Monday, April 12, 2010

On Death, Grief, and Selfishness

We had a death in the family last week. On the day I found out about it I cried. The next day my tears wouldn't come and I had no answer as to why this was.

I loved this person. I still do. I miss them and I always will. This is what the emotional part of my mind keeps chanting. But there is something else I've discovered that lies under that thick layer of grief: joy.

And what is this joy?
Why do I feel this joy?
Where did my tears wander off to on that second day? Are my tear ducts malfunctioning?
Why am I not sad anymore?

I have grieved over loss in my past. This entire experience doesn't feel like the 'grief' I have known in the past, however. This feels different and I only discovered why when I let the rational part of my soul surface and allow me to pick apart every aspect of what I was feeling in a non-judgmental way. This distinction is important if we are to make real progress in finding gnosis. NON-judgmental rational thought. It can be scarier than heck because we're socially conditioned to categorize everything into Good, Bad, and Leave-The-Gray-Area-Alone.

That gray area is where gnosis exists. We have to learn to think outside the box that is this material world.

What I have concluded in my search for answers on this topic is that psychologists' definition of grief is backward in relation to gnosis. They believe and teach others that grief happens in stages. This I cannot really argue with. Our emotions do evolve. But dissecting the fundamental judgment they make about the cause of sadness in grief is dependent on one concept only-- that the sadness is based on a feeling of losing a loved one. The survivors are left behind with too many questions and these will supposedly never be answered. Dig deeper and you'll find an atheist component to this psychological argument. If you believe in heaven are you really losing someone or only have a brief period of time before you do see them again? So who's losing what here?

Psychologists cling to this loss rationale and never dig deeper.

I dare. I'll do it now.

Grief is selfish. It serves no purpose. Why do I say this? Because when you examine the very nature of "losing someone to death" you find that it is wrapped up in the survivor's experience. Not the one who died. It's all about what the survivor supposedly lost.

"I miss him/her!"
"I'll never see them again."
"I feel so lost without them."
"What am I going to do without them?"

Do these thoughts sound familiar?

Let me put this in another light. Suicide. Psychologists(and curiously enough, most religous clergy) teach the world that to commit suicide is the epitome of selfishness. Why? Again, because the survivor would miss out on the loving company of the one who wants to kill him/herself.

What exactly is selfish about realizing how hard and unforgiving and hellish this world is? What sane person wouldn't want out?! The answer is the person who is hylic/somatic. Worldly. Materialistic. Unable to see the forest for the trees. Cannot see the eternal nature that is our soul and our divine parent, Pleroma.

Am I advocating suicide? No. But I am advocating truth and the concept of the Bodhisattva, that is an enlightened person staying to teach instead of going back to Pleroma as they crave.

A Bodhisattva has the choice to stay or go. A person who is hit by a car doesn't. But as survivors we have a choice in how we react to OUR loss. Our jealous loss. We have a choice of either accepting that we will not see that person in their worldly body again until WE die and then move on -- or we can wallow in selfish grief.