As a brief prelude to its death, his body had entered into a coma. Death would be its reward for having lived. Every body gets its own particular death which is meant solely for it, and no other body. Each body will endure its own intimate struggle, but finally exhale and then begin the return back to its atomic elements.
Whatever inhabited that body — consciousness, life force — all of that invisible energy which saw through the eyes of the body, heard through it ears, tasted the world though the body mouth, all of that will have departed, so at last the body can enjoy its own disintegration. It is a process to be savored, ever so gradually flowing like a deathly river into the elemental dust ocean at last.
Those left behind may wonder where the person has gone. It is natural to be confused. Here was a person, but now there is just a body that is suddenly and over time becoming less recognizable. Was there ever really a person, or just a cohesive bundle of thoughts, memories, perceptions, and physical components which seemed to amount to one?
This is not a question any longer for the one who is hovering over the body. Whatever we may imagine it is, it has dropped off the body like last night’s dream and is now going to awaken into a new dream, a dream that is far more luminous than this dim one which we here take to be life, the world, ourselves.
We are all on the verge of walking through that door, but we still linger here for a while, wondering about death and the hereafter, but mostly occupying ourselves with the various arrangements we must make to navigate the brief interval we call “my life”.
Such arrangements are no longer his concern. He may look back fondly, in a way that we might look back on a scene from our childhood and savor its innocent poignancy, knowing what we know now about the wounds and scars which the body will bear, just to finally arrive at this moment of liberation.
Now he is free of all of that, and it was a virtual adventure after all, like a movie in which he played the central character. While the credits are rolling, he drifts slowly out of the theater and into the light. It is nothing like he might have imagined.
The body knows nothing about any of that. It is engrossed in its own mystery. There is no sense of distance any longer from the earth it once walked upon, the cool green grass, the minute movements of the small dirt creatures who blindly feel their way through the unknown expanse, seeking only the modest nourishment necessary to persist a little longer in the forms they momentarily inhabit. The body has become food. In reality, it has always been food, but now it has become a complete meal, offered to the other parts of itself which constitute the world, life, ourselves.
We cannot account for any of this with our confined human sentiment. It is too awesome, too wild and terrible — that everything revolves beyond conception, beyond our willfulness, beyond our control. That everything turns into something else, and that we break into parts of what we thought we were, and that everything goes its own way. We would like to have an answer, even though we are not quite sure what question to ask. For him, there are no questions. This is the answer.