Fear of death while living in a pandemic
The truth is not: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” The truth is, “Fear is nothing left to fear “!
This brings us to the ultimate truth: there is nothing to fear!
However, this does not imply that we should not fear.
Fear is a messenger in the same way that pain is a messenger that invites us to investigate and discover what is wrong.
Fear appears when we overlook what is true, real, substantial, essential, permanent about ourselves and the world.
Fear is our healthy resistance to what we do not want: discomfort, harm, pain, suffering, disease and death.
However, these are unavoidable in our human experience. These are experiences that we have all had countless times (except death), that we have survived and learned from and will continue to survive and learn until we die. We must not fear them, but we must resist and avoid them, and fear is the form that our resistance takes.
Now we come to the only experience that we have never experienced, but that we all fear: death. Our existential fear of death is our resistance to our death. Why resist when it is inevitable? This is not to say that we do not do our best to avoid and resist dangerous and unhealthy situations by caring for and acting in a way that makes us feel safe. But why resist death?
Our resistance to death leads us to imagine crazy things like: “There is a right time and a right way to die, and a wrong time and a wrong way to die.” In reality, death appears at all times and in all forms. For many it has been and will be the COVID-19 virus. For many, about 20,000 this year, it has been the flu. For 3.1 million children each year according to the UNCIEF (1.03 million this year alone) it is malnutrition.
We can learn, gradually or all at once, to live our life without resistance to death, ours and that of our loved ones. Imagine what it would be like to live our life that way, without resisting the fact that one day we will die without knowing when or how; and not resisting the pain of loss, which is made out of love for our loved ones. Since death is inevitable, we can come to savor the fact that we were born and are still here and savor every moment that we have left. This is what we come to when we welcome our fear of death, we discover that fear is nothing to fear and that there is really nothing to fear.
While this implies that we should not be afraid, it does not suggest that we should stop being afraid. Again, fear, like pain, is a messenger that invites us to explore what is wrong and exposes our resistance to something. There are many things that should resisting for the sake of health and safety, such as resisting being around other people during this pandemic.
We know that the body will die, and we believe that when the body dies we die because we believe that all we are is the body. We assume that it is a fact that the body is the source of consciousness, the consciousness with which we are aware of all experience and ourselves. Actually, it is a presumption, not a fact. No one has ever seen consciousness come out of the brain or sensations come out of the body. That is a fact of our experience that we are conscious and that we feel and perceive; but it is a theory that the body is the source of these.
This theory, which is presumed to be a fact, comes from the undeniable correlation between the brain and experience. We affect the brain and we affect the experience. Kill the body and there will be no more experience for this person. (There is no experience for any person in deep sleep, however, we do not say that the Self has disappeared / died). However, this is no different from affecting our computers and monitors and affecting the information that is experienced, and then concluding that the monitor and the computer are the source or cause of the information. Could it be that the body is like the laptop, a local, “personal” medium through which we access the universal and impersonal information bandwidth that is available to all computers? And just as that information bandwidth remains when the laptop dies, does the Being, the Consciousness, the “I” remain?
The fact that all of us as “people” yearn for eternal life and most of us believe in life after death or reincarnation can be a clue in our minds and feelings that we are not simply the body, that the body It is not the source of consciousness, and that when the body dies we consciousness does not disappear any more than the information bandwidth disappears when a laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone dies.
Consciousness is the source of all experience. This is easy to test. Eliminate awareness of any experience and where it is no experience? Our experience of what thought labels the body, mind, and world is our experience of feeling, feeling, thinking, imagining, and perceiving. Remove consciousness and where is the experience of feeling, feeling, thinking, imagining and perceiving? Experience tells us that consciousness is the source of all experience, that thought then labels body, mind, and world.
Nothing in experience indicates that the body is the source of consciousness. This is a universally shared idea that is presumed to be fact. It is not our intimate, immediate and real experience. That the earth is flat and that the sun revolves around the earth were also universally shared ideas taken for granted (some still do). Our conviction that something is true does not make it so, although it makes it seem real just as our dreams do until we wake up.
No one has ever experienced, and could never experience the appearance or disappearance of consciousness: our Being. Thought imagines that consciousness appears and disappears. However, when we do not refer to thought, but rather stick to our immediate, intimate, real, lived experience, we recognize that we have never experienced and could never experience the appearance and disappearance of consciousness itself. What would have to be present to pretend to experience the appearance and disappearance of consciousness? Why, conscience, of course!
Thought imagines that everything must have a cause, and this is true except for the “original cause.” If matter “caused” consciousness, what caused matter? If the big bang caused matter, what caused the big bang? Staying true to our intimate, immediate and real experience, we know that consciousness simply is and has no cause; it simply is. We have never experienced its appearance and we have never experienced its disappearance. It is only thought that imagines consciousness appearing and disappearing, not our actual experience. We can think of this as a cause without a cause. If we want to think religiously we can ask ourselves: “What caused God?”
In short, we have no evidence in our actual experience that when the body dies, we, the Self, the consciousness dies. Even if we cease to exist when we die, what is there to fear? From that model, we did not exist before conception, and that was not a problem or scary. Why would ceasing to exist then be terrifying? We realize again that death is nothing to fear, either because there is no death or because ceasing to exist is no more troublesome than not existing before conception.
In short, the reality is that we have nothing to fear, and fear is nothing to fear. However, the fear is a healthy response in the same way that pain is. It draws our attention so that we can investigate and heal what is wrong when possible. When it comes to our emotional distress, what is wrong is that we are overlooking our true nature, that which is aware of our experience. When we explore the nature of this awareness that we are from our immediate and intimate experience, we notice that it is always present, having been present from our first experience, being present reading these words, and will be present in our last experience. We note that it is not an object with shape and location. In other words, it is eternal and infinite. We note that no experience can diminish or improve it, that is, it is immutable. Nothing can harm it. You don’t need anything knowing everything. It is free from all experience, while it is intimate with all experience. Therefore, to characterize consciousness, you are safe, at peace, safe and self-realized. This is actually our true nature.
When we overlook our true Self, consciousness, we believe and feel that we are limited, vulnerable, lacking, separated and needy people and we seek to find peace, happiness, security, comfort and satisfaction in things external to us, such as relationships, objects, situations . , activities, substances, achievements, status, etc. No wonder fear appears! Remember, fear is a messenger. When we believe and feel that security, peace and happiness are lacking, we must look for them, but we must look in the right direction. Nobody cares about temporary security, happiness and satisfaction, we already experience it. What we long for is permanence, permanent peace, security, comfort, happiness, fulfillment. =. Looking for what is permanent than what is temporary is, well, fill in the blank.
Welcome fear and seek freedom from fear, first accepting and embracing it, and then investigating its source.
There is really nothing to fear, which does not mean “fear not.” It means, “Research to find out what is true.”