Tag Archives: fear of death

How to Overcome the Fear of Death–Two Possibilities

hallway

The fear of death always comes at or near the top of people’s worst fears. Some psychologists believe that this is such a potent fear, we push it down into the subconscious in order to avoid it. Yet from its hiding place the fear remains active, re-emerging in times like the death of a loved one, making grief even more painful and anxious. Avoiding the fear of death clearly isn’t the best tactic. One reason that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross‘s famous five stages of dying became so popular is that she gave us a rational framework for handling a once-taboo subject.

Rationality is one of the two ways a person can overcome their own personal fear of death. The starting point for most rationalists, particularly scientists, is to assume in the absence of data from the afterlife that our consciousness is extinguished at the moment of death. In a short video on the subject of “What happens after we die?” physicist Brian Greene takes the position, when you’re gone, you’re gone. Continue reading

Deepak Chopra: Facing the Fear of Death

Why are we so afraid of death? Is it the pain? Facing the unknown?

In this episode of “Spiritual Solutions” on The Chopra Well, Nick asks Deepak: Why are we afraid of death, and what can we do to face that fear? Deepak responds that all fear is the fear of death in disguise, which is why death is constantly like an elephant in the room.

Facing our fear of death is all about stepping into the unknown and struggling with the reality of impermanence. We can deal with this fear by moving toward the unknown in some way every day. Take a risk, try something new, challenge a belief you hold dear just to see what that encounter with the unknown does for your consciousness. By creating some distance between ourselves and our routines and static beliefs, we can begin to explore impermanence and get comfortable with the fluid nature of reality.

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Find Out What You Want – Step #8

bring-up

 See, this is my fear. The only one that is real.

It is not that I will die, it is not that I might get sick, it is not pain.

It is not a ruin that scares me. A bankruptcy, a homelessness.

I feel no fear at the thought of losing Christopher and, if you know me at all, you know that the prospect of being alone is fairly attractive to me.

No,

the only loss that fills me with terror

is the loss

of myself.

Having to live my life along the guidelines set by others. Asking others what it is that I want, what it is that I need, what it is that I should. Relying on others to tell me what life is, what God is, what I am. Looking to others for love, for happiness, for purpose, for meaning

and for redemption.

Having to go where I am told, when I am told, to do what I am told.

Having to achieve what I am told I should achieve, wanting what I am told I should want to fulfill the expectations

of others.

That scares me.

That terrifies me.

That is hell

for me.

The Night My Husband Didn’t Call and the Fear of Losing a Loved One

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 1.39.39 PMThe clock in my kitchen is my go-to for all my timely needs. There are other clocks around the house, but for some reason I always consult the kitchen clock for accurate time. Oddly enough, the five minute intervals read “now” instead of numbers, so time telling is a two step translation process – a process that perhaps took the edge off last night as I was watching that minute hand in orbit, converting “nows” into numbers, waiting for my husband to come home after work.

We were all hungry, dinner was hot. Around 6:0o I called him four times in quick succession. I thought the intensity of my effort might encourage him to pick up, mentally willing him with every ring. Nothing.

So finally at 7:00 I sat the crew down to eat. Dinner was typical. The girls chowed down while my son staged a sit-in across the room. We ate the last half of our meal in intentional silence, doing our best to focus on chewing and tasting. In the silence I had a hard time focusing on anything really. Well, anything but this: Where the hell is my husband???

As the “nows” accumulated, one nagging, irrational thought snagged its claws on my otherwise typical thoughts. If he got into an accident, the hospital would have called me, right? Would I have a sixth sense if he was dead? Would I just know? He’s not dead, though. But he could be. No. Could he be? I’m sure he’s fine. Maybe I’ll watch a little TV.

The phone finally rang after I put the kids to sleep. He was fine, enjoying dinner with a friend visiting from out of town. He had actually told me several times he had plans but I forgot, didn’t write it down, screwed up. Oops. All that worrying for nothing. It’s not as if I didn’t have a gentle reminder telling me to be here and “now”.  Jeez.

The scene brought to mind of a poem I heard by Richard Blanco on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross. I pulled this off of NPR’s transcripts, so I’m guessing how the stanzas might be broken up. Enjoy…

Killing Mark” by Poet Richard Blanco

His plane went down over Los Angeles last week, again.

