Welcome fellow souls to « The Human Family Crash Course Series, » a new project collaborated together by empress2inspire.blog and dios-raw.com. Together we will be working on a different topic for each crash course; our eighth topic is focused on «Death». Each topic will have ten posts with posts on Mondays and Thursdays. We hope you enjoy our series and we look forward to knowing how our posts have inspired you!
The award-winning British novelist, Jonathan Trigell, notably said, “Dying alone is a deep fear for most people. I’m not scared of death but I’m scared of dying scared. Maybe everything else in life comes from those two points: the separation anxiety of childhood and the ultimate fear of dying alone.”
It is not the intent of this post to even begin to scratch the surface of this infinitely complex ongoing discussion of why our fall began or what happens after it ends. I will focus on two facts that as far as I know, are universally agreed to by all who think about these things:
- We are going to die.
- We have some level of fear, trepidation, dread, anxiety, distress, unease, apprehension, concern and/or worry about #1.
For the rest of the article I will use the word fear, knowing that one of the synonyms listed previously could be substituted by a given person for a given situation.
Being fearful can have two distinct components:
- We are afraid of being dead.
- We are afraid of the dying process.
If we fear being dead, Michael Kearney suggests, “We have an ego which is happiest when in control of a world that is familiar and predictable. We feel threatened by the approach of utter chaos and the ultimate unknown.”
Or, we might be afraid of an eternity of suffering if we don’t quite get it “right”. Or maybe we are just having such a good time here, we don’t want it to end.
So the goal isn’t to wrestle with the fear of death until you feel calm about it. The goal is to find the place where fear of death is irrelevant. As long as we identify ourselves with the cycle of birth and death, we will be gripped by fear that nothing exists beyond the grave. For most people, terms like “the cycle of birth and death” sound esoteric and alien. But there’s no need for any terminology or indeed any thinking about death.
The simple fact is that when you get to the place where fear of death doesn’t exist, you notice that you no longer have the fear, just as when you find your car keys, you have no fear that you lost them anymore. Now that meditation is quite familiar to almost everyone, it should be fairly easy to accept that meditation takes you to the place you want to reach, a deep sense of self that is untouched by fear. The experience is what counts. Along with the absence of fear, meditation sharpens one’s ability to stay in the present moment. This is another great help, because what makes death so frightening is the anticipation of it.