What are you gaining?

life quote: all that is gained in life is lost in death“All that is gained in life;
is lost in death.

Surviving the Loss:

We gain many things in our time, which are used in our test;
….for all we accrue in a life — we will lose in our death.
Yet much perspective can be gained, as one becomes aware;
That the things we have which survive are the ones we share.

Author: Loopholes on Life

LEARN from the past; LIVE for the moment; LOVE for eternity.

8 thoughts on “What are you gaining?”

  1. Do we also lose our friends afte death? Don’t they keep thinking about us after. Do we have the ability to look back on life after death and do the same? Perhaps the word ‘all’ and the word ‘gained’ were not too well chosen.
    Thank you for your blog!

    1. Great synthesis Bert!

      What began as a simple response back really got me thinking, crafting an overly elaborate response — and deciding that the topic warranted more than a mere comment, so I’ll do a post to do your thought-provoking comment justice (and give a shout out to your blog too 🙂 ). No higher praise for a comment than that, in my opinion at least!!

      I believe I have a general sense for your worldview based on your blog — but would you perhaps share your perception of life after death? Even if it is super brief, it would help me hone in on the language that your soul is most fluent in. 🙂

      If what I (perhaps naively) believe your vantage point to be is accurate, then perhaps these few triggers may sum it up (or appear to mean nothing lol):
      – birth of the individual
      – separation
      – death of the ego
      – oneness

      Again though, if you share your quick worldview, I’ll tailor my more elaborate response in a post tomorrow!

      Thanks as always for your thought provoking comments!

      1. WoW, i feel honoured and don’t think that I deserve much of it. But somehow it shows that I’m on my own authentic path, whatever that might mean …
        Don’t forget that you are the one opening me through tickling my provokable mind. Your part in it is equally important. No comments without posts that are an invitation to dialogue.

        After-life … I don’t know … my honest answer to all metaphysical questions.

        Believing in an after life makes us postpone our development of self …
        So I will not believe in something.

        I noticed however during a discussion with Ellen Stockdale-Wolfe that whatever can remain after death has nothing to do with our most common imagination. Memory is in the physical brain, and so is reasoning, and the ‘google-in-our-head’. Emotions and physical love are equally unfit for the metaphysical world. So what can remain must be void of memory, emotion, thought and opinion, and obviously the physical element too.
        Unfortunately, these are exactly the things we would like to take with us.
        The only thing that has escaped my scrutiny so far is the interrupt in my head, close to will and desire, the thing telling me to continue meditating instead of following a line of thinking. The thing that identifies, mostly with mind, but isn’t mind itself. That thing might remain. That thing is void of ego, but if it has desire, it will still be separated and not one.
        The longer I think about it, the more the buddhist concept of clear-light comes to mind. I should ask some of my Tibetan friends to expand to me this notion.
        How this thing has come into me and from what moment of my very early existence on this Earth (or before) remains a mystery that I might uncover if I ever be conscious after death.

        Clear light does not imply that I will remain connected too friends after my physical existence, but those who remain will certainly keep the connection open. Clear light is also metaphysics, so I don’t know whether this thing that identifies will continue to exist after death.


    Great reflection – and references. The concept of ‘what we take with us’ is exactly what I was alluding to – and your exactly right, the the things we ‘can’t take with us’ are the ones we often want to hold on to the most.

    What’s beautiful about this topic is that independent of someone’s worldview, religious affiliations, or philosophical affinities — there is an underlying truth which rings through ALL worldviews. 100% of all journeys are unique at some juncture, which makes each journey (at first paradoxically) 100% the same! It is the similarity in the differences — the truth seen in an infinite pattern as opposed to a finite end-point (the seeking of a finite end-point being the cause of so much individual pain and even religious wars throughout time).

    In terms of the topic at hand, it could be spoken to a Buddhist and/or a meta-physicist in terms of “separation vs. oneness”, to any follower of the old testament in terms of “created in His image” (and thus, created to create), and even combined in terms of “created through separation”.

    What is overlooked in the concept of creation is that CREATION actually stems from SEPARATION at some juncture. Whether it is a genre of art, a facet of music, or even the creation of beings (cellular division – created in the same image).

    As something is created, and separates, it creates through separation, and GROWS by ‘gaining’. It gains as an individual — but gain is a concept which only exists for individuals. Nothing can be “gained” or “lost” as part of the whole – if it has the propensity to exist, it already exists in a world without time (apologies for going down this rabbit hole so quickly lol).

