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We Are Dying Every Day

We Are Dying Every Day

One reads in many mystical traditions that every person dies at exactly the right time and knows in advance when that time is. But I would like to examine more deeply the concept of dying every day.

To die every day is a choice everyone overlooks. I want to see myself as the same person from day to day in order to preserve my sense of identity. I want to see myself as inhabiting the same body every day because it is disturbing to think that my body is constantly deserting me.

Yet it must, if I am not to be a living mummy. Following the complex timetable of apoptosis, I am given a new body via the mechanism of death. This process happens subtly enough that it passes without notice. No-one sees a two-year-old turning in her body for a new one at age three.

Every day she has the same body, and yet she doesn’t. Only the constant process of renewal – a gift of death – enables her to keep pace with each stage of development. The wonder is that one feels like the same person in the midst of such endless shape-shifting.

Unlike with cell death, I can observe my ideas being born and dying. To support the passage from childish thought to adult thought, the mind has to die every day. My cherished ideas die and never reappear; my most intense experiences are consumed by their own passions; my answer to the question “Who am I?” totally changes from age two to three, three to four, and so on throughout life.

We understand death when we drop the illusion that life must be continuous. All of nature obeys one rhythm – the universe is dying at the speed of light yet it still manages along the way to create this planet and the life forms inhabiting it.

Our bodies are dying at many different speeds at once, beginning with the photons, ascending through chemical dissolution, cell death, tissue regeneration, and finally the death of the whole organism. What are we so afraid of?

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

95 comments

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10:26AM PDT on Oct 13, 2012

Thanks

8:06AM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Thanks.

8:52PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Interesting and informative viewpoint.

Most people here made useful comments aside from a few spammers who have nothing more to do in their life...

4:29AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Thank you

2:19AM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

The good thing about death is that the death of someone that you love makes you realize a lot of things that in real life learning them would not be so easy.

1:04AM PDT on Sep 12, 2011

Millions and millions have gone before us, and so we will go. We have no choice , ......eventually we all die, it's a fact of "life".....

12:49AM PDT on Sep 10, 2011

thanks- interesting. I don't think we should be afraid to die, it is peacefull from a near death experience while in hospital.

10:24PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

I find this to be an interesting way in looking at it but kind of a
depressing way as well. After my recent divorce I had a spiritual awakening and new energy. I learn something new every day and little things get me excited. I don't think about death at all, only about how I can try some new thing to get enjoyment out of the few years I have left. What awakened my
spirit is that I fell madly in love with a 23 year old guy. I feel
like I'm on cloud 9 and happy all the time. I have a glow about
me that strangers can sense and they smile at me and strangers even come up and talk to me. This is the first time
in my life this ever happened to me. It's an intense and wonderful state of mind. I learned how to live in the present.
Before I met him I was unhappy but I didn't know why. l knew something was missing but I didn't know what. I wish I could make a pill out of this feeling because there would be no more
wars and everybody would get along. I was taking Lexapro for
10 years. I threw it away and I don't need medication any more. It never did that much good anyway. I fell in love and
found joy and happiness. ;)

7:50PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

wonderful article! I truly enjoyed reading it. I have believed for many years that we die a little every day and the choices we make either speed up this process or slow it down.

3:06PM PDT on Sep 8, 2011

Something to think about as we live each day.

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