by Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D.

There’s a heart-aching so sharp, so sweet and so bottomless, that both shatters and reassembles us. Such terrible beauty accompanies it, such fathomless yearning, such exquisitely painful gratitude. Endless is this beauty. Upon its shores we break and spill, emptied of the familiarity that self-centers our days and ways.

So very soon we are gone, like dreams vanishing before morning’s habits. Did we leave a mark? Only wingprints in endless sky, tracing evaporating goodbyes. Tombstones soon but stardust. Life is our signature, scrawled by the infinitely varied shape-takings of the Real. Such raw beauty, beauty to die for, beauty both to bow to and to be, beauty that simultaneously outlives and is us.

Death makes Life worth living. Death makes beauty unspeakably obvious. Death makes Love unsurpassably important. Death wakes us up. What better ally could we have than Death? Death gives all the same opportunity. Death leaves no one out.

Life is, among other things, a Near-Death Experience. The passing of all things breaks our heart open to what matters most of all. Only through intimacy with Death do we find intimacy with the Deathless.

Gazing into soft blue sky, dissolving in its boundless embrace, cradling each of its clouds, whether weeping or thundering or dancing. Beauty beyond beauty coupling with undisturbable peace, through their succulent embrace revealing — not explaining, but revealing — that each moment contains all moments. This the deep lovers cannot help but recognize, as they die into joy, surrendering their all to the Beloved until they are but clearings for that One. Naked openness, owned by none and belonging to all.

Avoiding Death kills us. Are we not, when we truly tire of doing time and redecorating our cells, dying to live? Dying to really live, to fully live? Dying to stop pretending we are not pretending? Dying to at last enter and fully, fully embody the Life we were born to live?

Such dying is but birth, a labor of love, a making room for a deeper Life. The tenderest upstart green cracks and splits open the concrete sea upon which we are shipwrecked. The messy ecstasy of birth unravels our straitjacketed identity. We bleed and soar, waves breaking on ever-virgin shore, dying into the Undying.

Silence is our witness. Silence has seen it all. Silence cradles our pain until its ache wakes us.

Death doesn’t happen to Life. Death serves Life. The beauty of it all, the hyperbole-transcending majesty and wonder of it all, both brings us to our knees and wings us. We go from survival to living, and from living to being lived, and from being lived to Being, losing everything along the way except what most matters.

Loss breaks open the heart, dissolving its armoring. Loss gives beauty its true depth. Death is the mother of loss.

The blue fire of the dying poet’s eyes makes ruggedly transparent art of his ravaged face. He cries out, his hoarsely impassioned words the last sigh of a vagabond wave, seafoam dying on some midnight beach. His freedom is in having no choice. His love empties his mind and leaves his body see-through. His final poem is an infinitely sadhappy smile as he freefalls into Death.

And what is his message for us? Let go, let your heart break, let your life be beauty made visible, let all things awaken you, let your life be Poetry, the music of Truth, the epiphanously idiosyncratic soulsong of significance.

And all the words die so, so soon in an avalanche of Silence, their sound and meaning and audience gone. But how they danced in their bright sliver of a moment! And how we danced and loved and wept and blazed in our brief time!

The door is, as always, already open. Openness awaiting openness. The Invitation that will not go away. We are dying to live. Let us not wait any longer. Let us do what it takes. There are not higher stakes.

This delicious prose is from and was written by Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D.

Robert Augustus Masters, Ph.D., is the author of 11 books, including Transformation Through Intimacy and Spiritual Bypassing. He is a highly experienced psychotherapist and trainer of psychotherapists with a doctorate in Psychology, and a teacher of spiritual deepening. His uniquely integral, intuitive work (developed over the past 32 years) dynamically blends the psychological and physical with the spiritual, emphasizing full-blooded embodiment, authenticity, emotional openness and literacy, deep shadow work, and the development of relational maturity.