    Essentially though – it is as you concluded your comment, all about the ego. Gain happens based on an individual’s perception, their alignment with things which already exist as part of the whole. Just as we differentiate ourselves as individuals – we long to grow that differentiation by ‘gaining’ things as our awareness resides in ourselves. Some of those things are shallow (OUR possessions, OUR materials) — some of those things appear more altruistic (OUR friends, OUR family) — but it is all used in fueling our individuation and, thus, our egos.

    But within that same premise, the truth of ‘wholeness’ vs. ‘separation’ reveals itself again. For the same reason we believe maintaining a connection after this life with “OUR friends” and “OUR family” is more altruistic than the connection with “OUR house” or “OUR sports car”….. It is because “friends and family”, while in this context still supporting the ego, is closer to the point of singularity of “selfless love” — wanting to keep the connection with them is “selfish love”, nearly oxymoronic – which often means that a point of singularity is close. It is the point where selfishness and selflessness begin to converge — selfishly wanting to be selfless for others.

    That is a characteristic of MANY GREAT human beings. Their love for their friends and family. If they can recognize the pattern and embrace the truth beyond ‘themselves’ and their individual reality (separate from the whole), then so many truths across so many religions, and even supported by science, become evident. Recognizing that “everyone is someones family” or has the propensity to be “someones friend” means that, at a higher level of awareness, a deepened empathy can enable one to truly see that stranger as ‘their family’ and ‘their friend’ — making sayings from the best of our kind, from Buddha to Jesus, that much more meaningful in a whole new “light”.

    When we look through our individual eyes it is harder to ‘love thy neighbor’, but since the ‘moment’ of creation all things have been connected (and ‘moment’ is a cop-out word which we utilize to give us peace in a world bound by time). Shifting awareness onward, inward, upward and outward enables one to free themselves of their “individual desires” and live for the body versus their cell in the body.

    So in the end – anyone that believes in ‘life’ is experiencing time. Anyone that believes in time and life believes in ‘after life’ insofar as their life is not infinite (or in the more extreme case, that ‘after life’ there are no one else experiences life or time — hey, the reality is where ever their perception takes them). But what remains is that if an individual is no longer an individual, they are either ‘whole’ or they are, depending on worldview, ‘void’ — and there is ‘no gain’ in either one of those states.

    Apologies for the long response, obviously this topic can go a lot of directions, and honestly could have been 10x more detailed in any one of the above paragraph — sadly, that was my attempt at summarizing and being SOMEWHAT concise lol!

    By the way – our conversation here was the impetus for an entire series I already started writing now lol!

    GREAT discussion Bert!

    1. Some thoughts, after reading your elaborate reply a couple of times.

      ‘wholeness’ vs. ‘separation’ … I see the words, my mind knows where to put them and how to define them, but both terms remain empty. Right now I only know one state, and that is being. When I identify with body or mind, I feel separation, most certainly, but when I’m out of mind, I do not feel wholeness. I feel laughter and happiness, but I don’t feel bliss, extacy, god or oneness.
      Of course, I’m only venturing very recently in these unchartered waters, but I had a discussion with a peer oceanliner and he had the same non-experience.
      Creation is indeed form. Form is most often (always?) separation.
      I don’t like the word ego. I see mental activity like thoughts and opinion and reasoning in my brain or mind. But I never met my ego. I think Freud invented it. Perhaps he captured one :-O and dissected it 🙂
      Are emotions part of ego, like happiness or sadness?
      And anger must be attributed to it since there is mental activity, but also fear. But fear is as well an emotion as a mental thing and even a transmental thing. Fear also has physical elements. Ego falls short as a term without a well lined definition, … I humbly (or not so humbly :-), think)
      BTW, how’s the baby? Bless the new life.

      1. The baby is doing fantastic, very laid back guy so far! Thanks for asking and for the blessing!

        Couldn’t agree more re: the word ego! I have a very tumultuous relationship with the term, because the concept is of significant importance BUT the meaning ranges wildly from person to person….

        in terms of emotions being part of the ego, i would say “yes and no”… the ego filters and influences the emotional energy, “shapes it in its image” so to speak… But emotions can impact ego just as ego impacts emotions. They do rely on eachother to the degree that individual experience relies on individual perception….

        That “state of being” is beautiful, isn’t it? Peaceful. It is really the “end state” for an individual in many ways, the point of acceptance… and frankly, it IS the path…. that’s why the road to enlightenment is so tricky — anyone “seeking” it at some juncture needs to truly stop seeking it… They need to want it for the right reasons and for just long enough that the goal is defined — then stop “wanting” altogether! practicing the state of being is what gets one there, and the only ones that get there are content with NOT getting there… Nonetheless, what a great state to practice — if everyone lived in that state, or strived to, there would be peace on earth.

        That state actually perfectly ties much of what we are discussing together!

