Kaṭha Upaniṣad: The Secret Teachings of Death

“The great message of the universe is not that you survive. It is that you are awakened into a process in which nothing ultimately survives. Everything ultimately changes. Everything that rises also falls…the Law [is to become] a sacrifice, to yield one’s independent position.”

— Easy Death, Da Free John

The Wise Child

There’s something that you will never forget in your life. I know I haven’t. It’s the first time you see a dead body—the first time you meet Death. 

I was 12 when it happened to me. Our eighth grade had just returned from the annual class trip. We’d taken a luxury coach to Washington, D.C. and I sat next to a guy I knew from science class—Andy whom we all called “Sharky.” We spent the whole way chatting, munching, and snorting over jokes.

The next day we were told in school that Andy-aka-Sharky had died.   

Out of the blue. 

We were invited for the “viewing” and that’s when I saw it—the shell that used to contain my friend. Later my mother asked me what it was like, my first funeral. 

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