Posts tagged: death and dying

Mar 14 2011

You Can Be Free of the Fear of Death and Dying!

Death and dying – the primal fears of humans. Show me one who is not afraid of dying – unless you’ve the fortune of knowing one of Enlightened Masters during their lifetime, there’s hardly anybody living life free of fear. “Normal” people tend to hide this ever-present fear under the avalanche of  “important” events and happenings that consume all their time and energy, and keep them busy. They try to be “happy” at all costs, using the trickery of glamor, wealth, achievements, power and anything that makes them feel good… including mind altering substances.
All in vain, for the time will  come, when the reality presents itself with full force and there’s no place to hide from the inevitable. Just ask all those once powerful and famous  people, now awaiting their “termination” in old people homes and palliative care establishments. They are waiting for death, and the fear of dying saturates each moment of the fast extinguishing time.

For you, reading this writing, the fear of death and dying may still be very distant. You are either too exuberant to notice the immutability of death, or your spiritual progress makes you wiser and better prepared. But, for even the most advanced a spiritual seeker, the challenge to conquer the fear of  death is formidable, and when approached for the wrong angle, dissolution and despair will creep in.
Yet the solution (for those immersed in spirituality) is really simple: instead of magnifying the joy of living in the now and perfecting your body and  mind as “I”, disown them. That’s right, as the first step, disassociate yourself from your body. After all, it merely is a composite of the five  elements and is not unique – you’re hardly (genetically) different from a mice, let alone from another human. According to the USA Gov comparative  genomics site , similarities between mouse and human genes range from about 70% to 90%, with an average of 85% similarity. Individuality is an illusion. But you suffer all your life trying to maintain it.

When you treat your body as not “you” but your pet, or a tool only, your fear of death will be gone in no time. After all, why should you grieve about thousands of  sandwiches, volumes of water, gallons of soda, countless dinners, cocktails and boxes of fruits gone back to where they came from – to the ground?
All of them contributed to your body – they built and maintained it. They constituted it. Yet, you never called yesterday’s fruit salad Glenda, or the medium-rare steak that you had for last night’s dinner Paul. Yes, bot of you, Glenda and Paul, your bodies are the food essence only. Insentient, awkward, troublesome, often unpleasant.
Yes, the bottom gases of the greatest movie star smell as bad as those of your local vagabond…
Get your perspective on what you are right, understand your true nature. Said Ranjit Maharaj (form the same lineage as Nisargadatta Maharaj):
‘Understand for yourself that death is nothing. Know that, “I am birthless, I am deathless, I have never taken birth and I will never die.” Take the poisonous tooth out of the serpent and play with him. You know it is not going to do any harm to you. Death is nothing. Everyday, when you sleep it is like a small death. Why to fear? Nothing is there. Everything is illusion. Keep your mind in that fearless state only. Just as the poisonous tooth is taken out, in the same way, play with the world, play with the illusion, there is no harm. It won’t affect your mind. Live fearlessly; no death, no fear, knowing “I am that real Power.” There is nothing! What will harm you?’

Realize, that the consciousness is running your body; but you are neither the body nor the consciousness. Stop reacting to your body’s demands for attention, relayed by the consciousness. Ignore it, especially in trivial matters.
One simple test: call it a scratch test. Whenever you feel an urge to scratch yourself, resist it. When done consistently, it will increase your bodily independence, and help you gauge the progress. The greater the degree of your disassociation with your body, the greater your independence; with a freedom from pain as an added benefit. Nisargadatta Maharaj, in
advanced stages of the throat cancer was still teaching, surprising his doctors. Dr David R. Hawkins quotes  an incident in which his badly hurt thumb was amputated in hospital without anaesthetics.
Loose relationship with the body leaves you free… to die in peace. Free from the bondage of earthly matters, and realizing that you’re THAT, in your dying moment you’ll remain unconcerned. How different from the man quoted in Nisargadatta Maharaj’s anecdote:
‘There was a man who worked hard and gathered possessions for many years and now he is on his death bed in his village house. On his death bed he was looking into the cattle shed, he was not thinking noble thoughts, he was looking at the calf who was chewing a broomstick, and he was worried about the damage to the broomstick. So, even when he was dying, he was shouting, “The broomstick, the broomstick!”‘