What is your biggest fear?

Dear Bloggers,

This week I talked to a young lady in the bus during one of the lonely and stormy nightshifts all of a sudden we entered the subject of loosing a person near to you. She told about the loss of her dad, when his business stranded due to the financial trouble a few years ago he did not see a way out anymore and took his own life. Even it is to discuss if you can do this to your family yes or no. I had a really deep conversation with her about the reason why we should be here? I found the following qoute of Natalie Babbit on the web and I think that this a better way of understanding this silly fear of death.

"Do not fear death... only the unlived life.
You don't have to live forever;
You just have to live."

It is natural to feel fear of the unknown. In regard to death, this fear may be of what might happen during the process of dying, such as the pain of a terminal illness, nausea, vomiting, or even fearing abandonment by those around you. The fear of death may also be perpetuated by the sadness of the family around the dying person, or the hopelessness of the doctor, or the nurses who feel they may have failed to keep the person alive. However, it is through death that the dying person can be released from the great burden of the diseased body.

Death is not an enemy, it is a natural fact of life, a stage of our existence, and a transition or doorway between planes of reality. Death has its own harmony with nature just as a tree loses its leaves every fall. We don't feel that it is unjust or that the tree failed to stay fully alive when it goes dormant through the winter. It is natural. Neither should doctors and nurses feel they have failed if after every endeavor a patient dies. Actually, it may be better to let a person take the opportunity to die peacefully rather than trying to force him or her to remain alive in a suffering body. In other words, it can be better to make peace with death than try to conquer it.

The process of dying can be rough, but it is temporary. The best thing to do is to focus our consciousness as much as we can in a way that will help us reach the highest realm possible after death. Of course, it always may be a little sad to leave our home and loved ones, but if we are going to a bigger and more beautiful home, then what is there to be sorry about? It is joyful to be going to a better place. This sort of joy will also help divert our attention from any pain we may be feeling.

The primary fear of death is, of course, not knowing what we will be or where we will go in the afterlife. If you are afraid of where you might go after death, be surrendered and know that fate, or God, will put you where you will best learn whatever you need to learn. The universe is based on compassion. It is not a punishment that we are here, but it is because of our desires for the experience of material existence and bodily sense pleasure. Each life is meant for us to learn more about ourselves, and about who we are. Death is not simply a matter of getting old or sick and then dying. Natural death happens when you have finished doing what you were meant to do in this life. You may have wanted to do more or not, but when you have done what you were meant to do, you will move on. Nature will arrange it that you will leave this realm. Each life is like a classroom wherein you learn a certain amount, and go through a certain number of lessons or tests. Then you graduate to the next class. We can learn willingly or unwillingly. We can cooperate or be uncooperative. We can repeatedly keep going through it until we learn all of the necessary lessons to go on to the next level. That is our choice. And if you have failed any of the tests, don't worry. You'll have the chance to try it again. Therefore, let go of any fear and let "God" or who or whatever you believe in put you where you will make the most progress.

Actually, to fear death reveals one's misunderstanding of life. It is a fear of knowing one's real self, which is beyond the bodily identification. It is that with which some people hesitate to acquaint themselves. Thus, if a person has known nothing else but one's bodily identity, losing the body can put one into fear. Yet, how can one ever think he was the body when it is plain to see that he came into this temporary world through birth and must leave it through death? All of our possessions, relationships, even our talents and skills are all temporary. So how can our body be anything more? Being afraid of death is like being afraid to give up an old and worn-out garment.

In this regard, the mind is the root cause of fear and suffering. However, this fear and anguish can be a gift because it shows where the mind gets caught in the desired model of thinking how things should be. It projects its own level of reality out on the world and its perception of things. When things are not the way we want them to be, or think they should be, the mind has difficulty accepting it and we suffer. We then often get angry, anxious, confused, or fall into fear. To enjoy freedom from suffering, we have to grow beyond our attachments, ego, and desires. Thus, the awareness of our approaching death plays an important role in helping us transcend our temporary worldly attachments, and to increase our development and qualities that are offered through our existence in different bodies or different planes of consciousness.

So an important point is that we do not have to be afraid of death, for we are all immortal. When we look around us, this is plain to see. Every winter the trees, plants and grass go dormant and practically die, yet they return to life and display their blooms in the spring. Even if a tree dies and becomes soil, we can see that out of it new life rises from the remnants of its decay. Even if the water of a pond disappears, it forms the steam from which clouds are created, which rain down the potential for new life. We witness many forms of transition of the same energy. It is an endless cycle in which we all participate. In the same way, our physical body is shed at death, but our life persists on another level. Thus, through death we also find renewal.

As it is stated in the ancient Bhagavad-gita, "Never was there a time when I did not exist, nor you. . . nor in the future shall any of us cease to be."

While we live in this material world, death helps alleviate and release us from our accumulated attachments, positions, and superficial desires. Death shows us what is not important, and makes us give up those things which can no longer help, or which keeps us from understanding who we really are. Even though we are here to experience the innumerable aspects of material existence, if we are too caught up in it, we will never understand our spiritual identity. Thus, death is an assistant which forces us to come to grips with what is temporary, and to give it up. It is another step in the learning process, to come closer to what we really are.

Unfortunately, if one is overly attached to his or her body, position, belongings and relations, death can seem like a severe punishment. Yet, it can be a gift or even a blessing if you are in deep kinds of pain. For the materialist who is afraid of losing everything, death is like the grip that crushes. With a spiritual understanding, one can find a meaning in dying.

In the end, there comes a time when we need to let ourselves, or the person dear to us, leave the body, just as when a person needs to rest. It can be wrong to resist the process of death, whether it be yours or that of another. So we should not begrudge another of his death. We should not be unwilling to let him or her go. As some of us are not able to live on but we should not be selfish and try to “rescue” the ones that cannot find another way out. It is his or her chance to enter a better realm to continue with his progress. He or she is not leaving us, he or she is simply going on before us.

Death is not an enemy, it can be like the friend who cuts the chain that holds the anchor which prevents one from sailing to greater horizons. This is the way we become closer to attaining freedom from this earthly plane, and from the dictates of the senses, the service of the body, and the impressions in the mind.

on the fear bus
I should put up a sign which says: “The one who fears death should take the next bus home.” I am afraid that my boss will not be very amused if I would do this for real.

The Old Sailor,


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