Everyone dies. The trick is to not die too soon. Practically everyone dies too soon. And are the walking dead Jesus was talking about (Because no one-- not even Jesus-- can talk to them. They are quite dead, and long past being able to hear anything being said to them) with his, "Leave the dead to bury the dead" line. Don't be one of them! I don't care how easy it would be-- and nothing is easier than being dead before your time. Look around you. Everyone you see is dead before their time. And there is no resurrection for them, in spite of the fact that a large majority of them spend all of their time talking about the resurrection, and no time at all talking about what's what right here, right now, and what needs to be done about it, which is the only conversation worth having. How alive are you to right here, right now? That's how alive you are. If there is nothing here, now, for you, and you are just wiling away the hours waiting for Jesus to come take you to Beulah Land, you are really only waiting for some coroner to make your death official, because you have been unofficially dead for years, having shut Jesus out of your life long ago with his piercing inquiry, "Why don't you decide for yourself what is right?" You chose not to decide anything for yourself and to opt out of your life by letting someone else tell you what to do and when and how to do it all your "life" long. The first rule of life is Be True To Yourself! If you miss that step, there are nothing but false steps remaining, and here we are, with "nothing but the dead and dying back in (our) hometown" (and everywhere else we have been, and are). So, "Don't Die Too Soon!" is the guiding mantra of those who are determined to find their life and live it, no matter what.
If you are ever going to be anything, be one of those people, and "get busy living" as Red Redding might say.
The Buddha had it figured out. His "release from suffering" is simply, "Don't let it get to you!" "Don't take it seriously!" "Don't give it the time of day!" This is all Buddhism comes down to. "Put all your moaning and complaining, whining and crying 'Like a little boy with two skint knees' in a paper bag and throw it in the burning barrel! 'And get busy living, or get busy dying,' (As Red Redding might say)." We take every thing too seriously. Money, for example. I once took a cross I had made by gluing two wooden matches (back in the day) together, put them in an ash tray (still back in the day) and torched them with a lighted match, in a group of high schoolers at a church I was pastoring, and no one said anything. I then took a dollar bill and set it on fire in the same ash tray, and everybody shouted, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING???" "Making a point," I said. "What symbol means the most to you?" Money counts most. Matters most. We take money seriously. But. We can't eat it. We can't drink it. We can't breathe it. Yet, we destroy the environment to make money. Go, as they say, figure. The Buddha would say, "Stop taking your life and everything in it so damn seriously!" Lao Tzu would say, "Do your work and step back. Let nature take its course." But we have no idea of what our work is. We do not know what we are here for. And we think more money is the answer to all of our problems. And if you won't listen to the Buddha, and if you won't listen to Lao Tzu, what chance do I have? Do you think I worry about it? I'm stepping back. Letting nature take its course.
Our symbols choose us the way the wand chooses the wizard. We do not think up a worthy symbol, we realize the truth of the symbols that are who we are, that represent the essence of "who we have always been, and who we will be" (Carl Jung). Realizing our connection with that which represents us to ourselves and to the world is a major transition point from looking to seeing, and aids tremendously in finding the guides that will lead us along the way. The trick with symbols lies in their interpretation. Any symbol can be us or not-us, depending on how we view them. And so it is said that "Right-seeing is the heart of right-doing and right-being, although the line separating the three is too fine to see, even with an electron microscope and infinite patience. The other trick with symbols is that all symbols have to be re-interpreted over time. That is why Christianity is a dead religion. It's symbols are dead. Not one has been upgraded/updated in over 2,000 years. And everybody can tell you what they are and what they mean! A living symbol reveals itself to you in ways that cannot be said/told/explained to anyone-- even to ourselves! They are as true as true can be, but we cannot say what it is exactly, or what it means! Which is the essential quality of all truth! We are always working with our symbols and seeing how they deepen and expand with our investigation/examination of them over the full course of our life. It is hard to imagine how we could ever out-grow our symbols, but it is easy to see how we might kill them, with inattention and unconcern.