        During your meditations, and/or in that state of “being”, can you recall that feeling of “almost forgetting who you are”? Not that you forget the answer, but rather forget the need for the question?

        The ego is like a puzzle piece, a piece which convinces itself and others that it is infact a whole puzzle in and of itself.

        The “state of being” is EXACTLY as you described! It understands the words separate and whole, can even conceive how it is separate and/or whole, but is simply at peace with its role as a piece of the whole. It just “is”.

        That state is what bridges the gap to, not another individual state of being, but an opportunity to transcend its awareness to the puzzle as a whole…. That moment never comes for some, and it doesn’t need to…. By being content and at peace it is “doing its part, fulfilling it’s purpose without stifling the purpose of other pieces in the puzzle.

        But that state of being frees one from the temporal desires and destructive tangents the ego wants to execute, which is natural, afterall, it views the puzzle as greater than the pieces in it… So in the state of being, the door is revealed – you can peep briefly through a peephole and will “get what we once didn’t get”, and even choose to step through it, but that decision comes with a price….letting go of self is not an easy decision… Deep as it may sound, it literally feels like you will die, again the “you” being the keyword. Its totally letting go of your id, ego, your need to be separate, to be remembered, etc. you become aware that the way you view “significance of life”and your life will never be the same (more and less significant in different ways).

        what many people don’t realize in the earlier stages of their journey is that their progress relies just as much on overcoming adversity and facing their inner demons as it does on the disciplines of meditation/etc….. its a stage where I’m particularly fond of the buddhist perspective of balance, in a world of polarity….

        Because in that moment, with the awareness of the whole puzzle, there IS NO EMOTION! there is no far left pieces or far right pieces, there are no extremes….

        I, so naively, would have thought “it would be good”, but it was neither good nor bad…. No polarity to be had… just complete…

        best blog comment convo ive ever had the privilege to take part in!

  3. I think that emotions get coloured by the mind and become something like compound emotions like anger or shame. I think below a lot of anger and shame is hidden sadness. This sadness is then changed to something else due to fear. But neither fear nor love is an emotion, both are an all level experience (physical, emotional, mental and transmental).
    Mind turning in circles can make us depressed, hence sad. Influence works indeed in both directions.

    I’m not new to this state, but before there were only glimpses of minutes, then nothing for months. However, now the thought remains: is it just this, is this what all these people are so excited about?

    There is no question. There is a primordial emotion of happiness, but I can imagine the primordial sadness is very close too. Like your baby, when just a couple of days old, knew only two states: happy or sad. At 3 or 4 months they know a lot more and really manipulate the parents in a very cute way.

    It is the identification process itself that brings the attention always to mind. Mental activity. Always busy. I am my thougts and opinions and I keep them in my memory of interpretation. Life would be so different if we had storage instead of memory. We would be able to replay events and facts. Now we can only recall interpretations of whatever happened, coloured by whatever we were thinking and feeling at that moment. And when we recall, we apply another pair of glasses to interpret with our current feelings and opinions whatever it is we recall.
    However, this is what makes it so difficult to create Artificial Intelligence. We have to create a computer that doesn’t recall facts, but interpretation of facts. How can we create a computer that interprets? I have an answer, it’s name is ‘google’. Google interprets whenever you have typed 3 characters. Still, it collects facts and not stored opinions .

    I think I still need to make the jump to a life without identification. I have been explaining my students in IT how to calm down by giving them day to day examples of a state of speechlessness, in art and in music. States of flow when focussed on a task, and now the laughter that emerges when you see something completely unexpected, really good humour, makes us thoughtless. Knowing how your mind works, is something we are never taught at school, and very seldom by any one. I talk to my children and Linux students about it when the moment is there. The children seem to get it somewhat, the students … like one out of five seems to get what i’m talking about.

    Well, mindfullness does not work since it is impossible to not react upon the ‘google in our head’ like a robot, if you have no idea what mind is and how it works. That analysis takes time and experiments, and lots of time again.
    But once you realize that there are ways to make mind less powerfull, you start feeling like there is a choice you can consciously make. And this feeling frees your being. That is if you want to disidentify (1), and if you can disidentify (2) from mind.
    Disidentification didn’t feel like death to me. More something like ‘what happens if mind is still, and then I stop thinking I am mind’. Out of that thought came deep laughter and happiness.

    I wouldn’t call that state of being emotionless, but I would call it primordial. There is no reason for emotion. But the feeling of happiness can be seen as primordial.
    BTW, i found out that osho fabricated something calles ‘mystic rose meditation’ that seems to come quite close to what I am trying to talk about.

    Indeed a very productive blogconversation. Thank you for your inspiring ideas, and equally happy to participate in it.

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