Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mortality Consciousness

Mortality Consciousness

In one of his recent YouTube videos on sexuality, Michael Brown speaks of a death wish which he calls mortality consciousness. “Most human beings can’t wait for death,” he says. (

The concept of death for these people represents (it is hoped) the end of suffering, of having to do and experience unpleasant things.

It is an odd conflict that human beings face, because obviously there is also an innate and natural movement toward survival, in all its dimensions. It is safe to assume that no plant or animal also experiences such mortality consciousness.

From a “spiritual” point of view we can say that it is not the death of the person, but rather the false persona, the ego, that limited and imperfect sense of self, that is desired. A human being senses, however dimly, that this entity is not the truth of who he or she is, and wants it to get out of the way.

For the majority of human kind throughout history however, such a maneuver has not been feasible or possible. The world has been “too much with” them, to quote the poet.

Therefore, death as we commonly think of it has been the only practical escape from the tiny, imperfect, loathsome world of their awareness.

In these present times, we believe this is changing, and that death is becoming more integrated as a transitional state of experience. Perhaps it could even be considered an initiation into a life with greater depth - one that is not based on the ego/world. This is not death of the body, but death of what has kept the body in a state of “separation” from the totality of the human being.

Gangaji speaks of this process as a “surrender.” The term might sound soft and comfortable, but its application is not. In Freedom & Resolve she writes, “True surrender is the most ruthless act of a lifetime. It is the willingness to die to all hope of pleasure – all pleasure.”

Gangaji’s words jive with a passage from the Bible that usually seems quite enigmatic:

“The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force” (Mat. 11:12).

Perhaps ruthless surrender IS taking heaven by force; perhaps it is volunteering to die . . . but to mortality consciousness itself.