A group of disciples once asked their sage: “What happens after death?” The sage responded with silence. The disciples persisted, “Is there life after death or not?” The sage finally replied, “Is there life before death? That is the question.”
This is a usual response that urges us to contemplate our current existence—whether it is truly life or a form of living death.
What, then, is life?
From a corporeal standpoint, life is defined by the existence of protein matter. Whether it is the pain of being pinched or the pleasure of savoring delicious food, such experiences are part and parcel of life as protein matter.
There is, however, a higher plane of existence beyond the corporeal, where our non-corporeal matter exists. Attaining such a level requires rising above our self-serving nature and embracing the opposite altruistic non-corporeal state. If we reach such a state, then we feel true life.
We attain that non-corporeal, spiritual state when we transition from being receivers, which is our protein existence, to becoming givers at the level of our intentions. That transformation aligns with life’s true definition—one centered on giving to everyone and everything, and ultimately, to the source force of our lives: the quality of love and bestowal that we call “the Creator.”
When this existential inquiry about what happens beyond our lives awakens, we should avoid escaping from it in the myriad transient pleasures on offer in our corporeal world. Instead, we should view it as a wondrous opportunity that we can seize and develop into a whole new perception and sensation of reality. It might hurt at first, but if it gets to us, then it is a sign that we can also get to its core—and there, we can discover a whole new spiritual world of eternity and perfection.