Why Do We Fear Death So Damn Much?

Maybe this seems like an obvious question. Ruminating about why just about everyone freaks the OMG out over the prospect of passing on. But do you ever stop to think about WHY you might fear death?

For starters, our individual beliefs are obviously crucial. If you believe this is it, life is finite, when you die it's ovah, then obviously that's a horrible fate. Unless you're just not digging it here. If you believe there's life after death but you really really love it here and you're the type to never finish a book because endings suck, then yes, you're going to resist the exit.

I'm fascinated by the spiritual lot of us that braggadociously wax poetic about the afterlife, and yet secretly writhe in terror when faced with mortality. That's because we can never be too sure now, can we? What if we're wrong about this spiritual truism? What if all we do is curl up and become ant food? There's no way to no for sure.

Unless you die before you die.

The lucky ones scattered throughout our world have touched the truth not out of reading it on an awesome and insightful blog <cough> but by experiencing death themselves. Some people call these near death experiences, or NDEs, but there are really two types of deaths that we get to live to tell about.

1) The traditional NDE. What that tends to be is the body itself stops cold and then kickstarts again. That sets the soul free to be a consciousness without a body for a period of time. Not everyone who has their body shut down gets to come back with memories, but there are thousands and thousands of cases where folks remember unequivocally what happens without a body. I'm sure you know already that many of the details in these accounts are crazy similar. THAT is wonderfully assuring.

2) Then there's the ego death. Those are definitely #notfun yet reveal many, if not all, of the same truths. These experiences wholly convince the you that is your ego that a death has occurred. And mind you (pun intended), sometimes it's a one-two punch and it HAS. But often the body is right there, ticking away without an issue, and yet the ego has just up and croaked. But then something magical happens. Just like those who remember a traditional NDE, they find THEY'RE STILL THERE. A consciousness remains. And if you can bring back that experience once the ego wakes up to realize it ISN'T dead (or, more accurately, it was never alive to begin with), you get to walk in the world as a lucky soul who knows, unequivocally, that life does not stop when we leave these beautiful bodies.

I am the luckiest girl in the world. I've experience both scenarios. My body once shutdown from a very traumatic asthma / breathing attack, and I found myself in that proverbial "floating above my body" state. It was incredibly liberating and surreal. And because I've drank boatloads of Ayahuasca (I'm over 1,000 ceremonies in to date), I've had several of those fabulous ego deaths. 

And that right there is why I'm lucky enough to have a love affair with death.

So the moral of the story is simple: Beliefs are empty air. They may shape our opinions and anxieties and internal thoughts and emotions, but they aren't experiential. To really know the truth about the great beyond, the space that cannot be spoken about, you have to go there. You have to experience it yourself to quell all doubts.

Actually, a quick caveat here - you probably won't ever quell ALL doubts. The ego itself isn't real in the way we think they are, and in that, there IS mortality.  So there is a definite loss. And as long as we have egos, we have the ability to doubt even the most quintessential experiences. Minds are powerful beasts. This means even those of us who have died and returned still can have oodles of fears and questions. Was my experience real? Did I just dream it all up? What if what if what if?

Of course, I revert to the space that knows the truth whenever these questions come on. I take a deep breath, hit my meditation pillow, and go within. I return to the space where mind ends and soul begins. There is a knowing so deep and palpable there, it has the power to shatter all chatter, all fear. At least for that moment. And that is priceless.