Or was it Long Island?

Boxer shorts, hair gel, his toothbrush washed up on the shore of New Haven, but his body never recovered, I feared.

Monday he cut off his leg chain-sawing. Bleed to death slowly while I was shopping for a new lamp.

Never heard my messages on his cell phone.

Where are you? Call me.

I told him to be careful.

He never listens.

Tonight, 15 minutes late. I’m sure he’s hit a moose on Route 26.

But maybe he survived.

Someone from the hospital will call me, give me his room number. I’ll bring his pajamas and some magazines.

5:25, still no phone call.

Voice mail full.

I turn on the news, wait for the report. Flashes of moose blood, his car mangled, as I buzz around the bedroom dusting the furniture, sorting the sock drawer.

By 7:30, I’m taking mental notes for his eulogy, suddenly adoring all I’ve hated, 10 years worth of nose hairs in the sink, of lost car keys, of chewing too loud and hogging the bed sheets,

when Joy yowls. Ears to the sound of footsteps up the drive and darts to the doorway,

I follow with a scowl: Where the hell were you? Couldn’t you call?

Translation. I die each time I kill you.

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Photo credit: LiLit Ghazaryan

Deepak Chopra: Clearing Deep Fear

Question:

Being present in each moment has enhanced my life and sense of peace dramatically, beyond words even. However, recently i have begun to notice an unshakable sense of fear arising as presence deepens. This fear feels more like an addiction to thinking, it’s as if i would cease to exist if i stopped. I’ve tried to just observe this feeling but it feels sticky and have noticed it creates an intense pain around my heart chakra. i find myself being identified with this emotion frequently and sometimes the pain grows. Is this a common fear many people face in spirituality? and if so, how can one use this fear to find truth?

Answer:

This is very deep spiritual healing territory you have entered, and you describe it accurately. As we become more present, our identity starts to shift from the ego centric self that is rooted in the past/future and starts to align to the eternal present of the higher self. This transition is interpreted as a threat to the ego’s existence and it then generates intense feelings of fear, dread and even pain to stop you from continuing this process. First recognize that from the ego’s point of view this is a life and death thing. Reassure you ego that when you are enlightened and living fully in the present, the ego will still exist and have an important role to play in your life–it’s designed role instead of its usurped role.

When the strong feelings or pains come up, disregard the emotional or mental content and focus entirely on the physical sensation that accompanies the emotion. By putting attention on the body instead of the mind, we escape the clutches of the ego’s arena and allow our consciousness to directly heal the stored fear and conditioning in the cells of our body. Let yourself feel the physical sensation connected to the fear and find the location in your body. You mentioned your heart area. Simply be with that pain in your chest and breathe deeply while the pain increases or decreases in intensity. The sensation will soon diminish and you will find your mind distracted with other thoughts. This means that a level of that underlying fear has been released and is now healed. A part of that deep fear has now been replaced with the truth of your real self. This process may take a while to heal all the ego’s fears, but eventually it will all be cleared and your inner Being will shine forth in it’s true nature.

Love,

Deepak

deepakchopra.com

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Any Moment Could Be Our Last Breath

 Many of us have had near scrapes with death… a near fatal accident, surviving an illness or a natural disaster. Last week I had a near brush with the possibility: This could be my last breath, I could die right now. 

I was bending over in my closet, reaching for a pair of shoes when an armoire toppled and fell on top of me, scrunching me flat out on my stomach. It was so heavy I couldn’t lift it off of me. I could barely breathe. With all my strength I mustered a teeny screech, barely audible. Oddly enough, my two shelties were rattled and they began barking.

My friend who had watching TV with headphones, had miraculously removed them and heard the dogs. Within a minute or so, he was in my closet lifting the heavy armoire off of me. It was clearly not my moment….my last that is. Even more startling, I saw myself the second before the armoire fell on me — feeling healthy and OK.  As a result, I felt no pain or discomfort, it was if I had wished it away

A spark of gratitude ignited within me. A peaceful feeling permeated my being. I smiled as a voice deep inside murmured: "Life is good, live it full blast. Love with all your heart, so there will be no regrets in that final moment…only LOVE." 

