Sunday, 22 February 2015

Why so grim?

I cannot recall when it was that I no longer feared death. Don’t get me wrong, being in possession of a human body with its countless nerve-endings, the idea of a dying painfully is as unappealing to me as it is to most others. But the idea of not existing in my current incarnate form does not cause me any anxiety. Initially, this absence of the fear of death was overshadowed by what Annie Lennox so eloquently expresses in her song “Cold”..., “Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death”. For a very long time my fear of life overshadowed the absence of a fear of death. It may be that I’ve never feared death, but did not notice because of my overriding fear of life. As I grew older and marginally wiser my fear of life began to diminish. And in its fading an absence starkly stood out, though I did not at first have the words to express this outline of something not there. It is only in the last few years that I’ve found the words to identify the feeling, or in this case the absence of a feeling. Like with so many aspects of the human experience, awareness emerges when heavier emotions such as fear and guilt move or are moved out of the way. Freedom and love and joy are within all of us all of the time, needing only a little bit of breathing space to emerge and shine. The fear of death may seem like a rather heavy boulder to shift, but perhaps if you take a closer look at this fear you may discover that it is not a fear of death at all. It may be a fear of physical pain (often associated with an untimely death). It may be more closely related to feelings of guilt about leaving loved ones in the lurch. Or it may simply be our mammalian self-preservation hard-wiring. Is it really a fear of no longer existing in your current incarnate form? If it is, then ask yourself, why would this prospect frighten you? Is it not true that life is eternal? Is it not true that there is no end point? We simply move on and continue to grow and evolve in another form. And even if the idea of eternal life is nothing more than a fantasy, non existence will not feel regret or unhappiness about it’s non-existence. So why then fear death?

Now I’m not suggesting recklessness. Recklessness results in pain and suffering more often than it results in death. If you are still alive, it is more desirable to experience comfort and ease than pain and suffering. So not fearing death has got nothing to do with bungy jumping or skydiving. Rather, it is about purging a very ancient and very heavy emotional blockage and allowing ease and peace to rise up from within. This does not only apply to your own death, but also to that of your loved ones. What I know for sure is this, it is far easier to love someone when you let go of the fear of losing them. The depth of love that can be experienced when fear is released is astonishing and compares to nothing else. The depth of freedom and peace that can be experienced when the fear of death is released will transform your life in ways you cannot even imagine.