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Generic Meditation Issues: Death

The 36 year old son of a friend was killed in an accident earlier this week.  Messages of condolence and grief have been surging through my e-mail, and I have tried to participate in this exchange to the best of my ability.  Thanks to my wife, I think my responses have been "normal," that my words of condolence have been appropriate, if not helpful.

My natural and adoptive parents, a younger brother, several colleagues, and  a couple friends (and I don't have many) have died during my adult life, yet I have to say that I have never "experienced" death.  Persons with Asperger's syndrome, as I believe myself to be, do not react emotionally to stimuli in the same way as normal people.  Those of us who are high functioning sometimes compensate by trying to figure the stimulus out intellectually.  Intellectually, I see death as an inevitable event or process which ends at a horizon which the living cannot see across.  Thus it is pointless to speculate about what happens after death.  I know this is not normal, but it seems to be where I am stuck.

I read somewhere that the Dalai Lama meditates daily on his own death.  I have no idea what that would be like.  I understand that death (along with suffering and injustice) is one of the main reasons why religion exists in the first place.  If things won't turn out right here, maybe they will turn out as they should in another dimension of reality, e.g. heaven.  Yet, death has never bothered me, at least not as a moral or spiritual problem.  Of course it scares me, my wife needs my care, neither of us knows what she would do if I should die before her. But so far as the other side is concerned, I think I would be okay with just about any outcome.  (Except eternal damnation, of course, which is one of the many reasons that I could never return to fundamentalism.)

How do neurotypical (non-autistic) people take death into account in their spiritual excercises?  I have no idea.  I could sure use some help on this.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 16th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
Hmmmm. Well,I believe myself to be neurotypical, and I just don't bother about it much. (So you can imagine how I react to Woody Allen at what he apparently thinks his most profound.)
Nov. 16th, 2008 04:28 am (UTC)
Thanks ameabi, my spouse feels the same way. Maybe this is a problem that we are supposed to have because the philosophers and theologians say so? Or maybe its a problem men have, since death is primarily death of the ego?
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Death
I wonder.

I think about my predecessor at the church I now pastor, who wouldn't wear robes and went on and on about pastors abusing their role and assuming too much power-- and who was the informational and planning center of the church for at least her last two-three years here, so that no one much knew what was up, and committees almsot never met, and seldom got to make choices that would be enacted.

That is, I think you may be right that the folks who think this is centrally, unavoidably important may simply not be able to deal with ceasing to exist. Just as a lot of folks with theodicy problems seem to me to be cranky that God doesn't seem to be doing what they would....
Nov. 16th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Death
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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