“Our greatest fear is that when we die we will become nothing. Many of us believe that our entire existence is only a life span beginning the moment we are born or conceived and ending the moment we die. We believe that we are born from nothing and when we die we become nothing. And so we are filled with fear of annihilation.
The Buddha has a very different understanding of our existence. It is the understanding that birth and death are notions. They are not real. The fact that we think they are true makes a powerful illusion
that causes our suffering. The Buddha taught that there is no birth; there is no death; there is no coming; there is no going; there is no same; there is no different; there is no permanent self; there is no annihilation. We only think there is. When we understand that we cannot be destroyed, we are liberated from fear. It is a great relief. We can enjoy life and appreciate it in a new way.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear
Thich Nhat Hanh describes a kind of conservation of spiritual energy, similar to the Laws of Conservation of Matter and Energy in physics that led Antoine Lavoisier (1743 –1794), the Father of Modern Chemistry, to conclude, “Nothing is born, nothing dies.”
The concept was also touched on in the popular science fiction movie, The Day The Earth Stood Still, wherein the main character reveals, “Nothing ever truly dies. The universe wastes nothing. Everything is simply, transformed.” The film was based on the short story, “Farewell to the Master” (1940) by Harry Bates.