We are living in a world of a massive amount of information, a world that generates statistics. We can find ourselves frightened or excited, convinced, sceptical or overwhelmed. Or all of these on the same day. Statistics can also be so impersonal. Given all this we can need to reflect to bring ourselves back to the realities behind all these numbers. Yet do we dare to do so? Actually to consider large numbers of people is recommended by the Buddha for someone contemplating death, looking for peace of mind in the face of death. There can be a good side to an impersonal view, we can take this in a good direction and calm the mind. How so? First of all there is something about large numbers that overwhelms the mind, so many! Then, if we have faith in rebirth and can consider how many lifetimes we ourselves may have been through, that all these bodies could be our bodies, this gives us a different impression. Rather than inspired by sorrow, by individual deaths we can feel disenchanted, weary with the whole process of birth and death, over and over.
This perception may not sound so uplifting either! But there is, in this same perception, a refuge to faith in reincarnation rather than annihilation at the time of death. To a mind ready to let go, such a perception of the whole story could enable us to let go of the whole mass of suffering associated with the body, all at once. This is liberation.
I offer this for your reflection