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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Death & The Afterlife

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  #11  
Old 03-06-2016, 03:41 AM
gotspirits gotspirits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WabiSabi
I find that those who fear death the most are those who are very invested in their lives. Education and material/professional success often fuel this fear, as you know that you cannot take your wealth or your accomplishments in this life with you when you die. You must leave them behind, give them up.

As for what you should do? I cannot really say for sure, as your path is your own to tread. What happened to me was that I finally decided that I was okay with dying. In the midst of an anxiety attack like many others, one where I thought I was going to die (again), I decided that I would rather die than continue to deal with the misery of my constant fear. My heart was beating so fast, I thought I was going to drop dead any second, and so I lay on the ground and let go of everything, let go of my self and everything that I had any attachment to. I wanted death to take me, to take away the pain. In that instant I made a conscious decision to accept my death, and my fear and anxiety dropped away immediately. I didn't die, of course, and I often still think about my death to this day, but my thoughts have no association fear.

This is not necessarily something that you can just do because you want to. I had to be pushed to the brink before I came to accept my mortality. So what can you do? My recommendation is to take up a practice of mindfulness, something that grounds you in the present moment. Start meditating or doing yoga. And continue to think on your death. Try and discover why you are so fearful of it. What are you so scared of losing?

Hi Wabisabi,

The fear is, losing control of what appears to be reality. The fear of the unknown. I know I have lead a life in which I have tried to be free of doing bad things. I've really tried to be kind to everyone and everything. The ultimate fear and sadness is dying and then what if there is nothing afterwards. I would be so disappointed. I want to know that working hard in this life to be a good person will have some merit after we pass. No, I am not perfect and far from it. But, my ultimate intentions are being good and spreading kindness.

Material-wise, I do not fear losing posessions. I really could care less.

I think that I need to get in touch with my spiritual being. I am not sure how to go about this. I've gone to church and was confirmed Catholic. I stopped going because I do not believe in supporting an organization that was hiding abuses of children.

I feel a huge pull and connection to Chinese culture. I studied Chinese when I was in college. I've always joked with my family that I believe God made a mistake in making me. God instead should of made me Chinese :) With that in mind, I wonder if exploring a Chinese/Asian spiritual belief system would help with my anxiety of death? I have a very open mind about most anything.

"My recommendation is to take up a practice of mindfulness, something that grounds you in the present moment." Yes, I tend to either live in the past or have anxiety about the future. It has only gotten worse as I've gotten older.

Thanks again for your comments!
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  #12  
Old 03-06-2016, 03:49 AM
gotspirits gotspirits is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native spirit
You are not alone in feeling like you do there are many people that can relate to it, having a reaction to anything can bring on panic attacks this is normal, have you seen a councellor for how you feel CBT cognitive behavoral therepy is very good for this, if you go to your doctor he can arrange this for you.

Namaste


Hi Namaste, thank you for your reply. Yes, I have spent years meeting with a counselor. It has helped to some degree. I used a program that the therapist advanced on called Parts Therapy.

However, even with the counselor, I found it difficult to open up about my innermost fears. I feel embarrassed talking about them.

The panic attacks have subsided since being medicated by Dr. Plus, I know if I have a panic attack, it is just my bodies response to fear and it will subside.

Now, I've got to change my thinking that death, although as bad as it seems, may not be as bad as we think?

The only way I will reach this peace I guess is through educating and learning while strengthening my spirit and belief system. By the way, I am part Native American. Not a lot, but my great, great grandmother was Comanche from Texas.

Thank you for your thoughts!
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2016, 10:55 AM
wolfgaze wolfgaze is offline
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Hi GotSpirits...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotspirits
Hi wolfgaze, what a wonderful community I have joined! Thank you for your courteous reply. You point out some very valid points. I have a very open mind. I do not discount anything and believe everything; I mean everything in life contains a perfect balance and perfect cycle; including our oldest stars and solar systems. I kind of like to dabble in theoretical physics; so having an open mind is very important.

You may enjoy reading Michael Talbot's book The Holographic Universe



Quote:
Originally Posted by gotspirits
Everyone, you are absolutely correct. My EGO is what is getting in the way. No, I do not mean I am conceited or think overly high of myself. Rather, my physical, body thinking has surpassed my spiritual thinking. (Is that correct?)

