Khepfer Haru

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The Rhythm of Life and Death

sun&moonyinyangWhen yang rises and yin decreases, we see this as ‘life’; when yin rises and yang decreases, we see this as ‘death’. In yang, there is yin, and in yin, there is yang; they each contain the other, so when we see life, we know that in it is death, and when we see death, we know that in it is life.  This rhythm occurs in all levels and stages, so there is a daily/nightly rhythm, a monthly (28-day) lunar rhythm, a seasonal rhythm, a rhythm in each minute, moment, etc.

So, in the time of rising yin, life seems to retreat, and death emerges.  What do we mean by life and death?  We see life as activity, and call this movement ‘life’, animation, living, breathing, being, etc.  We see death, then, as cessation, perishing, stillness, nonbeing, etc.

If we allow this rhythm of activity and cessation, of life and death to draw us into it, that for us is death; the yang or ‘liveliness’ we crave is presented in the macrocosm as a reflection, and instead of bringing it out of ourselves, we seek it externally.  Because of this, we become the opposite pole, i.e. death, and the life ceases.  We go unconscious and are lulled into the comfort of the pleasant moment.  Therefore, when we join the energy, this is called ‘death’.

yinyangcircledotIf, instead, seeing the time of rising yin and cessation of life in the seasons, we go after what we feel should be ‘avoided’, seeking stillness and nonbeing, what happens after we fully ‘die’ and become the pole of death, is that the energy joins us; activity and life happens spontaneously when we utterly cease our own activities of the mind.  This is the energy being ‘lured’ and joining us, and is called ‘life’.

That is why, normally, people follow the rhythm of death in the winter months, withdrawing more in general, as a natural consequence of the rhythm.  But if we move consciously instead of unconsciously, we can ‘get ahead’ of the rhythm and begin creating the dance, leading instead of following and reacting.

snowingThe only reason we suffer is because we allow ourselves to fall into unconsciousness, forgetting this dance and allowing the macrocosm to overtake us.  It has to do this, because it is trying to get us to wake up.  If we use the place of death (unconsciousness) to wake up, this is called ‘birth from the house of death’.

From here, we can cultivate life through the knowledge of stillness.  Being present without activity, we can draw in the energy of absolute life. Getting ahead of the rhythm, we drink the poison that becomes the nectar of immortality.  Otherwise, we reach out for what looks like nectar, and end up drinking the poison that is death.

folspherearoundmeditatorBoth death and life are just rhythms for the soul, two polarities of the same unified force.  To the awareness, neither pole is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, and that which neither comes into being nor perishes is continuous throughout both death and birth, life and its cessation.  Coming into contact with that awareness is what the whole dance and rhythm is about.

Without it, we are subsisting in the ghost cave, and beings of craving constitute the mortals that are wound up in the cycle of birth and death, unaware of their essential nature.

What dies?  We die, and yet do not die.  When we allow ourselves to become death, we know life.  When we become absolutely alive, we taste death.  Both are necessary, and are one path; being conscious to it and therefore cultivating the rhythm instead of allowing the rhythm to dictate us, is the difference between a being and a creator.

deerandleaveslifecycleWhen you smell the sweetness of the dying leaves, remember why they fall:  to nourish new life in the tree.  What does the soil become, if not more tree?  What does the tree become, if not more soil?  Resting life upon death, and death upon life, breath upon mind and mind upon the breath, in the center of this marriage is the true fruit, the root of our eternal nature.

One comment on “The Rhythm of Life and Death

  1. Pingback: Rhythm and the I Ching | Khepfer Ḥāru

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This entry was posted on 10.21.2015 by in Khepfer Haru and tagged , , , , , , .

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