No, no, I’m not talking about a plane crash or a falling piano. Neither am I thinking about the biological processes involved. Some vital part is stressed beyond its capabilities and fails. So it goes. I’m particularly interested in the attitude, the frame of mind, with which certain people approach the day of their death.
How will we leave this lovely, dangerous place?
Someone who is contemplating becoming a student of Steps to Knowledge might reasonably wonder (among other things), “What does Steps to Knowledge teach about death?” They might also wonder, “How do students of Steps to Knowledge approach the day of their death?’
In the steps of Steps to Knowledge I have blogged about so far (steps 1 through 93), the word “death” is mentioned exactly once, in Step 40, “Today I will feel the power of God.”
“All the seeming powers of your world—the forces of nature, the inevitability of your death, the ever present threat of illness, loss and destruction and all appearances of conflict—are all temporary movements in the great stillness of God.”
Death, while significant, is not as significant as our cultural perspective. Step 65, “I have come to work in the world,” contains the following:
“You have come from a place of rest to a place of work. When the work is done, you go home to a place of rest. This can only be known, and your Knowledge will reveal this to you when you are ready”
While Steps to Knowledge claims that we go home to a place of rest, it also admits that this is something which can neither be observed by one’s senses, nor inferred or deduced by one’s intellect.
I only know of two students of Steps to Knowledge who have died. One of them was mentioned in an online chat. I never met them. The other person was a gentleman I met at the 2012 Encampment. As a matter of fact, we were roommates at Encampment, and we had a number of significant and fruitful conversations. We had a number of online and phone conversations between the time I met him in September of 2012, and the time he died in November of 2013. When he died, I was told he was diagnosed with colon cancer in the summer of 2013. I remember thinking to myself “Dead? Dead?!? I didn’t even know he was ill!” I consider him to have been remarkably discreet and undramatic about his illness.
Therefore, from what I have read in Steps to Knowledge, and what little I have observed of students, my answer to the question “How do students of Steps to Knowledge approach the day of their death?” is “With discretion, and without drama.” If they sing their noble death song, they sing it only to themselves, and die like a hero going home.
A fellow student shared something with me that I believe provides an excellent exclamation point:
“The man or woman of Knowledge knows that this life is a small and yet important part of much bigger lives that we’re all living. As such, they see their lives as brief missions on Earth and when they are done, they return to this greater life as a member of a Greater Community with knowledge of their mission on Earth done or not done.”
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