From dust, to dust… Our living body is made up of earthly elements. Our flesh and bones are the Earth element. Our body fluids, urine and blood are merely the Water element.
Our living body, a universe in and of itself, creates its own Fire and heat. Our breath is the air element and essentially our life force.
Nothing in nature breaks down instantly. Each element perishes in its own time. It’s common understanding that our air (breath) element is the first to leave, then perhaps heat.Our being, a soul, spirit or consciousness, however, will stay connected until it realizes that it’s dead. Ancient Sutras in the east claim the “Being” will leave the body when it becomes cold if not sooner.
Can you hear after death? It certainly makes sense if the bodies Earth materials are still strong after air and water have surrendered. Somewhere between science and belief is the truth. Every culture has a different truth and a diverse practice about death and the possibility of an afterlife.
Eastern cultures practice in their ability to let go of all attachments to the body at the time of passing. This is because the superstition is the body becomes so sensitive that it can feel like a turtles shell ripping from the skin if someone touches you. Think about this while signing an organ donor agreement.
There is also the belief of complete freedom from the burdens of the body. Our mind decides whether peace or pain prevails. Eastern philosophy is a process to be transformed on a path to liberation from suffering this cycle. The western philosophy can be more comforting; we pass and arise immediately from our body.
The Tao Te Ching simplifies all cultures sentiment on death beautifully. We are ultimately at peace and untouchable.
“No tiger can claw him.
No buffalo can gore him.
No weapon can pierce him.
Why is this so? Because he has died, there isn’t any more room for death in him.” – The Tao Te Ching of Lau Tzu