“The secret of life is to die before you die and find that there is no death.” Eckhart Tolle – The Power of Now
That’s one hell of a powerful quote don’t you think? but what on earth does it mean? How can you die before you die? and how can dying paradoxically be the secret of life?
Well it’s only in the second ‘die’ that Tolle refers to physical death. The first ‘die’ actually refers to the death of our identification with mind.
Throughout our lives since we are very young we form a self-identity. This is who we think we are which is partly based on our experiences and partly formed by our social environment – that is how people see us and interact with us.
We have a nexus of ‘evidence’ – images, memories, impressions, beliefs – that make up the mental profile we have of ourselves. A cumulative life-history that gives us a sense of self. It’s a long list full of “I am this, I know that, I have this, I love this, and I wish that”. I think you get the idea.
We attach these things to our own self. That is to say we identify ourselves with them. In other words, we identify ourselves with external things or partial and fleeting perceptions we have about our world and how we feel about it. (more…)