Walking with his son on Cole's Island . . . Maximus has his first encouter with Death himself:
My impression is we did—
that is, Death and myself, regard each other. And
there wasn't anything more than that, only that he had appeared,
and we did recognize each other--or I did, him, and he seemed
to have no question about my presence there, even though I was uncomfortable.
The old estrangement temporarily returns, and Maximus is athwart precisely that experience which first fed the intuition that some other world, in which this discomfort is avoidable, is possible: the self need only become to itself an image of transcendent reality to avoid the encounter with death.