Death Defying Quotes



Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

- Rabindranath Tagore



When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.

- Cherokee Wisdom



Resignation (Stanza 5)

There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



You will know in due course that your glory lies where you cease to exist.

- Ramana Maharshi


When death comes, it's just like winter. We don't say, "There ought not to be winter." That the winter season, when the leaves fall and the snow comes, is some kind of defeat, something which we should hold out against. No. Winter is part of the natural course of events. No winter, no summer. No cold, no heat.

                                                        - Alan Watts


What I'm suggesting to you is that your life is an episode in a larger story. And that larger story is the story of your soul. And when you die, when you go home, your friends who are five sensory, limited to the five senses, will put the date of your death on your gravemarker. But your multi-sensory friends will write ... to be continued!

- Gary Zukav (on The Oprah Winfrey Show, in 2000)



The spirit returns unto God who gave it.

- Ecclesiastes 12:7



Death comes to all, but for disciples there should be none of the usual glamour and distress. I would say to you, look not back at the past. In that direction lie glamour and distress. It is the usual direction and the line of least resistance for the majority. But such is not the way for you. Look not either to revelation or to the imparted illusory comfort of those who hover on the dividing line between the seen and the unseen. Again, that is not the way for you. You are not a distressed and bereaved disciple looking anxiously at the separating veil and hoping for some sign to come through which will convince you that all is well ...

Reach up to the heights of the soul, and having sought and found that pinnacle of peace and that altitude of joy whereon your soul immovably stands, then looking into the world of "living" men—a threefold world in which all men—incarnate and discarnate—are to be found. Find there that which your own soul can and will recognize. The glamours of one's own distress, the maya of the past, distort ever one's point of view. Only the soul stands clear from illusion, and only the soul sees things as they are. Mount, therefore, to the soul.

- Alice A. Bailey, Discipleship in the New Age, Vol. I, p. 463



Enlightenment for a wave is the moment the wave realizes that it is water. At that moment, all fear of death disappears.

- Thich Nhat Hanh



Thanatopsis (excerpt)

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

- William Cullen Bryant



The more I observe and study things, the more convinced I become that sorrow over separation and death is perhaps the greatest delusion. To realize that it is a delusion is to become free. There is no death, no separation of the substance.

- Mohandas K. Gandhi, Letters to a Disciple


It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again ... nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals and mournful Obituaries, and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some new and strange disguise.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



Life is eternal, and love is immortal.
Death is only a horizon and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.

- Rossiter Worthington Raymond



Letting go of suffering is truly the hardest work we will do. We can't wait until our mind is clouded and the body wracked with discomfort to do work that seems so impenetrable. ... western culture doesn't recognize dying as a state of grace, nor the power of mercy and compassion. Freedom from suffering is when your happiness is no longer dependent on the content of your mind, but on the capacities of your heart. If you're not letting go of it, you're getting buried by it.

- Stephen Levine



I saw grief drinking a cup of sorrow and called out, "It tastes sweet, does it not?"

"You've caught me," grief answered, "and you've ruined my business. How can I sell sorrow, when you know it's a blessing?"

- Rumi



What is to give light must endure burning.

- Victor Frankl



The whole world is a narrow bridge, a very narrow bridge, and the main thing is not to be afraid.

- Hasidic saying attributed to Rabbi Nachman of Braslav



What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson



It is in the nature of all things that take form to dissolve again.

- Gautama Buddha



... if the earthly no longer knows your name, whisper to the silent earth: I'm flowing.

- Rainer Maria Rilke



Before you leave the body, reduce one fool on this planet.
And that is none other than you!"

- Pythagoras



It is easier to resist at the begining than at the end.

- Fortune Cookie



Peace, my heart, let the time for the parting be sweet.
Let it not be a death but completeness.
Let love melt into memory and pain into songs.
Let the flight through the sky end in the folding of the wings over the nest.
Let the last touch of your hands be gentle like the flower of the night.
Stand still, O Beautiful End, for a moment, and say your last words in silence.
I bow to you and hold up my lamp to light you on your way.

- Rabindranath Tagore



Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

- Henry Scott Holland



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Artwork: © Daniel B. Holeman, Awaken Visions