Fear of DeathBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 24, 2008
Does the idea of dying strike fear in your heart? You don't have to live your whole life with this fear.
"The modern tradition of equating death with an ensuing nothingness can be abandoned. For there is no reason to believe that human death severs the quality of the oneness in the universe." - Larry Dossey, M.D.
Kenny, a client of mine, told me that his mother had a stroke and has been left totally paralyzed at the age of 76. She had been told for years that she needed to stop smoking and drinking, but never did. She smoked and drank heavily for 50 years. She had told her family, and put into her Advance Health Care Directive, that she didn't want extraordinary life support if something like a catastrophic stroke happened, yet now she wants to be on the life support rather than die. She is terrified of death.
Why do so many people have a deep fear of death?
The fear of death comes from two beliefs:
1. When we die, we disappear.
2. When we die, we will be punished for our sins. God is judgmental and we will end up in hell or purgatory for eternity.
If you could be sure that when you die, your consciousness goes right on living - that your soul essence cannot die - would you still be afraid of death? If you knew that You - not your ego you but your true Self - was immortal, would you be afraid of death? If you knew that you would see all your loved ones again, would you be afraid of death? If you knew that the only judgment you would experience would be your own reliving of the choices you had made while in the body, would this scare you? If you knew that you would be coming into unconditional love, and that this love would help you continue on your soul's journey, would this frighten you?
The problem is that we can't KNOW this in a left-brain scientific way. We can know it only in an intuitive way, a feeling way - remembering the truth of who we really are and what God is.
Our feelings are an inner guidance system, letting us know when we are thinking and believing in ways that are on track with what is true and right for us, and when we are off track. Thoughts such as "I'm worthless" make us feel bad because they are not true. The bad feeling is our Higher Self letting us know that we are off track in our thinking. These off-track thoughts come from our programmed mind - our ego wounded self - which is filled with false beliefs.
When you think the thought, "When I die, I will disappear", this thought may create fear. When you think the thought, "When I die, I will go to hell or purgatory. I will be punished for eternity for my sins," how do you feel? The fear is letting you know that the thought is not based on truth. When you think the thought, "When I die, I will gently leave my old or sick or hurt body. I will go home and see all my loved ones, and I will continue learning on my soul's journey. I will be surrounded by unconditional love, and I will be able to learn from my mistakes," how do you feel?
From a scientific point of view, neither of these views can be proved. You cannot prove that you will disappear or go to hell any more that you can prove that you will continue to exist and your soul will continue to learn and grow. But you can know on the FEELING level which feels right and good. Through a consistent Inner Bonding practice, you can become much more aware of your feelings so that you can know when your thinking is off track and when it is coming from truth.
You can choose to believe whatever you want to believe. Why believe something that makes you feel terrified? Why not choose to believe in what makes you feel loved and safe?
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Today, notice what you do when pain comes up - especially the pain of loneliness and heartache when someone is being unloving with you. Do you get irritated, angry or judgmental? Do you resist or withdraw? Do you people-please and give yourself up? Do you numb out with food or other substances, or with activities such as TV? Notice the ways you might be avoiding your feelings rather than compassionately attending to them.
By Dr. Margaret Paul