Stephen Levine’s Final Chapter

Stephen Levine

Stephen Levine – 1937 – 2016

“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” – Stephen Levine

The American spiritual writer, poet and teacher Stephen Levine died on Sunday January 17 at the age of 76. He was best known for his work on death and dying but one of the most significant aspects of his work was his pioneering approach to grief counseling for concentration camp survivors, Vietnam war veterans and victims of sexual abuse.

Here is an interesting quote to ponder by Stephen Levine on buddhism, life and truth.

Examining “Who am I” is like beginning to go to the movies just to see
how the movie is made.  As we first sit down in the dark theater we find that we are relating to the objects of the melodrama, the motion on the screen.  We pay attention to the story line, which we notice is like the contents of the mind, allowing it to unfold as it will without judgment or the least interference.  As we focus our attention on the process, we begin to see that frames that constitute film are like separate thoughts; then we begin to recognize the process buy which the images are produced, and it breaks our enthrallment with the story line.  We notice that all the activity is just a projection on a blank screen.  That all these figures dancing before us are an illusion produced by light passing through various densities on the film.  We see the film is like our conditioning, a repetitious imprint of images gone by.  We see that the whole melodrama is a passing show of motion and change … We discover that all we imagined ourselves to be — all our becoming, our memory, all the contents of mind — is just old film running off.  The projectionist has died.  “Who am I?” can’t be answered.  We cannot know the truth.  We can only be it.  Constantly living life in the past tense, rummaging through consciousness to decide who and what we are, the truth is obscured. The truth cannot be discovered in the contents of the mind.  Only the untruth of false identification can be uncovered.  Going beyond the false, the truth is revealed. – Stephen Levine

My thoughts go out to his son and his loving and devoted wife of 40 years, Ondrea Levine. Another humanitarian gone too soon. RIP Stephen Levine. Over and out…






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