There is a place and a time in some people’s lives where they come to a point in which they must answer the most wretched question there could be in human existence. The question of, “Live or die?”
Years ago I found myself swaying on the fringe of what it means to live. On the edge of my existence I had to make the decision of whether or not I wanted to continue to endure the human condition, a life of inevitable and unavoidable pain. To begin to believe that such a state of mind, such a scenario could never be possible is to deny the legitimacy of your own expansion of consciousness. There are millions of people the world over who know and understand that moment of truth that I’m describing. Everyday there are hundreds to thousands of people in our world who come to face this decision. They, like myself, find themselves staring into the abyss of death and contemplating the value and purpose of their very lives. If you have never done this, you have no idea or even the sheer possibility of understanding how it feels.
One famous person who knows what I have seen and what I have felt is a man named Eckhart Tolle. He wrote a book in the late 90’s entitled, The Power of Now. A book that attempted to touch on the awakening and enlightening of evaluating ones own life, to weigh the pros and cons of death by choice. It is a grand book that does well to begin to express how this feels and what may come of making that decision. Another man named Viktor Frankl who survived the worst possible experience humankind has ever known, the Holocaust, also touched on this in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, an immensely good book that touched my very soul.
I have chosen these two men as examples because while they both chose to live, one experienced something afterwards that the other did not. On the morning after Eckhart had wanted to commit suicide, he awakened with the dawn to an alarming sense of awareness. A state of bliss only someone who has made the choice to live could ever lay witness to. Everything that he had once overlooked in life, everything that he had taken for granted for so long, seemed so vivid, alive and beautiful.
Viktor did not experience this. The horrors of his experience impeded any possibility of this state of awareness. He lived out his life, half the man he ever was before because he lost a part of himself. He became a quiet and serious man who decided to study psychology and the workings of the human mind. Perhaps in an attempt to understand his own mind and to evaluate the dark things he remembered everyday, a flashback of hell that never went away even unto his death.
Like these well known men and many more worldwide who’s names you will never hear, I have endured my own battle of considering death over life. I have seen things in my head and felt things so far and deep within, I felt as though the very Universe itself existed within me. So dark and so overwhelming these things were to me that how I ever decided to live still baffles me. How I walked away from that place is a puzzle to me, one that I alone may never complete.
My mastery of word craft may never be enough for me to convey to you the suffocating vastness of that place or state of mind. I say suffocating vastness because while I felt constricted and quarantined from mankind in a cell who’s walls caved in upon me, I also felt as though I was in a world all my own. A world that was so empty it seemed endless, a world with a dark sky without stars and a murky ocean beneath my feet that threatened to swallow me at any moment. To bring me down into its cold depths and bear me witness to the eerie and lifeless echoes of those who drowned in the same icy blackness. Those who’s eyes have lost the light of spirit, who’s dead glare haunted me in my dreams. Dreams that threatened to take me far beyond the brink of sanity and salvation, to bleakly live forever in the chaos of my own consciousness.
This is it. This is all that remains of me. A gift given so long ago that took death’s hand to bring it to my awareness. Fear and pain blinded me from all that laid before me, my mind slipped away from normalcy and society to be reborn through the turmoil of a hell few have ever known. It came to pass because it had to. Everyone is here for something, everyone has at least one grand truth to learn, a lesson we must endure. Every soul comes here knowing this and every soul is guided down that road by the Hand of God. Love and hate, good and evil, right and wrong need not apply, wisdom is the only treasure at the end of this trail. A soul is an empty jar in the beginning and life fills it with what it needs to continue its journey of expansion and eventually the end-state called wholeness.
No matter what physical body my soul infiltrated while coming into this world, it had a purpose, a mission to complete. This very soul is who I am, the body I inhabit is not me. Without a physical presence a soul cannot exist here without becoming forsaken, souls without vehicles are lost here in time and space. Elements that would normally never apply to or hinder them outside this plane of existence. When souls are born through human life they often forget everything they learned in past lives, but they (we) know that we are here for a reason and we live our lives in search of figuring out and accomplishing that goal. This is why some people seem to be “gifted” or naturally talented. They have learned those things before in past lives and remember and carry it into their next. It’s etched in their DNA with the very spirit (essence) that drives and ultimately causes all life here and beyond. It is etched by the purest and greatest collaboration of this essence, many call this unrelinquishing and insatiable spirit, God.
There are many great men and women who have come and gone, left their mark on this world that will last until the era of this world ends. For life is a cycle, beginning where it ended and ending again before it begins another cycle, over and over endlessly. The very Universe itself follows this physical circle of life and death. Everything made of matter will perish and be born anew, but the Spirit that drives it, it’s source of energy and power, never ceases. It is recycled again and again. Quintessentially, were are all one in the same, born of the same and return to the same. The essence of existence, the Spirit, is inexplicably the same, every soul is made purely of this source, everything made of matter from this physical world called Earth and our Universe is powered by the drive and energy of this Spirit. Spirit is faceless, emotionless, colorless, tasteless, invisible. Alone, without matter, it is incapable of being felt or perceived on this plane of existence, but the clues to its presence and its effects on physical matter is all around us and within us. Neither physical matter nor Spirit (God) alone can individually create life on Earth or in this Universe, only when they are together, when spirit touches matter, does life exist.
Every life is worth the same, we are all made of the same things. Unfathomably we are one another, as every drop of rain in the ocean is the ocean, no matter what cloud it falls from.
I once said, several essays ago, that I am not divine, I am not supernatural and I do not know things you will never know. This remains true, for each existence is a stepping stone to another level of consciousness, another chance at gaining wisdom. Everything we go through here or beyond becomes a part of who and what we are. In correlation to the things I have endured: I came here to learn these things because in this place there are people who need me to know these things. I have a place in this world, as do you, we cannot end our journey here by our own hands or by each others. We will pass when we have done what we were supposed to do, no matter how trivial you may think someones purpose was. Profoundly enough, your purpose here could simply be to smile at a particular person. You may think that’s not reasonable, but consider that your smile on that day in that particular place and time in their life could change them for all eternity. That possibility, my friend, is profound enough for me and I could never ask for anything more than to make at least one person’s life here better.
You, whomever you may be, might wonder what I believe my life purpose to be? I have thought about this myself for a very long time. I believe that my purpose is to change people’s lives in some small or major way. I will leave this place when that task is complete and I blissfully accept the fact that I will never know when that is. By writing down my thoughts, I become imprinted upon the pages of time, establish and leave my mark in the legacy and destiny of all mankind. One life changed or saved is the greatest thing that I could ever hope for. I truly believe with all that I am, that every word I write is one step closer to fulfilling my purpose; to saving people from suicide.
Some people may believe that what I write could never change their life, that nothing I have written would ever save them from anything. This may be true for today and it may be forever, but contemplate all the people you know. Perhaps it is not for your own sake that you have read my words, but for the lives of the ones you love. Listen, look and be aware of your own calling in life, don’t waste your life on useless material things that will never accompany you into the beyond. Life is too short to be spent so unwisely.