• Pat Green

No One Is Getting Out of Here Alive

In my life there have been quite a few hardships that have had me no longer care if I lived or died. It was never a spiritual enlightenment, it was a resignation that there was no beauty to see and nothing in this moment to hang onto. It was a moment of not mattering.

In my recent life adventures, events have conspired against my laissez-faire attitude where I now embrace what many see as the futile efforts of Dylan Thomas’ strivings to not go gentle into the night. I know that this issue is going to be full of reports of various spiritual dimension of death and new life. I embrace my peers for their writing in this work. I also appreciate the reality that no one gets out of here alive.

Do I believe there is something beyond? I think so. I am a follower of Jesus and I also really appreciate the Mahayana Buddhist teaching on the afterlife. In both you have a teaching of a completeness and a beauty. I also accept that no one really knows what is on the other side save those who have already crossed over and are not in a position to speak on the matter.

What I do know is that we live in an ever changing world of impermanence and all I really have is this moment. The moments I am having now are having a change on my fundamental view on what it means to be alive and to live. In this moment I have life and I intend to live it with everything I am and everything I hope to be.

I live in more love right here and right now than I ever have and I do not want to miss a thing right here and right now. I do not want to lose right here and right now. I know it is attachment and I also know that there will be one day when I will be forced to detach the mortal coil. But that day is not today. The facts and my emotions on the matter are not in conflict in my opinion.

Fact: I will die someday. Emotions: I really love my life and those around me right and I will cling to that as long as I can, even if I have to rage against the dying of the light till I breathe my last. When you see her eyes staring into yours, when you feel the human touch that exhilarates you, when the world is brighter and lighter and more lovely, it is worth fighting for one more day. It is worth one more sunrise, sunset, smile and embrace.

But here is the last fact I cannot escape:

I am of the nature to grow old.

There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill-health.

There is no way to escape having ill-health.

I am of the nature to die.

There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love

are of the nature to change.

There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings.

I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.

My actions are the ground on which I stand.

If the five remembrances of the Buddha are correct and Jesus’ reminder to be present in the parable of the sower is correct, then my actions in this moment are the ground in which I stand.

I stand on eating well, I stand on exercise, I stand on self care. I stand in actions seeped in love that wishes for the betterment of those I love and the love I have for myself.

It is in this way that I rage against the dying of the light. Since it is a war that I will ultimately lose to the night, then all I can do is make now matter.

Make now matter. No one is getting out of here alive.


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