How do you know what this man thought/pondered/studied all his life?
You are judging him by what he said & did during those last few moments.
The husband’s thoughts show the great sway woman has in shaping the male mind. For example, he wasn’t wishing well his wife’s strive towards true independence. No, he thought only of her continuing dependence of what he could provide her.
If you're on your deathbed, do you start a philosophical discussion ?
By way of reply, a Zen story:
A woman died, but had left a letter for her son, in the form of a will, wishing him Enlightenment.
She signed it: Your Mother,
not born, not dead.
His spirituality was expressed by the love and care he had for others.
That is a complete fantasy. Loving and caring for others only expresses egotism.
The point I make is that the husband considered his wife’s future comfort over his own immediate need when he faced probable death. That showed he is capable of thinking outside his own self – at least at that moment in time.
But that is all it shows.
Being able to consistently think in that manner is a prerequisite for spirituality, though it is in seed form, and may indeed never develop further than that.
You are spiritually dead without selfless compassion.
You believe the husband’s actions were ‘selfless’. That cannot be, for he’s slaved away his life working to pay off the mortgage on a house to keep his wife happily ensconced, and rewarded for his efforts with the comforts and pleasures a wife possesses.
This using of each other: she the prostitute, he the protector, is considered to be a ‘spiritual union’. Obviously it isn’t. Marriage is a perverse condition that has hold of humanity, keeping it trapped in debauchery.
Selfless compassion is only ever present when you understand that your own nature and the nature of reality are one and the same. Not understanding this, your every action is plain and simple egotism.