Question: You often speak about the ego, the unconscious structures of our conditionings, and our true nature.I find it difficult to really understand the ego and its belief in separation, and why this is important for a conscious understanding of death and dying. I just don´t want to live any longer in this deep fears of life, of being myself, and of dying.
Veetman: The spiritual search and the question about a conscious death only make sense if we can be open to the fact that there is something in human beings which exists beyond our ordinary limited consciousness, in which we live, suffer, have painful experiences and emotions, and finally have to leave this physical form behind.
We need a great openness, a spiritual intelligence, to ask ourselves: is there something inside this impermanent being which is not going to die? What is love? Who or what am I really behind my roles and masks? Am I only this body and this thinking mind, which only lives in problems and desires, but has no innate wisdom which helps me to be free of suffering and live in fulfillment?
My beloved teacher and spiritual master Osho says it in a precise way:
"It is not possible to understand the mystery of death directly. You will have to look deeply into the existence of the ego".
Our fear of death is the fear to lose our identity, our personality. Our whole personality is based on the deep belief that we are separate from the whole of existence, from our source. And it has become identified with the body, which is impermanent. Our true nature is sometimes revealed when a person dies consciously, and the unconditional love and freedom from all bondages shines through the being. This consciousness exists in every human being, and the body only exists as long as this consciousness remains inside the body. Our true nature has been superimposed by the ego, a false personality that we had to develop to survive and adjust to life in this world as a person.
At our conception we emerge as pure consciousness from the ground of being, existence, TAO, oneness, Brahma, the light...it has many names in our language. The first 20- 30 years we spend more or less intelligent with developing a personality, an identity-project, a mental idea of who we think we are, a name, a form, a role, etc., which we need to exist in this world. But all this happens only in our thinking mind, we had to (unconsciously) repress our essential qualities, our true nature, and we learned to experience life and ourselves through thinking, and in order to make this posible, we had to divide life into small fragments. We have to repress the unity of life, and our society supports demands this repression and control. We use our consciousness to divide life and cut off from our unity of body, mind, and soul.
But we repress also our conscious being, our total aliveness and our trust in existence, which we had when we were a small child. Our collective belief is that we have to adjust ourselves and our life to the demands and values of this superficial self-centered society in order to be happy. A collective hypnosis which is powerful as long as we don´t enquire into the truth of these beliefs and values.
More and more people recognize that this kind of happiness is not possible, because something is missing: the soul of the human being, because the individuality, the true aliveness and freedom is repressed and ignored. To recognize this is the beginning of the spiritual journey.
You are no more contented with superficial pleasures and values like money, security, morality, social roles, because you recognize that your soul is unique, and it is nourished and expressed by love, sensitivity, intimacy, peace, joy, openess, creativity, trust, etc.
When we regain these qualities through ' Inner Work' and meditation, an authentic fulfillment arises,because they are aspects of our true nature.
This joy of being is the significance of our being here- this deep joy with life in all its expressions, nothing is separate from life, people, nature, expression of your uniqueness. And in this recognition, transformation happens, we become fearless, authentic, giving, open, because consciousness cannot be destroyed.
This transformation requires courage and inner strength, because society will pull you down into being a sheep in the crowd, and your metaphysical sleep has a certain seductive power.
There are certain skillful means to become conscious of our true nature, and the spiritual path is a path of awakening from this dream of personality and separation.
My work as a spiritual teacher is to support people to understand and learn to apply these skillful means, and to remember their true nature. It is there inside your being, but it has been forgotten and repressed so deeply that it seems almost lost. You are already that which you are seeking, therefore it can be found in the depth of your being, in silence, in enquiry, in truthfulness, in conscious love and meditation.
And death just reminds us that this lifetime is limited, and we have the choice to life our life at the surface, in comfort, security, desires and expectations, or we can learn to be a 'real human being', who understands himself as an expression of life itself and travels his life´s journey to live the divine on this earth.
If we want to understand why we suffer in this life, why we do not find peace, unity and love, we need an inner "spiritual" intelligence, a great openess, to see through our ego-games; how it functions, and why it is so powerful in directing our behaviours and emotions.
It is an expression of our true intelligence, to find a path to go beyond this ego, which consists of fear and control because it believes itself as cut off from the whole of existence. We inquire into what is our true nature, what is truth, what is love, and if we really can exist separate from life at all. We are no longer satisfied with a life in struggle, isolation, fear, because our yearning for freedom and love lead us forward on this path. We want to experience that life is beautiful and significant, because it is our soul, and we cannot live anymore with fears of a painful or lonely death and the suffering of isolation and fear of ourselves and others.
That´s why we say that death can be the peak of our life, a conscious dissolving into the ground of being, our true nature, which is love and consciousness.
The drop does not have to become the ocean-
it is already it.
It just needs to recognize it.
To know that which is, as it really is-
no matter what it is-, is truth.
And truth liberates.
And it is for this reason that we need a great openess to understand the ego if we want to live
and die beautifully and consciously.
It is called meditation, the great death.
This is the way from ego to essence.