Fear of Death

Warning!  For various reasons the following will probably upset you in one way or another, so continue to read at your own risk.

My foray into the Powers of Time has led my mind committee back to an ever favorite topic of debate:

How pervasive is the Fear of Death?

**********

Now, for better or worse, I was raised in and currently inhabit a society where the majority of folks believe in some kind of continuation of the individual “spark” that makes them, well, Them.  This ‘spark’ is referred to as Consciousness, Soul, Spirit, Divine Individuation, Energy… the list is long.

Although folks may disagree on how many trips we get in a mortal body, where exactly our spark starts and ends, what a spark must do in order to move through various levels of existence and how many actual levels of existence there are… for the most part, I’m surrounded by people who believe our ‘spark’ is immortal.

This is a very broad overview of the variety of beliefs that tout,

“Death is only the beginning”

**********

In a somewhat contradictory fashion, however, the society I live in is fully focused on Life being the preferred level.

I’m bombarded daily with options to keep me young and sexy.   The medical community pursues keeping the body alive long after the ‘spark’ has sputtered out.

I cannot legally commit suicide or help another to do so.

I’m encouraged to eat right, exercise and contribute to society as part of my patriotic duties, but no one is allowed to off me should I become a drain on the system or so messed up I can’t function without daily professional or medicinal intervention.

Pleas for the government  to ensure safety from food poisoning, terrorists and economic collapse tell me that we all have a great investment in Life and just as surely, want to avoid Death for as long as possible.

**********

I embarrassed some in my circle during a Christmas get together a few years ago, when I asked the local minister if folks believe in Heaven then why are they afraid to die?

He answered it was because of fear of the unknown.

But, I countered, it’s not unknown.  We’ve been told for millenia how wonderful Heaven is.  We’ve been given the rule book on how to get there.

Even non-christian beliefs often contain some kind of far off utopia which can only be reached once the physical body is done.

If we have faith in any of those versions, then how can we be fearful of dying?

He did offer to meet me for tea later to discuss in length.   The hostess of the party quickly saved everyone from my non-pc musings by distracting them with food and punch.

**********

The loss of my oldest son to bacterial meningitis has resulted in me looking at death very differently.   Even what prior bouts of massive pain could not induce me to contemplate, immense grief has driven me too.

I have, on occasion the past two years, asked the Universe if I could please be done.

This is not due to any great faith that ‘being done’ will result in seeing Morgan again.   It’s also not done with any great optimism that my pleas will be answered….

It’s simply because sometimes, even nothingness seems like a better option than current pain levels.

**********

I’m not discounting the sanctity of Life.   There are many pleasures I’ve received simply because I woke up and decided to breathe for just one more day.

I’m constantly inspired by the beauty of the human spirit in face of incredible odds and woes.   I delight in the beauty of Mother Nature.  And yes, there are often moments where I wonder how anything can be more perfect than Now.

**********

One of my favorite authors wrote that at one dark period in his life, he drove out to the middle of nowhere and attempted to feed a hose from his car exhaust into the car…where he was sitting….with the windows rolled up….

Seems the hot exhaust kept melting the tape and the hose wouldn’t stay connected.

His conclusion?

To dumb to live, to incompetent to die.

Sometimes I can empathize with his trials….

**********

So I drift along, constantly changing my ‘order’ to the Universal Wish Fulfillment Center.  It often goes something like this:

Long day of overdoing results in physical discomfort.

Physical discomfort leads to other pains, previously suppressed, but now yelling for attention.

I despair that life will every be perfect again.

I ask to please be done.  I go to sleep chanting my ‘done, done, done’ mantra.

I awake to find I’m alive, for one more day.

Great!  Okay, so what will I do today to keep myself entertained, not burn too many bridges and make some choices that have foundations in the possibility of a tomorrow, cuz, hey, history shows me there’s a very good chance I’m going to wake up tomorrow too.

I thank the Universe for the beauty and splendor around me.  I appreciate the sparks that inhabit my life.  I try to make the most of everything.

And I make plans and pursue pleasures like I’m never going to die…

**********

If it’s true that our reality is created by our thought processes then I’m sure whoever is In Charge has placed all my orders on hold, stamped with a big Red

“Changes Order Constantly.   To save on shipping and return costs, delay order fulfillment, indefinitely.”

Ah well, at least I’m safe from myself.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “Fear of Death”

  1. Not to push this…but! Imagine how much more you’d like it if you actually had a relationship with the living Lord.

    I’m not a church-goer. The church is lukewarm. I don’t blame you for not mediating on peace, what’s the point?

    Like

    1. I approach my relationship with a living lord via loving those around me, as, I believe, we were given guidance to do:
      Matthew 25:31-40:
      “‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’
      Which is also the reason why I balance spiders on butter knives to return them outdoors, instead of killing them. And why I give great appreciation and gratitude to the food, animal or plant, I prepare before I eat.
      I started shaping my ideology in Sunday School, but science and history are what have matured it. I think more about the circle of life and what all gives so that I may live. For me, for now, that is the relationship I strive to hold onto.

      Like

  2. Sad thoughts. Sorry you have them. I have a friend, who is like me, a follower of Jesus with no particular religiosity, who is afraid to die. I asked her about that, being as we are promised to meet Jesus face-to-face after we slip our mortal coils. As it turns out, she is afraid of the suffering she might have to experience before dying.

    I’m not afraid to die.

    Like

    1. If you’ve followed my blog, then I guess you know I’m not either – sans intense pain via fire, flood or torture initiating it, of course.

      I’ve found that those who really enjoy their life and ardently plan for the future are often fearful of death, no matter what their stated beliefs in an afterlife are.

      I also think History shows us the most dangerous people are those who feel they have nothing left to lose.

      Being educated in various belief systems is not all it’s cracked up to be…

      I can relate to the following quote from Angels and Demons:
      Robert Langdon: I’m an academic. My mind tells me I will never understand God.
      Camerlengo Patrick McKenna: And your heart?
      Robert Langdon: Tells me I’m not meant to. Faith is a gift that I have yet to receive.

      Like

      1. Robert Langdon is right. No one can understand God. In fact He says in the Bible, “My ways are higher than your ways.”

        Faith is a gift, so he’s right again. Funny thing about faith. We have faith in chairs in as much as we never give even a nanoseconds consideration, will it hold us up or not. Yet, when it comes to God there is much pondering and angst.

        Just so you know, I was raised a Unitarian, also studied all the other religions including Scientology over the course of 25 years. You are right, being educated to the various belief systems is NOT what it is cracked up to be.

        I came to Jesus in 1996. Or should I say, He came to me. Without your own experiential data you will not understand.

        Like

        1. My “experiential data” consists of moments when the world stopped, time stood still, the beauty around me amazed me and swelled my heart way past capacity.
          They came during times of letting go of loved ones, hiking through nature or watching a sunset, to name a few.
          They never come to me in a house of worship or while I’m supposed to be ‘meditating on peace’
          They take me by surprise and never fail to leave me in awe.

          Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s