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When Someone Dies, What Remains?

Zen Breaks
When Someone Dies, What Remains?
By Zen Breaks • Issue #74 • View online
ZEN BREAKS 74 - What defines you?

We carry the same name throughout our lives, and consider ourselves as a relatively stable unitary entity, but is it really right to think of ourselves as the same person?” - The School of Life
158. What remains?
(Portuguese subtitles available)
(Portuguese subtitles available)
A friend recently lost some family members, what reminded me of a previous reflection on the topic of our identity.
It’s based on the things we believe that defines our identity, that we talk about the “loss” of someone.
Usually, we associate this identity with the body, so when it ceases to function or is not present, we say we have “lost” someone.
However, we also associate our identity with the mental and behavioral part. When we remember that someone used to always say that special phrase to us or have that gesture that we loved so much, that’s what we’re doing.
In this broader vision of an identity that goes beyond our body and its constant changes, the question arises: what really defines us?
What is our essence?
The video I suggest to you today contains an interesting reflection on this topic.
  • What really defines us?
  • What is unique about us?
  • Will that unique part remain after our body ends its life?
The perspective that our essence can endure and continue in some way through those who are most dear to us, pleases me.
I find it comforting both for myself and for those who, over the years, are no longer physically among us.
It is also comforting in relation to those who, due to the circumstances of life, are now physically distant from us but who are still present in our memories or emotions.
“We might attempt to be less sad about death by letting go of the idea that we are a particular constellation of physical features.
We are always, in a sense, far longer lasting, far more transgenerational as a bundle of inclinations, and ideas.
We will continue to crop up and live wherever those ideas, that are most characteristic of us will emerge, as they must, in the generations that are to come.”
I invite you to watch this amazing video from “The School of Life” and to reflect on this ideas.
It was enlightening and comforting for me to do so.
And you, how does it makes you feel?
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