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3 contemplations about existence and death

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What Doesn’t Exist?

The past,
the future,
only now exists.

What is now?

What is feeling?
A sensation,
a thought about
an experience.

What is an experience?
What is happening right now,
what happened in the past,
what will happen in the future.

What is the future?
The future is to come,
the unknown,
what we think might happen.

What will happen?
Whatever happens 
will happen in this very moment,
and this moment, right now,
is all we can know.

What is unknown?
The future, life
and death,
why and who we are.

Why is this moment happening, and why are we experiencing it?
That’s unknown, my friend,
and part of the mystery.

What do we know?
Our present-moment experience,
our memories of the past
and our thoughts about the future.

So what isn’t real?
You invent a “you,”
and imagine time
and death
and nothingness,
and fear them all.

So what does exist?
This present-moment experience,
thoughts, sensations, life.

What is life?
Life is aligned with the present moment;
it can’t be separated from it,
and you are life.

So I’m life in the moment?
You depend on the moment,
for without the moment, there can be no life,
and no you.

And so, what doesn’t exist?
Everything that isn’t in this moment;
nothing exists outside of now.
This is it, 
this is all there is.

What about time and death? 
Time doesn’t exist,
and death is nothing,
and there is no such thing as nothing.

So nothing doesn’t exist?
Only “something” exists.
Time, death and a separate self 
haven’t been proven to exist;
they’re all nothing more than ideas and concepts.

No “me” and no death?!
It’s only as you imagine;
if there is no time and no you,
there can be no death to experience.
We’re saved, except there is no one to save.

So there is no me, right?
There isn’t a you that comes from thought.
The you that you think you are doesn’t exist;
the idea of you is imagined.

Am I no one and nothing?
There is a you;
you are the alive presence in this moment,
a living, breathing, thinking, feeling being. 
That is you.

Living in the now, right?
You are here only for now,
but now is all there is;
now is eternal,
now is everything.

What will happen to me in the future?
What doesn’t exist can’t be experienced,
and can’t harm you, ever,
so there is no future to fear.

So do I exist or not?
Of course you exist,
because here you are,
but you’re not who you think you are.

Who do I think I am?
You think you’re a thought-based identity,
but that doesn’t exist in reality.
You made yourself up;
we all have.

So what does exist?
Thinking exists,
the body exists,
life exists,
but the you that you think you are doesn’t.

The personal individual identity doesn’t exist, right?
That is the illusion, imagined,
which leaves us not knowing what we are.
We can only think and imagine ourselves
to be something we’re not,
something that doesn’t exist.

So what are we?
We don’t know.
Other life forms don’t know,
but they don’t know they don’t know.
We think we know,
but we don’t know, either.

What should I do?
Just be in this present-moment experience,
and know you don’t know,
not just who you are but what you are.

But what if I want to figure it out?
Realize that the mind is limited,
and doesn’t have the capacity to know
what it can’t know.

What is the most I can know?
You can wake up to the reality
that no one knows.

So what shall I think about?
Be with not knowing,
and let thinking be.

Artist painting at easel on canvas

The Stillness of the Timeless Moment

Here we are, alive
in this moment
of timeless stillness,
as we move, think and feel.

Even if there was no life,
the timeless moment would still be here,
but without movement, without feeling, without thought—

You’re aliveness within the stillness,
a magnificent manifested expression,
experiencing yourself just as you are
in the eternal now
that can never die.

You aren’t moving through life,
for you are life,
passing through the present moment
of timeless stillness.

We imagine ourselves as part of time,
which is a thought-based concept
that doesn’t really exist;
but this moment of timeless stillness
is really the reality of all there is.

Stillness is here, now and always:
the backdrop and the foreground,
the canvas and the paint
and the painter that’s you.

You are the present moment,
experiencing yourself in so many ways,
but always within the peace and the stillness
of now.

Time seems to be moving fast,
running out, never enough;
the faster we go,
the less there is.

As we perceive ourselves travelling at a pace
towards a future that doesn’t exist,
we remain always in the timeless moment,
our still and present saviour.

There is no need for time;
you don’t even need it
to get things done.
Doing happens anyway, regardless.

