A LETTER TO A DYING MAN
Bassui wrote the following letter to one of his disciples who was about to die:
“The essence of your mind is not born, so it will never die. It is not an existance, which is perishable. It is not an emptiness, which is a mere void. It has neither color nor form. It enjoys no pleasures and suffers no pains.“I know you are very ill. Like a good Zen student, you are facing that sickness squarely. You may not know exactly who is suffering, but question yourself: What is the essence of this mind? Think only of this. You will need no more. Covet nothing. Your end which is endless is as a snowflake dissolving in the pure air.”
Questioner: Magdi, what do you make of the many NDE’s that seem to indicate the extension of this embodied awareness into an afterlife?
Magdi: Most NDE’s speak of a body of light and not a physical form. The dissolution of ignorance and identification being incomplete, an afterlife is perceived. Meaning a continuation of the path towards the complete dissolution of the sense of separation.
As long as there is personal desire, the wheel continues to spin. Desire is maintained via the feeling states. Once desire has ended, what afterlife would one be talking about?
Questioner: That is interesting. I have had some intuitive sense that this is the case….the afterlife experience is the last remaining bits of personal identification being burned away. “Walking toward the Light”….to realize You are the Light.
Magdi: The complete realization ‘I am the universal light’, the reality of awareness… ends the process of time and space and returns them to the source. ‘After’ life ends and only the celebration, contemplation and awe remain, void of identification.
Questioner: So hard to truly understand from this vantage point.
Magdi: Personal desire maintain the wheel of samsara. Personal desire is rooted in the belief and feeling that I am a mortal body mind. The entire play is the play of Consciousness… Celebrating its freedom, infinite potential and love for play.
Questioner: Sometimes this seems like a strange way to “celebrate”.
Magdi: At the circus, when you come out of the tunnel of horror, you giggle and laugh…
Once you realize the snake is a rope, you are relieved and you smile…
Questioner: That sounds nice.