F Is for Fear of Death!
Quick recap: We are all connected! To each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically. However, if we are all connected then why can one feel separated from this connectedness? We can feel separate because we are born with a body and a mind. It is our mind that leads us to believe we are separate!
This week the "F" in IPAAF, the fifth Klesha, is for Fear of death. In sanskrit its called "Abhinivesha."
The longer we live, usually, the more we learn. And the irony is, just as we might be getting this existence down pat, whoosh, off we go....
"Everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl" - Rumi
The oldest human has lived to 123 years old.
That's the most anyone can expect as of today!
Take the age 123 and subtract your age from it! What is your answer?
Now sit and ponder that answer for a few minutes, you have (insert your answer) years left?
Please stop reading and notice how you feel for a few moments....happy, sad, helpless, hopeless, anxious, angry, calm, peaceful, afraid? There is no right or wrong answer, just be aware of it.
Being human can be awesome in that you are aware of your existence. This amazing existence. The world we live in can be beautiful. Think of all the pleasures you have experienced in your life through your different senses? The awe we can experience is unending if we allow it in.
With this awe also comes a dread! The realization that we are in this awesome universe yet our time is finite. The irony of nature! It's like here is a cookie, oh but wait, it's not forever!
Our different cultures, which can be viewed as an expression of our previous generations, have been instrumental in helping us deal with this dread: They feed us "immortality formulas" (credit Ernest Becker) by telling us, where we come from, how to live while were here, and what happens when we die? Very helpful for most.
"The fear of death is the most unjustified of all fears, for there's no risk of accident for someone who's dead."- Einstein
The fear of death can be the largest subconscious motivator for us all in life.
So what is this fear of death exactly? What are we afraid of? The unknown. Our ego, wants to live forever. From the ignorance(link please?) essay, the filament in the light bulb thinks it's the source of all energy for the lightbulb to shine. The real source is the electricity! The electricity turns off and the filament in the light bulb is no more! The ego will have none of this! It wants to live forever.
As a human, you come into this world not of free will. You also leave this world, usually not of free will either? It's kind of funny the entry and exit (usually) points are not our choice. But while we are here we have free will. Nothing to be afraid of. We are only going back to the energy source we came from. Nothing to fear.
When you think of the cast of characters in our history who comes to mind? Galileo, marketer of the telescope and Copernicus's message that the earth goes around the sun, not vice versa as the mystics had force fed us for 80 generations, or, the Pope who put him under house arrest for being a heretic and upturning his organizations paradigms? What drove these humans? Was it the fear of death? What drove all names of recognition in history? Was it fear of death?
Carl Sagan quipped: "We are here so the universe may know itself." Ok, so now the universe knows itself! Now what? We are still here!! Is our time up? or do we have another purpose now that the universe knows itself? And what could that be? Remember humans have not been in existence for 99.99% of time and the Universe did just fine without us. Perhaps it was created to be our playground or is that my human hubristic ego talking from a deep subconscious fear of death!
It is the Klesha's (IPAAF) that help separate us from the Universal. When we learn to be aware of and manage ignorance, pride, attachment, aversion and fear of death, we find we become more centered, more connected. It is in this connection that we learn it's okay to soften the individual in us and in doing so we don't give up ourselves, we allow the universal to flow more easily through us. We become more connected adding to our biological, chemical and atomical connections that are already in place. And it is in that place our greatest joy in our life can occur, simply connected. We have come to know it as the word, Love.
Next week, something new from the heart, how yoga springs from a benevolent Universe...