It’s not time but the present moment
that can’t be stopped,
an immovable, indestructible, unstoppable force
expressed as you.

You can only ever know yourself,
alive in this timeless moment,
for that’s all there is
and all you can ever know.

We live in a world of contrasts and opposites,
of clarity and complexity
and shades of grey,
of this and that.

Happiness and pain;
successes, triumphs and failures;
hopes, wants and dreams;
beauty, destruction and love.

Life is here,
always in this moment,
and you get to experience
whatever is happening right now,
for this moment is all you’ll ever know.

The immovable, indestructible, unstoppable force
that’s timeless stillness
is where everything happens
and all of life occurs.

The best of it
and the worst of it,
all within the peace,
the quiet and the stillness
of this timeless moment.

Life within stillness,
it’s here to stay;
it can never end,
for it’s here now,
just as you are.

Life is movement, experienced now,
all within the stillness
of this timeless moment.
And all of that is who you are.

Senior man sitting under tree

The Death of Thoughts About Death

What are thoughts?
Something we experience,
a nonstop production line;
one at a time,
they come and go.

Can thought be stopped?
When we die, we won’t experience thought;
then we’ll be part of the nothingness 
that can’t be experienced,
but thought will go on in others.

But my thoughts will end, right?
Thoughts aren’t personal or independent;
we all have the same thoughts 
within individualized circumstances
and a seemingly unique perception.

Why do we think our thoughts are unique?
Because each thought is dependent on particular variables
based on what has happened before,
the uniqueness of your circumstances 
and the changing moment.

But surely, I’m in control of my thoughts?
There is no one here thinking thoughts,
it’s just thought thinking,
and thought is thinking it’s a “me,”
an identity.

Is it all going to end for me when I die?
Nothing really comes to an end;
there is no one to die,
and thought goes on in others,
as does life.

So thought isn’t personal, it’s not me?
Thought is just thought,
occurring in this moment,
as part of life
until death do us part.

What dies, exactly?
The body dies,
and doesn’t mind at all;
thought does mind,
and doesn’t want to die,
but thought isn’t anything.

So thought dies?
No, thought continues to think,
in other living organisms that are capable of thinking;
death separates thought from the body.

So who am I?
You think you’re your body and your thoughts;
you think you own yourself,
but you aren’t your body or your thoughts.

So again, who am I?
You’re nothing and no one,
and everything and everyone,
experienced as an individualized you 
in this moment.

That doesn’t tell me who I am.
You aren’t whatever you think you are.
You’re a blank canvas,
empty and available,
ready and waiting.

Available for what?
Always, something is happening;
you notice, you respond, you initiate, you react,
and you sense, think and feel.
You create ideas, hopes and dreams.

But who is doing that?
No one.
Thought is thinking,
emotions are felt,
the senses sense
and that’s it.

Is there no one here, really?
There is just the thought-machine
thinking thoughts,
within a living organism that’s
believing whatever it thinks.

So what happens when I die?
You can’t know, ever,
not even in death will you know,
for there is nothing to know.

Is death nothingness?
Well, death isn’t “somethingness.”
It’s outside of our conception,
so we can only imagine it as something,
something that it’s not.

So what is nothing?
There really is no such thing as nothing.
Nothing isn’t something;
thus, it can’t be experienced,
so it’s a feared unknown.

So we can’t experience death, because it’s nothing?
We can’t experience nothing,
because nothing can’t exist,
so death isn’t something
that can be experienced.

What is an experience, exactly?
Something that happens right now,
in this moment,
which is the only moment there is.

But death happens right now, doesn’t it?
The end of a life happens right now,
and after that there is nothing
that can’t be experienced,
because nothing doesn’t exist.

You can’t know that there is nothing after death.
True, death is an unknown,
and so, in this life, we can’t know.
All we can know is our present-moment experience,
and in this moment, we experience life.

So does time or the moment stop when we die?
Everything continues:
Life, thought and the present moment.
The thing that dies
is your belief that you’re a “you.”

But—you can’t know that there is no soul-identity after death?
What we know is that thought is experienced through a living organism,
that thought believes it’s a separate identity,
and that thought happens within an living body.
We know nothing about death,
perhaps because it doesn’t exist.

