–by Masanobu Fukuoka (Mar 02, 2017)
The fear of death, I think, is not so much a fear of the death of the body as it is a fear of the loss of the attachment to wealth and fame, and to the other worldly desires that are a part of everyday life. The degree of one’s fear of death is generally proportional to the depth of one’s worldly attachments and passions.
So how can we die peacefully if we do not resolve our attachments? The content of these attachments, of course, is nothing more than illusion. It is the same as when a person, believing he possesses a treasure in gold, silver, and jewels, opens the box to find only worthless bits of glass and rubble.
I have said that material things have no intrinsic value. It simply appears that they have value because people have created the conditions in which they seem to be valuable. Change the conditions and the value is lost. Value is born and disappears according to the whims of the times.
There is nothing for people to gain and nothing for them to lose. As long as people lived according to natural law, they could die peacefully at any time like withering grasses.
If a person dies naturally, then not only is that person at ease, but the minds of those around him are at peace, and there will be no regrets in the future. Ultimately, the one that announces the coming of death and delivers the final words is not a priest or a physician, but nature. The only thing for people to decide is how they can best achieve a death that complies with nature’s will.
Fukuoka passed away on August 16, 2008, at the age of 95. He had been in poor health since the autumn of 2007. In early August, he asked his physician to discontinue treatments. He passed away shortly after that, peacefully, at his home, during the Obon festival. Obon is a midsummer holiday in the part of the Planet we call Japan when the ancestors visit the living for three days. It is a happy time. Villagers tend the graves, and children run and play together. On the third day, the ancestors return to a send-off of songs, dances, and fireworks. Fukuoka died on the third night of Obon. 🙂
–Masanobu Fukuoka in Sowing Seeds in the Desert — Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security. Translated into English by Larry Korn in 2012 [Illustration offered as an anonymous gift :-)]