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You CAN'T Take It With You: Transcending Life and Death in God

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Neither money, property nor prestige will follow you to the afterlife, but you can take riches in the form of love, says Chris Tong in Transcending Life and Death in God. His spirituality series for MightyWords continues with this essay on connecting with God to get honest about your life and death.

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You CAN'T Take It With You:
Transcending Life and Death in God, Part 1

by Chris Tong, Ph.D.

Practical Spirituality Series, Book 4
45 pages
Date Published: July 2000
ISBN: 0717354245

Most people who haven't had a death of someone very close to them don't realize that it never goes away. They talk about nonsensical things like "closure" and "healing", but what people are coming to realize is that when someone close to you dies, one of the stars you steer by falls from the firmament. If 9/11 has taught us anything, it is about the continuity of loss, and how things are always different after death.

Sherwin Nuland, M.D.
How We Die: Reflections on Life's Final Chapter

Does your life have a purpose? If so, is it one that isn't going to get instantly ripped off when you die? Many of us spend our lives denying death, allowing ourselves to be completely consumed and distracted by our responsibilities, our indulgences, and our search for things we cannot take with us after death in any overt form (knowledge, accomplishment, fame, or friendship). But death is still coming. We get little support from culture, society, biology, or even conventional religion for becoming adequately prepared; indeed, we are actively discouraged from even considering the matter. In Western society, the “dying business” at best tends to help us come to the point of acceptance of death (which already should be true for us right now). And the “death business” tends to assist the living go on living rather than assist the dead in their transition, as more informed cultures do. This book sensitizes us to our mortality, and encourages us to start preparing now (see the next book for Part 2).

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The ultimate key to freedom and happiness in life, in death, and beyond death, is not a matter of manipulating mind, body, or spirit; such techniques have limited potential by themselves. Instead, the ultimate key is based on linking up with the Divine Reality which is always present, and which transcends life and death, and, through that connection, allowing the Divine Reality Itself to set us free (Figure 1).


Divine Reality


Perfect Happiness is not about changing ourselves or our situation. It is about Awakening altogether from the dream of being a separate, limited self — who is living, who is dying, who is suffering, who is stuck on the wheel of re-birth. We can make all kinds of improvements while we are asleep, to our dream character or our dream circumstance, but none of those changes in the dream represents the same radical freedom as does Waking Up from the dream. The great revelation of Enlightenment is that, in Reality, there are no separate selves; there is only One Being, the Divine Being. Divine Enlightment is to Wake Up out of the dream of mortality as the One Divine Being, in Whose Consciouness the realms of life and death are being dreamed spontaneously.


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