A funeral or a wake often invites us to reflect on the existential questions: Who am I? Where do I come from? Why am I here? What happens after I die?
In the Bible we discover that we are the Divine Breath or made in God’s image and likeness; Hinduism teaches that we find out identity in the Divine Essence, the Divine and I are not one, but the Divine and I are not two; the Quran is clear that God is closer to us than our jugular vein.
While the Scriptures are clear about our Divine identity, religion on the other hand teaches us that humans are basically sinful needing redemption. They invent the myth of Original Sin and develop the theology of Salvation.
The myth that God breathe the Divine Breath into dust and we became living beings reflects all the other myths. Science tells us that our bodies are made from star dust. So when we die our bodies will continue to be star dust while our life giving breath will become one with the Divine Essence that is present in every part of Creation.
Ronald Eyre, a British journalist, once interviewed a man in India. He began by asking, “How old are you?” to which the old man replied, “About 80.” Eyre was amused and said, “About 80?” and the man replied that he did not know his exact age. About 75% of people in India at that time did not have birth certificates. What an amazing way to live life! Eyre continued, “Are you afraid of dying?” The old man said, “Yes. But something tells me that when the time comes for me to die, then I will not be afraid.” To Eyre’s final question, “What will happen to you after you die?” he responded, “Now I am an individual; after I die I will become universal. That is my belief.”
The challenge of our present life is to realize our identity in the Divine Essence and experience the interconnectedness of all of Creation.