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Life without a story

pegembarapegembara Veteran
edited March 2011 in Arts & Writings
This is a moving account of a young woman who faced death in a German concentration camp during WW2. Instead of reacting in fear and horror, she had put an end to suffering and realised the transcendent. There are lessons to be learned from such stories.

Perhaps there came a day for some of us when we saw the
same film again, or a similar one. But by then other pic­
tures may have simultaneously unrolled before one's inner
eye; pictures of people who attained much more in their
lives than a sentimental film could show. Some details of a
particular man's inner greatness may have come to one's
mind, like the story of the young woman whose death I
witnessed in a concentration camp. It is a simple story.
There is little to tell and it may sound as if I had invented
it; but to me it seems like a poem.

This young woman knew that she would die in the next
few days. But when I talked to her she was cheerful in spite
of this knowledge. "I am grateful that fate has hit me so
hard," she told me. "In my former life I was spoiled and
did not take spiritual accomplishments seriously." Pointing
through the window of the hut, she said, "This tree here is
the only friend I have in my loneliness." Through that
window she could see just one branch of a chestnut tree,
and on the branch were two blossoms. "I often talk to this
tree," she said to me. I was startled and didn't quite know
how to take her words. Was she delirious? Did she have
occasional hallucinations? Anxiously I asked her if the tree
replied. "Yes." What did it say to her? She answered, "It
said to me, 'I am here—I am here—I am life, eternal life.' "

Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl

"This is peaceful, this is excellent, namely the stilling of all fabrications, the relinquishment of all assets, the destruction of craving, detachment, cessation, extinction".

Bhikkhus, I will teach you the far shore and the path leading to the far shore.
Bhikkhus, I will teach you the unaging and the path leading to the unaging.
Bhikkhus, I will teach you the deathless and the path leading to the deathless.

I teach one thing and one only:
that is, suffering and the end of suffering.


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