Life and Death

Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do
not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate
identity–but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity
depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our
name, our "biography," our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit
cards. . . It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely
for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any
idea of who we really are? Without our familiar props, we are faced
with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger
with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted
to meet. Isn’t that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with
noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are
never left in silence with this stranger on our own? -Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

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