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Deathly Afraid

I wanted to write about one of life's three grand illusions, death. The other two being time and money. The main message I wanted to get across is that who you really are cannot possibly die for it is eternal. Then I found this post on a blog called "Capital Self" and realized that I could not say it better, in spite of its spelling errors. I am reproducing the entire post here since I don't know how long it will stay available.

Is the Fear of Death and Dying Running Your Life?

For every human being, the fear of death and dying are just a “part of the package”. To be born is to begin a timeline that will, inevitably, end at the time of death. In the world, no place exists where one can shelter from death. Call it the law of Nature or karma; we’re all subjected to it. Talking about the latter… did you know that according to consciousness research, the time of death is set at the time of birth? However, how you die depends entirely on your actions. Yes, it pays to thread through life carefully…

For many a spiritual practitioner, the subject of death and dying is not as fearsome as for the rest of us. Those of the advanced level of consciousness treat death as nothing more than shedding off a temporary bodily form that in no way reflects one’s true identity.

Put simply, the true “YOU” never dies. As far as the enlightened sage Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj is concerned, YOU were never born. So, where is the question of dying? Said Maharaj: “The real you is timeless and beyond birth and death. The body will survive as it is needed. It is not important that it should live long.”

Your Money or Your Life?Most of us become preoccupied with thoughts about death and dying as we grow older, or get besieged by health problems, or endure personal tragedies of family or friends. It is a common belief that the fear of death is our greatest fear. Apparently not so. According to the recent poll of Americans between the ages of 44 and 75, more than 61% said that they fear depleting their assets more than death. See this  →

Surprising results, are they not? My explanation is that because of the speed with which our lives become corrupted by money and commercialization, we tend to think that having money will enable us to buy more life, i.e. prolong it and delay the inevitable… True to a point, but when you consider quality of life issues, money cannot buy you everything.

Yes, I meant the state of your mind. For there are young people with plenty of “biological life” left in them, who don’t wish to live anymore. Why? Because the foundation of a meaningful life lies well outside of one’s physical body. Your spirituality i.e. how “close” your are to your Self will inevitably determine how happy and fulfilling your life will be.

So, what you and I, humans of limited if any exposure to spirituality, can do to lessen the fear of death and dying? It’s simple: think about it often; particularly when you’re in a good mood and the future is looking bright. No, not to spoil the joy, but to accept the reality, to get used to it.

Said Michel de Montaigne:

“To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more in mind than death. We do not know where death awaits us. So let us wait for it everywhere. To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
View this short video for more: Death and Dying

Finally, understand that YOU are never afraid of death. It is your ego, after usurping your identity that is shaking with fear. Ignoring it is a wisdom very few people possess. They know and understand Sri Ramana Maharshi’s words:

“Death does not dissolve your individuality. Although when you die you’re like a river discharging into the ocean, with its evaporation you return as rain on the hillside, once more form a river and fall into the ocean.”

When you know that experiencing worldly life means no more than living an illusion, the grim Reaper will no longer strike fear in your heart. And when you embrace spirituality as your guiding light, you’ll reach the ultimate state: instead of wishing “I don’t want to die!” you’ll ask to never be born again.