Who is born? Who dies? Who am I?
Continuum and Events
Biochemical life on Earth is a continuum process. There is no separation between the individual and the rest of the Universe. The individual is a continuum process that is part of the larger continuum that is the Eternal Totality of All Existence - The All.
We have decided to label the arise and demise of an individual as the events of "birth" and "death". Events do not happen in a vacuum, they happen within the continuum of the Totality of Existence. Nothing is really born nor dies. Phenomena occur within the mysterious, eternal, unity of the Totality of All. Where is the separation within unity? There is none. There is in truth only one entity in existence and that is the Totality of Everything. Some cultures call this totality "God", but once again the word label is not the thing itself. Realising that life, the Universe, and Everything only has one, real, underlying identity, some people call the Totality "the real Self" or simply "Self".
"Who am I?" This is a question many ask themselves and often stop at the identification of "I am so-and-so, I am the son/daughter of such-and-such, etc..." but this is not the real identity of life. These are just "identifications" with name, culture, and family.
The real identity of Life, the Universe, and Everything is the one, undivided, unborn, undying, mysterious, eternal, and immortal Totality of Existence; God, Self, Tao, the One Self.
Once we realise that there is only one real Self in the Totality of Existence and that Self IS the Totality of Existence, then we can answer the question "Who is born?" and "Who dies?"
Even the individual on the level of a non-physical soul is still an experience of individuality that occurs within the eternal and immortal Totality of Existence - the real Self.
The undying eternal Existence is the One Real Identity of the entirety of everything. It is the One, Unified, Permanent, Eternal Self. Part of the Self is the ability for It to create universes and experiences of variety, multiplicity, and diversity. The totality of all the permutations of these creations has been called "The Creation".
The One Self has a quality that is "The Creation" where within this area occur all the possible experiences of variety, multiplicity, diversity, and individuality. This "Creation" quality is the imagination of the True Self (God, Tao, Buddha-consciousness, etc...) and it is where everything that can happen does happen and anything that cannot happen will never happen. The Creation is the totality of all the possible experiences of variety, multiplicity, diversity, and individuality.
Thus, to the unborn and undying Real Self, all experiences within The Creation are dreamlike imaginations - "made in the imagination of God". Anything happening in a dream cannot really effect the dreamer, even although the experiences within a dream can seem so real that the dreamer IDENTIFIES (gets attached) with the dream. When the dream passes the dreamer is still alive and well and this is the same process that occurs between the Real Self and the Creation.
Thus, the entire subject of birth and death can be understood in the light of CORRECT IDENTIFICATION with the One Real Self. The sorrow, grief, and depression concerning death are only caused due to mis-identification with the physical body and the experience of being an individual.
Death and The Individual Soul
THE QUESTION OF IDENTITY
Q: What is born?
A: The physical body. What is born will experience growth, maintenance, aging, disease, and death. Neither be shocked nor grieve at the appearance of these natural processes.
Q: What experiences the body?
A: The embodied Soul.
Q: What creates and ultimately experiences all things?
A: The Eternal Totality of Existence - God, Total Self, Tao.
FEAR AND SORROW CONCERNING DEATH
When we forget that we are a soul, then we mistakenly believe that we are the physical body and that other souls are also their current physical body.
When we forget that we are a soul, then we experience much pain and sorrow when a physical body dies. We forget that the soul is not the body and thus we lament when our loved ones die. Yet, in spiritual reality, the soul is an eternal being that has been created by our sweet and loving Lord, the Creator of all things.
In the spiritual reality, we do not lament when the physical body dies because we know that the soul is the experiencer of the body and worldly character and the soul does not die. The future of the soul is in the heart and hands of God, our sweet and beloved Lord, therefore there is no need for sorrow or lamentation.
Realize the soul, the non-physical experiencer of the body, and realize the Creator to be our beloved sweet Lord. Life and death are in the hands of God. Trust in God and thank God for the whole show.