Today I talk about death. In Western society this theme is often avoided like the plague. In Damanhur we have a mission to create a society in which the spirit can be elevated, inspiring others to create new realities and show that living in a different way is possible: where “Human Beings” can be written with the H and the B in capital letters. The thought of death in an evolved society is an important element and I would say it is crucial. We can not avoid death, not that of our loved ones and certainly not our own. Therefore, it is better that we learn how it can be part of our life, because as Falco said:

Preparing for a good death means living a good life.

I encountered the death of people very dear to me when I was at a mature age. The first encounter that touched me deeply was the death of my mother, which occurred when I was 36 years old. After a year or so, I also faced the passing of my teacher, Falco Tarassaco, who was the founder and spiritual guide of Damanhur. Today I participated in the moment of commemoration of an initiate brother, Antonello, and this is what has motivated me to write about this topic.

These are not the only deaths that have touched me, but they are the ones that have left an indelible mark on my life, mainly because I lived these moments with an awareness that colored them as evolutionary experiences, even if they were difficult and deeply sad.

I would like to share with you what I have learned in Damanhur about living well and confronting death. Surely I will not cover all the elements of Damanhurian philosophy and practices related to this important passage, since it is a very vast subject, but at least it is a start!

I live death better if:

1. I do not run away from death

Instead I reflect, read books, texts or anything else that can help me to understand it better. All this helps me to reach the end of my life with a certain serenity, as well as motivating myself to do things that I need to do when I still have the time. A book that made the difference for me is the book by Falco ‘Learning to Die’ which I suggest to everyone. You will find a text that you can adapt and read to your loved ones who are close to that moment or who have just experienced it. I read it to my mother who had just passed and it gave me so much emotion and presence of the moment. I did not get too lost in the emotions that usually come from a selfish perspective of death.

2. I think of the person who has just passed, not only of myself or my loss

In death it takes a certain dignity. I have often attended funerals where people close to the deceased were immersed in a unconsolable puddle of tears. With a broader view of death, I have realized that the newly deceased person still perceives me and perhaps my crying is more like a cage than being helpful. If I really love that person, and they are not here anymore, it may be better to think of them as free to proceed on their journey. In this way we can facilitate our loved one. Perhaps they are then able to proceed serenely if they can perceive me as present in the moment and able to greet them with all the love I felt for them.

3. Resolve all that is suspended

making it easier for everyone to face my departure. In Damanhur everyone is encouraged to write his own testament, not just the physical one, in the sense of “To whom I leave my goods”, but also the psychological and emotional one. If I die tomorrow, do I create problems for others? How can I help to diminish these possible problems? If I have a child, have I found the person who will take care of them? If I have pending debts, how can I resolve them so as not to trouble someone else if I die? These are all things that if not addressed will weigh down our lives as well as our death, while thinking and solving them will create a serenity in the background. To think that we are immortal leads only to withdraw from these problems. If we tackle them over time, while we still have the time, we will feel much better.
I will add another phrase from Falco that I found very beautiful:

Lucky are those who, in their life, will have the opportunity to meet with their own death and not to exclude it simply from their own experience.

Even just writing these things, knowing that perhaps thanks to these words, some of you will be better equiped to face your own death or the death of a loved one, is an aspect that leads me to live more peacefully. I would like to hear from you too: have you ever thought about death? If so, what has helped you to live it with more serenity and dignity?

Read the Book: Learning to die