Q. What happens to our soul after we die?
A. What will happen tomorrow, next week, next month and next year? There is no one who can answer this question because there is no one who has ever lived even tomorrow not to mention next year.
However, we always make plans not only for tomorrow but also even for decades to come. Why do we get ready for the future despite not knowing what it will be like or what will happen in the future? It is because we believe in cause and effect instinctively. Throughout all our life and history, we have seen, experienced and learned that everything we see and hear is the product of causation. In other words, we have realised that what we are is the effect of how we lived yesterday and how we live today is the cause of what we will be tomorrow.
There is no effect without cause and no cause without effect, and cause and effect has never stopped and will continue forever. This means that how we live today will determine what we will be like tomorrow. For example, we will feel hungry tomorrow morning if we skip dinner this evening, and if we don’t put aside enough money when we are young, we won’t be well off after retirement.
Then, likewise, we can be sure that how we live our present life is the cause of what will happen after death even though we really don’t know exactly what it will be like, because cause and effect is endless.
The purpose of Zen meditation is to help people to enjoy the law of causation instead of struggling against it by realising the essence of it.
Student: “What will you be after death, Sir?”
Master: “A cow.”
Student: “You are an enlightened master. Why do you think you will become a cow?”
Master: “Because there is nothing else.”
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/zQPWO