Death & Loss: Quotes (7 of 8)

We share some quotations (compiled by Arun Wakhlu) on the subject of Death.

“Birth is not the beginning, Death is not the end”. (Chuang-Tsu)

“Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves”. (Rabindranath Tagore)

“If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide into the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one”. (Kahlil Gibran)

It is clear to me as daylight that life and death are but phases of the same thing, the reverse and obverse of the same coin. In fact tribulation and death seem to me to present a phase far richer than happiness or life…Death is as necessary for a mans growth as life itself. (Mahatma Gandhi)

“Men who have seen life and death…an unbroken continuum, the swinging pendulum, have been able to move as freely into death as they walked through life. Socrates went to the grave almost perplexed by his companions’ tears”. (Voltaire)

“The thought of death leaves me in perfect peace, for I have a firm conviction that our spirit is a being of indestructible nature; it works on from eternity to eternity, it is like the sun, which though it seems to set to our mortal eyes, does not really set, but shines on perpetually”. (Goethe)

“Awareness of approach to death can be a beautiful thing, a frame into which we can put the work of art that is our life, our personal masterpiece”. (June Singer)

“Whether it is seen in personal terms or trans-personal terms, whether it is heaven or nirvana or happy hunting ground or the garden of paradise, the weight and authority of tradition maintains that death is just an alteration in our state of consciousness, and that the quality of our continued existence in the afterlife depends on the quality of our living here and now”. (John Smith)

“The reality of my life cannot die for I am the indestructible consciousness”. (Paramahansa Yogananda)

“There are many levels of life which we cannot see and know, yet which certainly exist . There is a larger world, vast enough to include immortality. Our spiritual natures belong to this larger world. If death is apparently an outward fact, immortality is an inner certainty”. (Manly P. Hall)

“The disembodied soul does not part with Nature when it leaves the earth-life but, rather, it rises to a plane of Nature which is fuller, richer and sweeter in everyway than the best of which the earth dwelling soul dreams. The dross of materiality burned away by the astral vibrations, the soul blossoms and bears spiritual fruit in the new life”. (Yogi Ramacharaka)

“The breaking of forms which we call death releases the consciousness within for the for the new adventure of building other forms for further growth”. (Joy Mills)

“These bodies of the embodied One, who is eternal, indestructible and boundless, are known as finite. The embodied One is not born, nor does he die, nor having been, ceases he any more to be; unborn, perpetual, eternal and ancient, he is not slain when the body is slaughtered. As a man, casting worn-out garments, takes new ones, so the dweller in the body, casting off worn-out bodies, enteres into others that are new. For certain is death for the born, and certain is birth for the dead; therefore over the inevitable you shouldn’t grieve”. (Bhagavad Gita)

“In the great wisdom traditions we are told of a period of evaluation following the transition beyond life in physical form. It is told that as we cross into other levels of being, what we have to offer is the result of the choices of action we have taken throughout the time on earth. This is looked upon kindly by the guardians, allowing us to see the effects of our choosing and how in certain instances, we might have chosen better. It is without harsh judgement but simply seeing clearly and with perception”. (Anonymous)

“What is perhaps the most incredible common element in the accounts of near death experiences (NDE) is the encounter with a very bright light. The love and warmth that emanates from this Being to the dying person are utterly beyond words, and he feels completely at ease and accepted in the presence of this Being; he is ineluctably drawn to it”. (Raymond Moody)

“Or even the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it”. (Ecclesiastes)

“My beloved soul, having awakened at last into my peace, you can return consciously and completely to your own original Source. As this homecoming fills you with in expressible joy it pervades Allah Most High with profound delight as well. You will experience the perfect union with Love that is my highest paradise”. (Lex Hixon)

“I have got my leave, bid me farewell, my brothers! I bow to you all and take my departure. Here I give back the keys of my door and give up all claims to my house. I ask only for the last kind words from you. We were neighbours for long but I received more than I could give. Now the day has dawned and the lamp that lit my dark corner is out; a summons has come and I am ready for my journey. (Rabindranath Tagore)

“In the old way, when it was time to die, the old ones would go off by themselves feeling that the moment of death was as intimate between them and the Earth Mother as the moment of birth is between human mother and child. They would find a quiet place and there make prayers to the Great Spirit, thanking him for life they enjoyed. They would sing their song, and they would die”. (Sun Bear and Wabun)

“Great Spirit when we come singing.
When we face the sunset
the last song, may it be,
without shame, singing
“it is finished in beauty
it is finished in beauty!”
(Evelyn Eaton)

“I wished there were a place for gracious dying,
A high place with a distant view.
Where we could gather for a celebration of life
and death and friendship, old and new.
I’d like a place where there would be good music,
Good food and wine – and laughter, games and fun-
And quiet talk with friends and good discussion
Of what will happen when this life is done”.
(Helen Ansley)

“Letting the last breath come. Letting the last breath go. Dissolving, dissolving into vast space, the light body released from its heavier form. A sense of connectedness with all that is, all sense of separation dissolved in the vastness of being. Each breath melting into space as though it were the last”. (Stephen Levine)

“There are only two faces to existence – birth and death – and life survives them both. Just as sunrise and sunset are not essentially different: it all depends on whether one is facing east or west”. (Joy Mills)

“In the face of such a mystery, we need to tread gently and respectfully… As far as is humanly possible, it is the business of the living to help the dying a natural death in a way that is in keeping with death’s beauty and grandeur”. (Catherine Roberts)

Reflection

  • We love life so deeply, it is only human to fear and shun death. How can you accept death as an inevitable aspect of the cycle of life … and make peace with it?
  • What are your most important messages for your near and dear ones?
  • What can you do to live the remaining days to the fullest?

More from this series

Title About the article
Part 1: Death Unites Us All Traditional societies were closely connected with nature’s continuous cycles of birth-growth-decay-death, and marked these rites of passage with specific and well-established rituals and sacraments. Modern society seems to have lost this close contact with these natural cycles.
Part 2: Five Stages of Grieving Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of death, describes the four stages of Denial, Anger, Bargaining and Depression that people pass through when coping with any severe loss, including their own death.
Part 3: Cancer’s Five Shocks With cancer, there are five major ‘shocks’ that a person/ his family has to deal with.
Part 4: What Actually Happens at the Time of Death Caring for a dying person, especially at home can be difficult and daunting.
Part 5: Top Five Regrets of the Dying Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them. When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five.
Part 6: How to Die Before You Die Perhaps the most exciting and empowering aspect of death is that it resets your clock to zero. By sharply ending what has gone before, it creates space for a new beginning – a rebirth of sorts.
Part 7: Quotes We share some quotations (compiled by Arun Wakhlu) on the subject of Death
Part 7: Video (When I Die) How do we approach death whilst embracing life? How can we change the conversation around death and palliative care for the terminally ill?

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