LA Times – KENNETH R. WEISS – Oct 31, 2011
Demographers at the United Nations Population Division set Oct. 31, 2011, as the “symbolic” date for hitting 7 billion, while acknowledging that it’s impossible to know for sure the specific time or day. Using slightly different calculations, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the 7-billion threshold will not be reached until March.
Under any methodology, demographers agree that humanity remains on a steep growth curve, which is likely to keep climbing through the rest of this century. The U.N.’s best estimate is that population will march past 9.3 billion by 2050 and exceed 10.1 billion by the end of the century. It could be far more, if birthrates do not continue to drop as they have in the last half-century. Go to story
Birth means death. Birth means old age. Birth means disease. Whenever there is birth, the other things are corollaries. They’ll follow. Your birth means… A son is born. Oh, you are very glad, “I have got a son.” But if you study philosophically, no, birth is not. He is not born. Death is born. Because the growing of the child means he is dying. It is dying. The dying process. The very day, the very moment the child is born, the dying process begins. So we do not know that it is not birth. It is death. This is called maya. This is called illusion, that death is born and we are jolly that there is birth of a child. This is called maya.
So everything, from the beginning of our birth, we are illusioned, illusioned. And that illusion is so strong that it is very, very difficult to get out of it. Whole thing is illusion. The birth is illusion. This body is an illusion. And the bodily relationship, the country is illusion. The father is illusion. The mother is an illusion. The wife is illusion. The children are illusion. Everything illusion. Everything illusion. And we are compact in that illusion. We are thinking that we are very much learned and very much advanced and so many things we are imagining.
But as soon as death comes, the actual fact, the beginning of death, then we forget everything. We can forget our country. We forget our relatives. We forget our wife, children, father, mother—everything gone. You see? If it is a fact that I am soul, eternal, then it is a fact also that in my previous life I had my country. I had my children. I had my home. I had my father. I had my everything. But can you remember any of these things, what you were in your previous life? Either human, human-born life or either animal life, you cannot… Death means forgetful. We have forgotten everything.
Actually, there is no death for the soul. Just like you are… At night, you go to sleep. So that is a sort of death. And again you get up in the morning. So death is something like that. Death is sleeping for seven months. That’s all. Without any consciousness. For three, three months without any consciousness. Or, say, seven months. Death means forgetfulness. Just like at sleep, we forget everything, what I am, where I am sleeping, who I am, what is my identity, identification, everything forgotten. Then again, as soon as I rise up in the morning, I remember, “Oh, I am such and such officer. I am such and such father, such and such husband, and I have got to do such and such things.” Everything remembered. But during your sleep, you forget everything. Similarly, death means from the time of your leaving this body and entering into the womb of another mother, and so long another body is not developed, you remain unconscious. And as soon as another body’s developed within the womb of the mother and the time is up to come out, then again you remember.