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Chapter 9: A Conscious Death

A man of understanding has dignity even in his death. A man who lives an unconscious life, even in his life has no dignity. An unconscious life is the life of a beggar - with no dignity and a thousand and one humiliations. A conscious death. Even a death, when conscious, has dignity, tremendous dignity and beauty and grace.

I was reading:

Charles de Talleyrand-Perigord was a French politician, remarkably capable but utterly unprincipled - as politicians are - who survived innumerable changes in the government by adroitly betraying his associates in time. A republican during the French Revolution, he served as Napoleon’s foreign minister, intrigued with Napoleon’s enemies in time to survive the emperor’s fall, and then managed to survive the falls of the restored kings as well.

Finally in 1838, having reached the age of eighty-four, it was time for him to die, and King Louis Philippe was at his bedside.

“Oh,” muttered Talleyrand, who was in great pain, “I suffer the tortures of hell.”

And Louis Philippe, unmoved, said politely, “Already?”

A man who has lived an unconscious life suffers hell while he is alive, suffers hell when he dies - because the hell is created of your unconsciousness, by your unconsciousness, with your unconsciousness. The hell is nothing but the horror that is created by your unconsciousness.

A man who has kindled his lamp of inner being, lives in heaven, dies in heaven, because consciousness is paradise.

Enough for today.