This post seems especially fitting considering the news I have just heard (which I will hopefully discuss soon, to a degree). Human beings look at death as a dreary occasion, one that has many downsides and no upsides. Yes, death is sad because it is just so final. Tons of memories abound from seemingly nowhere, taking you back to a different time and place in not in the dying person’s life but also your own. Sometimes, it’s just too much to bear.
I happened to come across an interesting quote from a man I have come to highly respect, albeit through his words and statements. Chuang-Tzu is not only a beacon for Taoism, but one for living a good life and putting things into perspective when maybe there is dwindling hope or overriding pessimism. The fact is, we all understand how life works: you are born, you try to live a decent life and then you die. What happens before birth and after death is another conversation, but it’s one that we as humans should think about from time to time. Basically, remember the good times. Remember that the suffering eventually ends for everyone, in whatever way you decipher.
Here is the excerpt I read:
When Chuang-Tzu’s wife died his friend came to visit him only to find him singing merrily and drumming on pots and pans.
His friend said, “I know you’re a Taoist Master and that life and death do not affect you, but to be singing after your wife dies, is this not a bit much?”
Chuang replied, “At first when my wife passed I was sad and wept. But then I realized there was something formless and perfect long before my wife was born. Then this spirit of life was breathed into her body. I was fortunate enough to meet her and spend time with such a beautiful person. Then it was time for the spirit of life to leave her body just as all things change. To be upset about this is to live counter to the Tao. So I stopped crying and started celebrating.”