But what about the soul?
The soul is a thought-created concept,
and if there was a soul, would it be able to think?
As far as we know, the soul doesn’t exist,
and if did exist, we wouldn’t know what it is.

So we can only go with what we know?
We can know what we know,
and we can know that we don’t know what we don’t know;
we know that life and the present moment exists,
and that we’re living, breathing, feeling and thinking, right now.

Where did all those that lived before go?
Billions of thought-based identities have died;
they haven’t gone anywhere,
as there is nowhere to go.
Thought and life continues in other beings
who think they’re what they’re not.

Doesn’t the fact that I think prove that I “am”?
It proves that thinking is happening, that’s all.
You experience this present-moment thought,
but all of your previous thoughts have come and gone.
Where are your old thoughts now?

So what is the point of life?
We live to experience this moment, right now,
experienced as a separate, individualized self.
That’s all we can know,
it’s all there is.

What is the point of death?
Death doesn’t happen to anyone;
life continues, life doesn’t die, it can’t. 
Life, thought and this present moment continue.

But I’ll die, surely?
The you that you think you are will die,
but the you that you think you are
never existed anyway.
Our beliefs and ideas about who we are die, that’s all.

So who am I, anyway?
You don’t know, you can’t know,
and if you don’t know who you are,
who, then, actually dies?
There is no one there to die.

What will happen when I die?
There will be nothing to experience,
but you won’t know that,
for you won’t experience the nothingness of death.

I’m afraid of that.
We fear the unknown future of death,
and imagine it to be something it’s not.
So, my friend, don’t fear death—
don’t fear what can’t be experienced.

But how can I not fear the terror of not existing?
It’s only terrifying when you think about it.
It can only be a present-moment fear,
occurring whenever you happen to imagine it.
No thoughts of death equal no fear of death.

But I can’t stop myself from thinking about it, can I?
No, but you can know what thought is and isn’t;
thought created a false identity that you call you,
thought occurs in the present moment
and imagines an unknowable future. 

How can I stop worrying about dying?
You can’t die,
only the illusionary thought-based identity dies,
and that’s not who you are.

So who am I?
What you experience in this moment
is who you are,
and thought is part of that experience.

Why am I so afraid of dying?
Death is an imagined future
that will never come.
It’s not possible for those who experience life
to experience death.

But I don’t want to die?
You fear a future of no longer experiencing yourself alive;
only humans are able to worry about dying.
Death isn’t something you can experience,
so you’ll never experience yourself in that way,
you’ll never know death. 

So what will I experience when I die?
We can’t experience what doesn’t exist,
so when death comes,
the fear of death will no longer exist.
There will be no thought,
and it’s only thought that’s afraid of not existing.

So it’s only thought that fears death?
It’s only the thought-based identity thinking,
so the thought of death is only a thought
occurring in this moment, nothing more.

But I’m a person, and I’m afraid to die.
You believe in your thought-based identity,
but that’s not who you are;
you think you’re a person,
and the person you think you are is afraid to die.
You’re not your thoughts,
it’s just thought thinking.

So who am I, again?
You’re life living in the eternal moment;
you’re part of the great mystery,
which includes not knowing who you are.
Yet, here you are.

And why am I here?
You’re here to experience this moment,
as it is right now.
That is all there is,
it’s why you’re here
and it’s everything that you are.

It seems so pointless.
You aren’t here for nothing;
you’re here to experience life,
just for this moment,
to experience it right now.

So is the death that I fear something that doesn’t exist?
Do not fear death, my friend,
for it can never be experienced.
It’s part of the nothingness
that doesn’t exist.

What will happen to me?
Death will never happen to you;
you’ll never die.

Death is the worst thing I can imagine happening to me.
The worst that can happen
is that one day you’ll believe you’re dying,
but the good news is that the death you fear 
will never happen.

What can I do about all of this?
Be aligned to this moment,
and connected to others, yourself and everything,
without the fear of a future
that will never come.

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image 1: Pixabay; image 2: Pixabay; image 3: Pixabay

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