Last summer I put my treasured kitty Muffin to sleep.
Such sadness. Such loss.
The vet put Muffin on my shoulder and I rocked her as she purred and the vet administered the fatal shot.
Muffin kept purring. Then the purring stopped.
And there was the little furry body, still on my shoulder.
But Muffin was gone.
So it was clear that that sweet body wasn’t Muffin.
Because it was still there, and she wasn’t.
Clearly Muffin, whatever she was, was not constrained by or trapped in or bound to that body.
When it comes to ourselves, often there’s a strong idea that we’re attached to this body. Most of us think that until we die, the meat suit is ‘me’ and there’s no escaping it.
So we fear and run from death, avoid it intensely, and cry when it comes anyway.
Death seems to be the ultimate end of the self story.
But what if we have that wrong? What if we were never that story? And what if there is no end?
What if what we really are can’t die?
I mean, can something that’s not physical, die?
How would that be possible?
And without the confusion of “I am this body,” what separates whatever-WE-really-are from other people's whatever-THEY-really-are?
Without the body-is-me story, where does the real 'Me’ end, and ‘Other People’, or Muffin, begin?
Alive or dead, what if what-we-are is indistinguishably and inseparably connected to what-others-are?
Wouldn't that mean that, realized or not, living or not, we’re all already, literally, one?
So I sit here loving little Muffin.
Because she is literally me, and how could we be any closer than that?