How does nature really prepare us for death?
We tend to take much of our lives for granted, yet from the day we are born, nature begins to prepare us for all we need for both life and our eminent death... have you considered how?
Pearldiver. Great question.
It is not easy to understand how nature prepares us for death. Yes, I agree, Nature does help us to prepare for death. Christians will have a difficult time buying into this concept. I lived in Japan for 4 year where I had an opportunity to study the ways of masters of the past, with masters of the present. Buddhist and Shinto masters, like the ones I studied with, helps one to prepare for death using nature. The scope of this discussion, and the format, does not allow me to go further. Sorry.
I believe every apsect of our life has subtle reminders in nature that we will eventually die. A day is defined as 24 hours; however, is it not a period of activity and a period of sleep? Is it not a period of light and darkness? Does not our sun rise and fall? All of the animals around us exist in the same manner. If I may add,the only thing that is certain after we are born is indeed, our death. Perhaps in some latitudes (not all) the seasons hint of this also. Thus the subtle reminders are all around us...
The reality and inevitability of death is never easy. From little on, we learn by observing nature. Everything, from a flower to a baby bird, a worm that is stepped on to a squirrel that hesitates momentarily while crossing the road, are nature's revelations seen from early on, teaching that all living things die.
The cycle of the seasons correlates with life cycles. Spring signals beginnings, with flower buds beginning anew and the birth of baby animals. Summertime is nature at its peak with garden produce, green vegetation and the spring babies maturation. Autumn, although beautiful, carries some sadness as everything is on a downhill slide seen as falling leaves, birds migrating to warmer clims and cooler temperatures. Winter's cold leaves trees bare, plants that don't survive or that go into hiding and animals hiberating until the cycle begins again.
Although our lives feel more productive and important to us than that of a plant or a bird, who is to say what the flowers or animals comprehend or instinctively know. Our lives cycle, mirroring the rest of all nature. We have a beginning, middle-age and if we live long enough, old age, before we inevitably die. And, like all natural living entities, there is unpredictability in the course and length of our lives.
I think that our advantages in intellect, reasoning, processing, communications and emotions, give us an awareness and connectivity that makes human life so rich, exciting, and incomparably rewarding that the acceptance of death is frightening, unknown and for many, denied until we are faced with its undeniable reality on a personal level. I think many keep it at bay to live fully.
Those that reach old age see a winding down, less physical stamina, illness or disability that is comparable to autumn, that inevitably leads to winter. As sure as the sun, the moon and the stars, nature teaches us that mortality is part of life's cycle.
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