Brian’s Reflection: Monday, February 28, 2011
Death, they say, acquits us of all obligations.
Michel de Montaigne, philosopher; he was
born on this date, 1533
[ Note: Dennis and I are “on the road” this week, so the Reflections may be a little sporadic! ]
As the wonderful cartoon in the New Yorker once said, “Wrongitty wrong wrong!”
MdeM is in one sense “correct” if he is talking about the death of our material bodies. But not when we think about Life and Death in a “larger” way. [Yes, I know, I know; since teaching a course on Cynthia Bourgeault’s book “The Wisdom Jesus”, I’ve become a little “obsessed” with trying to puzzle out the challenges she offers in the understanding of Life ….. sorry!]
So-called physical death is but a step in the process of Life. If we want to understand the much larger dimension of Life, “dying” needs to become a daily if not more frequent activity. Let me put it very simplistically: we can live a Little Life (where we are each separate little beings living in a small circle of Love), or we can live a Big Life (where we are at One with all Existence, Being, Reality, and living as best we can in an infinite circle of Love).
You’d think that the Little Life might be easier? I don’t think so; that’s just fear. The Big Life is far more “wild and precious”! (Mary Oliver) And once we wade in, fear and anxiety dissipate, and it gets more fun! And infinitely more satisfying.
So, MdeM is wrong. Every moment we die to the Little Life (and that can be like a constant orgasm!), we are called to new “obligations” ….. but of course, on the Yellow Brick Road to the Big Life, “obligations” become blessed desires!