The If you are good, you will get foundation philosophy which society lives by teaches us that unless we can prove our worth, we will miss out on our requirements for development and survival. This is really just another way of saying we will DIE. Missing out equals death to the subconcious mind, because most people believe death is a case of missing out. In society, we are often taught that death is inherently bad, and always to be feared. Of course, death is a very real thing, and one of the only guarantees in life. But is death really an example of missing out? Is it actually possible to miss out on your requirements for development and survival?
Well let’s start with survival. Your requirements for survival include everything your physical body needs in order stay alive long enough to receive the development (life experiences) you were meant to* receive. Everyone who is alive is obviously receiving these requirements or they would not be alive. Everyone who is dead has already received these requirements. They now either no longer exist and so there is no-one there who can be missing out, or you could say that the components they are made of have moved on and are performing work elsewhere, and so they live on in a sense. If you believe in some form of afterlife, this is still not a case of missing out. The only view of afterlife which includes missing out is the idea of being eternally punished in hell, and this is obviously an incorrect concept which has evolved out the notion of free will and the if you are good, you will get philosophy. So no one ever misses out on their requirements for survival and existence. But what about development? Well that all depends on which model you are using to measure the success and progress of your life. If you believe that development is measured by the accomplishment of desired outcomes, then you will most definitely have many times when it feels like you are missing out on what you need. On the other hand, if you understand that development is correctly measured by the gaining of wisdom – an accurate account of reality, and that every experience you ever go through facilitates this development, then you will understand that no, it is impossible for anyone to ever miss out on the requirements for their development or survival! This certainly does not mean you will ever live up to the superhuman feat of never getting lost amonst incorrect thoughts and experiencing the fear these thoughts cause. It happens to everyone – to be human means to be in a process of growth.
But of course, people most definitely die. So if death is not a case of missing out on our needs for survival and development, what on earth is it? Well, it is simple. Death is change. Nothing more. Death is simply a process of change. And this process of change is how the world works, so to call it “bad” is not very wise. They say the earth and ourselves were born from the ashes of dead stars. I think this is a good metaphor to explain that death and birth are just two sides of the same coin.
Of course it is completely human and to be expected that the death of a loved one would bring on some form of grief. And of course since every person is performing a valuable role, we must make every effort to preserve life. But in order to help someone who is suffering after the death of a loved one, I think Byron Katie has the best advice: Thank the person for dying right on time.
*By “meant to” I mean that a person’s life unfolds the only way that it can given everything involved in the process which causes it to go that way. They receive the only life span possible.