If we embrace each moment with full out awareness, how would it change our lives? 

www.merrieway.com

 

The Continuum of Life and Death

 Question:

You say we are on a life/death continuum and that our death is simply the continuum of our life not the opposite of it.  The opposite of Death is Birth……..and death should not be feared. Why then does everyone try to stay alive?  I would guess that we don’t want to hurt the people who love us by leaving them but if death is just a continuation, then why do we try so hard to stay alive?  Why do we spend countless amounts of money and train health professionals to prolong our worldly life?

Answer:

Not wanting to hurt those we would be leaving behind with our death is certainly one reason we want to stay alive, but beyond that every biological organism has  a basic instinct to preserve itself.  That drive to survive is a deep built-in program that every living being has.

But we are not solely defined by our biology, our real nature is the silent consciousness that remains the same  through all the physical changes we go through from infancy to adolescence, to adulthood to  old age. Our true essence continues in the interim between the death of one body and the birth of the next. When we know ourselves to be that pure consciousness and not the body, then we will not fear the aging of the body nor its death even though the body’s instinct for self-preservation will still be intact.

Love,

Deepak

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Death Unveiled is a Miracle?

I spent most of my younger years fearing death. Now, as an older woman who has lost her parents, and who has many friends dying,  I am still faced with thoughts of death daily.  However, I do not live with the fear of my younger days. I am grateful to have been given the gift of psychic mediumship because every week I have the privilege of communicating with the spirits of those who have passed over.  With this experience, my views of life and death have changed.

Death does not frighten me in the way that it used to because I see it as a miraculous doorway into spiritual realms.  I communicate with those in the spiritual world every time I do a reading.  Based on my experience, we are not in the same physical form when we enter eternal life.  I experience spirits as spheres of energy.   Somehow they are miraculously able to put visions into my mind of how they used to look and they are able to put into my thoughts other information that helps me and my client identify who they were when they were living in physical form upon the earth.  And while I feel as if I am able to communicate with individual spirits, I am beginning to suspect that all in the world of spirit are much more connected than it appears to me during a reading.  I am also beginning to feel that ultimately all of us who are living and all who have passed on are connected because WE ARE ALL ONE.  The world of spirit is beyond my human comprehension and therefore impossible for me to explain and describe exactly.

Of course, I do not want to die.  I fear the day that I either am diagnosed with a terminal disease, or find myself in an accident where I know I am going to die. I am human and have human fears.  But my fears are greatly diminished by my experience with the world of spirit.

Is death unveiled a miracle?  I do not think so.  I think that death is part of the continually unfolding spiritual path of existence and as natural as the sky, the ocean, the mountain or the cloud.

Psychic Medium and Inspirational Author Carole Lynne

www.carolelynne.com

www.carolelynnecosmicconnection.com

Experiencing Midlife Crisis?

Question:
 
I have just turned 54 and guess am experiencing a midlife crisis.  I am retired, my health is very good, my marriage is great, as are my other relationships, etc…To many it seems I have a pretty perfect life and I really can’t argue with that perception.  My question then is why all of a sudden do I have such an overwhelming fear of death, of time running by too fast, too quickly?  I become overly anxious whenever I stop and think that my husband is 62 and our time together is suddenly limited.  Even as I write this I feel my heart racing just at these thoughts.  I always thought I had a pretty deep faith in God (I am a Reform Jew) but all of a sudden….?  (I am meeting with my Rabbi to talk about this but have great respect for your work on insight as well.)  Is it just me?  Is there something else I can do to get on and enjoy life?  Thank you so much!
 
Answer:
My sense is that you have come to the end of your old concept of life that has been defined by your career, health, and relationships.  In a sense you have succeeded fabulously and if that success was a main component in your belief about life’s purpose, then having finally arrived, there could be a strong emotional reaction that that triggers a fear of death, because that is the only way the subconscious knows how to react to this sense of coming to the end of a life concept.
 
What this means is that you are ripe for a major spiritual shift in your vision of life. Talking with your Rabbi is a wonderful idea in that your intuition is already guiding you to seek a deeper spiritual identity. As you embrace this new phase, you will rediscover a joy and passion in life that will make these current fears insignificant.
 
Love,
Deepak
 
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