Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury
Shall I really die one day? That question has been circulating in my mind for hours and days – month and year, when I was in solitary confinement inside a Condemned Cell for five years and eight months. Sometimes it made me feel sad thinking, I would silently leave the world from the isolated prison cell, without getting a farewell from my loved ones – my most precious children. Then a quote from a quote from Henry Miller crossed my mind, who said, “Of course you don’t die. Nobody dies. Death does not exist. You only reach a new level of vision, a new realm of consciousness, a new unknown world.”
Then a rather complex quote came in my mind, where it says, “Death is only a level crossing from one life to another, from life in its beginnings to life in full achievements. From this incomplete life – to that transformed one.”
One life to another? I questioned myself. But what is the necessity of another life, where I may not be united with the people – ancestors – grandfather, grandmother and parents. I may enter into another life to encounter new people – new faces and new minds. What for such unnecessary arrangement? What for such unending challenges, where we face sorrows and joys – in each of the lives; and of course failures and successes – may be even imprisonments for a crime I have never committed.
Someone said – “The soul never dies and the body is never really alive.”
I indulge into another fallacy, and then continue to search the answer to this question. It is true, body never really is alive. It is nothing without the existence of soul – the ultimate source of life. Fear of death then surrounds me, as I have heard hundreds of times, about the unimaginable pain everyone endures while leaving the body. They only talk about death of being terrible – a tremendously painful process. But, a quote says, “There should be no fear of death, for the death of the body is but a gentle passing to a much freer life.
Gentle passing? Much freer life? Here again, questions bother me. If the death is ‘gentle passing’ then why Muslim priests always describe death as a painful process? Do they say this from their own thoughts – own concoction – or by learning from the scriptures? It also bothers me to think about a “much freer life” – meaning, we won’t ever be absolutely free – just comparatively freer? Are we eternal slaves of the wishes of a creator – the God? For what sin He has created me – and us – as eternal slaves, who never would enjoy freedom? Does the God like slavery? Does He feel entertained in witnessing our sorrows and pains? Isn’t that too ruthless?
The answer comes pretty quick, where it is said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience – we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Yes it is true! From this point, where I am having a human experience, I fail understanding the affection and love of God for me – for all of us. He never wants to hurt any of us – because, He is the most kind.