning that saps our being. We need to be good about pruning and in creating space in our lives for ideas to emerge. When we first learn how to manage our energy everything else falls into place.

Think about it for a moment – we are energy beings first. We are not our body, neither our mind nor our heart. A lot of the physical manifestations of health in our body are due to energy blocks in our bodies.

The second seed – TIME. At the end of the day, where we put over time determines our success or failure.  We choose to adopt an efficiency mindset versus an effectiveness mindset. I try to have the practice of unnecessary creating and you are reading it. For me, taking notes, researching and blogging about interesting stuff that pay me in no way monetarily (Yet!) gives me great satisfaction.

The question I ask myself is – When was the last time I made something that somebody wasn’t paying me to make?

Just play along with me –

Isn’t it an incredible way to spend your time inefficiently? 😀

Yes, I have got deadlines, my BOSS is waiting to breathe down my neck again starting tomorrow (Monday). I can just imagine the hindi song – “Khoon Choose Le” as it will resonate a lot with a lot of people who have heard that song.  But, I believe this practice gives me more space to be more creative at a moment’s notice.

Let’s get deeper –

You can ask me

Why do this?

Why build practices?

Just so that we can respond to emails faster…

I can’t stop myself but ask – Why don’t many of us we ask questions like – Why are we on this earth?

Why should anybody care if I disappeared off the face of this earth tomorrow?

What will my legacy be? What is my purpose and how might I align with the purpose of life that is spontaneously emerging in silence through me in my flow states?

Yes, If I disappeared today. My family might cry a little bit.

But…

What space do we occupy on this earth?

Have we really thought about this? – I always like to operate from a space where passion, life and spirituality come together!

The 3rd seed – STIMULI. It’s all about what we put in our head every single day. We spend all day watching soaps, YouTube not that there is anything wrong with that (But, it kind of is :-P). We snack on this diet all day long instead of finding experiences that nourish us to see the world in different ways. So what if, we have a life long study plan – to identify the things we are curious about and ask those questions to find ways to fill our lives with resources that help us pursue these deeper curiosities. Guess what, that’s where our mind want’s to go anyway! 🙂 What if we can become purposeful about our mental development. Isn’t this what the creative process comprises of?

The other seed of creativity – Relationships. The MYTH we have in our society is that of the LONE INNOVATOR. I think that there is no such thing and that’s just absurd even plain B.S. I think Innovation is more of a collective grasp for the next. As Steven Johnson says, we pursue the adjacent by getting more parts onto the table. I think we all can develop the art of asking powerful questions to a group of people like –

What are you working on?

What can we do to help you?

What inspires you?

These last three questions I have picked up from observing Akshay. So far, among all my mentors I haven’t seen anybody embody this as he does.

So, the last seed being FOCUS is really us developing the habit of asking the question on a monthly/daily/hourly basis – What am I really trying to do here? Until we get to the bottom of it on a consistent basis. I’m afraid none of us will go far in anything…..

Have we cared enough to build practices in our life that lets us explore such deeper aptitudes?

The reason is we live in a marketplace where everyone is chasing everybody else. We are always chasing the next. Everybody is trying to become the NEXT.

I ask – What is NEXT? Heck, when Steve Jobs passed away everybody had the debate on these lines:

Who is going to be the next Steve Jobs?

Maybe Elon Musk is coming close to him 🙂

A man who revolutionized multiple industries in a few decades. A genius who can never be replaced?

To this I wanted to say, I want to be the FIRST! Who cares about the NEXT?

I think this is a profoundly dis-interesting question and to do this I have to begin building a set of practices that gives me the capacity to explore my deeper aptitudes which is what I’m doing at one baby step at a time.

We each need to develop the capacity to find our unique gifts that we have to offer in this world.

I’ll leave you with a thought –

A few months ago, when I was traveling in Thailand, I sprung up a conversation with a fellow traveler who did so many amazing things in life for a living and he could see I was so amazed by his ability to do that and he popped a question to me

– What according to you is the most valuable land in the world?

Now, at that time I was thinking, Penthouse in Mumbai, Oil fields in the Middle East etc. To which he replied to me – it’s a GRAVEYARD. Because in there are buried all of the unwritten novels, unreconciled relationships, unlaunched businesses where people said –

I’LL GET TO THAT TOMORROW.

I’LL DO THAT TOMORROW.

AND….

ONE FINE DAY THEIR TOMORROW’S RAN OUT.

By this I don’t mean you pack up and keep doing everything in a hurry like there is no tomorrow. What I am inviting is you to completely devote yourself to a day according to what it is, the people you are around with, the impulse that is emerging through you through-out that day, honor it, live it while bleeding your purpose.

That day I didn’t give it much thought to it until recently, a dear friend and mentor of mine Kiran asked me a similar question, albeit in a different way. This incident just came to my head now while writing this post. I remember that day after talking to Kiran and after reading the book – Freedom From The Known by J. Krishnamurti, I had written in my TD (my transformation diary) this phrase –

LIVE FULL DIE EMPTY EVERY SINGLE DAY!

I think I will get this tattooed someday as well. \m/

At the end of the day today, I want to know that I have done everything in my power to empty myself of whatever’s in my head today, not tomorrow’s work but today’s work so I can lay my head down satisfied that I have done today’s work.

Because these practices have given me some amount of space to think about Why I’m here and to think Why I am doing what I am doing on a daily basis. My invitation, no scratch thatchallenge to you is to find your creative mandate that you have in the context of the society we live in, in the workplace to bring ourselves fully to what we do. Why can’t we treat our lives with purpose and structure so that someday when our tomorrow’s run out, we can say – we lived /died embodying our purpose and offering all our unique gifts that we only are destined to offer.