The wisdom that matters

Cynthia Bourgeault asks, “What is the wisdom that matters now?” She says, “Everything that’s good … abiding … worthy …. (and) generative about a human being arises on the other side of our fear of death.” She cites “the old monks in the desert” who found freedom from the fear of death.

COVID-19 has now taken over 150,000 lives in the U.S. alone. In two brief videos by the Center for Action and Contemplation about Wisdom in Times of Crisis, Bourgeault shares her experience of moving beyond the fear of death: “The Gateway to Freedom,” and “Death is the Fullness of Being.”

I had asthma in my childhood and youth. I have vivid memories of being unable to breathe, so the presence of a virus that attacks the lungs has made me more aware of my vulnerability and mortality.

Bourgeault again: “To the extent that we live our life from the heart now with utter integrity, death proves to be no interruption to identity. . . . Who we are is held in the love of God from before time; and as we lean into that now in life and taste it, we’ll be prepared to really see death as the fullness of being and not as the lessening of it.”

John Lewis embodied this kind of fearlessness. More about him tomorrow.

“How fear and anger change our perception of coronavirus risk,” by Sujata Gupta, Science News, May 14, 2020

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