Yes that makes sense and I get what you are saying... The egoic identity is rooted in the physical mind & body. It's the aspect of your psyche that influences you to perceive your identity as that of the physical body, as the product of your life experiences and your memory of those experiences, and as a 'being' that is separate from others and separate/disconnected from our external reality/environment which we are currently experiencing. When we are strongly consciously identified with our physical/egoic mind, we are prone to feeling threatened by what happens to our physical body, we tend to be preoccupied with notions of past/future, we are likely to internalize and believe the judgements that others have made about us, and feel that we are our emotions & mental thoughts that we experience (as if they were a source of self-identity).

Quote:
Originally Posted by gotspirits
"Eventually you will come to the awareness and realization that you exist independent of your physical body. " How do I do this Wolfgaze?

"There is a deeper/higher aspect of you which is not threatened by the notion or experience of physical death - the key is to uncover that aspect and increasingly connect with it..." Can you help guide me in unlocking this key?

"What you need to do is develop an expanded/elevated state of Awareness" Wolf, I don't know how....? Please advise.

It's difficult to put this into words but essentially what I'm referencing above is an enhanced awareness that is developed and cultivated as a result of engaging in the process of self-discovery. You uncover a deeper identity within yourself, a deeper sense of 'self'. You end up pushing Consciousness into previously uncharted territory and this opens up a whole new understanding of who you really are and of your reality/existence. As your state of awareness shifts and expands - so does your perception and this is simultaneously affecting and altering the state of being that you experience.

How are these internal changes brought about? Through conducting inner-work (self-refinement, introspection, self-reflection, deep contemplation, emotional release/clearing, quieting your physical mind chatter/activity, etc). This doesn't happen overnight of course. Think of it as a gradual and extended process of unfolding and development. It helps to imagine yourself taking a series of 'little steps' that over time are going to have an aggregate and cumulative effect that will result in significant changes to your state of Consciousness (state of being). You've already been engaging in this important inner-work, but as you continue down the path of evolving your state of Consciousness - you start to reach critical points and cross certain thresholds that result in profound internal changes and developments that have an undeniable & lasting affect on your state of being. Driving this entire process is the conscious intention and desire to 'go beyond yourself' (you current state of being) - to experience something more than you presently are experiencing. Your instincts and intuition will guide you along the way - and you will find yourself drawn to certain subject matters and/or practices that facilitate the expansion of your state of awareness and therefore over time, your state of being. The internal changes that individuals come to experience have a universal nature - but the path by which individuals get there is varied and is unique to each individual. Imagine a vast mountain and everyone is navigating their own route to the summit. The destination is the same - but there are many ways to reach it. Therefore it's important to follow your instincts and allow your intuition to guide you in a manner that will be just right for you - recognizing that others are doing the same.

As far as my personal experience is concerned. I experienced a lot of mental suffering during my adolescence and early adulthood, and the sudden loss of an important family member in my early 20's thrust me into a state where I had to seek out a deeper understanding of life/existence, where I had to explore the nature of 'death', and where I had to find out if I had a deeper/higher identity other than the one I had struggled to live with an accept. This combination of life circumstances and experiences influenced me to engage in a lot of intensive introspection (self-reflection) and deep contemplation over a number of years. A lot of seeking, searching, exploring, questioning. I didn't know this at the time but this inner-work I was conducting would end up resulting in transformative and life-altering internal changes within me (alluded to above)... It took years to play out but it was absolutely worth it.

Sometimes life throws you an event or experience that ends up serving as a major catalyst for you to push yourself in a certain direction that eventually results in profound changes to your state of Consciousness (state of being). For me, the passing of a family member and the effect it had on me was one of those life events. This wasn't clear to me at the time - but I came to realize this in hindsight (10 years later). I can definitely perceive your health scare and perception of 'dying' as having a similar influence on you and your life path/development that is unfolding. This will become more apparent to you in due time. Eventually you are going to transcend the fear of physical 'death' and completely liberate (free) yourself in doing so. Then you will look back and clearly perceive how your life experiences/events were all part of a much bigger picture and serving a higher purpose for you as it relates to your conscious growth & evolution.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gotspirits
I tend to either live in the past or have anxiety about the future. It has only gotten worse as I've gotten older.

