Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Photo Meditation of the Month (February, 2010): DEATH


A dead bird, a torn sandal, and a piece of deadwood
are symbols of death, as seen near a stream
on a beach on the Oregon Coast, USA

Photo (Oregon Coast, USA: 1976) © Jerome D'Costa


In the above photo, we see the symbols of death. If there is a birth, there is a death, too. Death is a sure and eternal truth -- for human beings, and the flora and fauna. The difference between human beings and other living organisms is that humans have a soul and a free will, whereas others don't have these. The body is mortal, but this soul is immortal. Because of the soul, humans are unique beings.

We came to this world for a period of time to go to another life upon our death. Those who believe in God, also believe that God sent us to this world to lead a life so that we be worthy to be with him in the life eternal. For this purpose, we are to love God and our neighbours in this world in such a way that we we be worthy for him. If we do not live worthily in this world, we will live our next life in an unblessed way -- devoid of the blessings of God.

Atheists say that there's neither God nor afterlife. When human life comes to an end in this world, there's nothing more to be expected or no other place to go to.

If there's no God, no afterlife, then we are like other animals and the flora. If it is so, then we could live a life like animals. If it is so -- if upon death everything comes to an end -- why do we need to live a good life -- loving our neighbours, showing courtesies to others, striving for good virtues, and working for peace? Like animals, we could just fight for our food, forcibly take away others' things, sleep wherever we can, and die -- and then finitum est (everything is finished)! Why spend so much time, money and effort in child rearing and parenting, other training and education, discovery and invention? Why do we need aesthetics, ethics, morality, music, plays, movies, and the like?

It's in the human heart that death leads us to another life. We saw in the rural areas in our country (Bangladesh) -- where most of the people are illiterate -- that as people age, they gain more understanding and realization that death is approaching and they prepare themselves for death by good behaviour and increased religious practices. Nobody forces them to do so. If there was nothing after death, why would they behave like this naturally?

If we focus on death, if we believe in God and afterlife, we will lead our life in a befitting manner and be ready to enter the blessed life eternal.

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