I highly recommend you get yourself a copy of the book The Power Of Now (Eckhart Tolle) and explore the contents... It very much focuses on addressing the tendency above (bolded).

Here are a couple videos featuring some commentary from the author, set to relaxing music and nature visuals:

The Now
https://youtube.com/watch?v=PkgNIJLpBEI

Death & The Eternal
https://youtube.com/watch?v=_ft1rYcht0c

Regards,
~WOLF
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2016, 06:35 PM
WabiSabi WabiSabi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotspirits
Hi Wabisabi,

The fear is, losing control of what appears to be reality. The fear of the unknown. I know I have lead a life in which I have tried to be free of doing bad things. I've really tried to be kind to everyone and everything. The ultimate fear and sadness is dying and then what if there is nothing afterwards. I would be so disappointed. I want to know that working hard in this life to be a good person will have some merit after we pass. No, I am not perfect and far from it. But, my ultimate intentions are being good and spreading kindness.

Material-wise, I do not fear losing posessions. I really could care less.

I think that I need to get in touch with my spiritual being. I am not sure how to go about this. I've gone to church and was confirmed Catholic. I stopped going because I do not believe in supporting an organization that was hiding abuses of children.

I feel a huge pull and connection to Chinese culture. I studied Chinese when I was in college. I've always joked with my family that I believe God made a mistake in making me. God instead should of made me Chinese :) With that in mind, I wonder if exploring a Chinese/Asian spiritual belief system would help with my anxiety of death? I have a very open mind about most anything.

"My recommendation is to take up a practice of mindfulness, something that grounds you in the present moment." Yes, I tend to either live in the past or have anxiety about the future. It has only gotten worse as I've gotten older.

Thanks again for your comments!

I cannot force you to believe in something that you have not directly experienced, nor can I give you a 'how to' guide on having such a spiritual experience that would dissolve your fears. I can, however, tell you that death is not an end, it is simply a transition, and that there is nothing to fear but fear itself... but even fearing fear is silly, for fear is an important tool, a method of keeping us alive. And so you shouldn't fear fear, you should instead observe it and try and see it for what it truly is, not a thought of your own, not something you give rise to, but a spontaneous happening.

As for death, think of it this way. For much of the Western world, death is scary, because so many people believe that death is an end all of sorts, and that after you die there is simply nothingness, nonexistence. But the thing is, you cannot fathom what an experience of nonexistence would be like, by definition it is not an experience! And so western minds conjure up a prison of sorts in their minds, a dark void like being buried alive, where they still have all of their thoughts and emotions, and they think "that is scary, I don't want to go there. I don't want to die." But if you do really cease to exist after death, then there will be no you to be disappointed! It's a wonderful paradox really, one of my favorites.

When you go to sleep, are you ever afraid that you won't wake up? I mean, you know that a majority of the night will simply be gone, you won't remember it, almost as if you never really experienced it. And yet you are so sure that you are going to get up the next morning. And the same goes for being put under general anesthesia for surgery, one moment you are there going under, and the next moment you are there waking up. You cannot experience the in-between. You cannot experience nonexistence. You could be 'out' for a million billion years, and yet from the moment you went to sleep to the moment you wake up, it would feel as though no time has passed at all.

You see, what we call life is simply a string of present moments, a string of experiences. We can only ever be aware of experiences. And so, in Buddhism, there is a term used to describe this continuity of consciousness called 'mindstream' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindstream). Basically, when you die, you cannot experience the void between death and life, and so the only thing that can happen to you is that you 'wake up'!
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2016, 06:58 PM
Somnia Somnia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WabiSabi
You cannot experience the in-between. You cannot experience nonexistence. You could be 'out' for a million billion years, and yet from the moment you went to sleep to the moment you wake up, it would feel as though no time has passed at all.

I believe this to be very true...

This is an off-topic comment but this reminds me of stories I've heard of people falling into a coma...I remember listening to the radio on my home from work one morning, and this lady said she was in a coma for several months, but to her no time had passed at all...She said one minute she "blacked out" into complete unconsciousness and the next moment she woke up....No time passed for her but several months had passed in the physical world...
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  #16  
Old 03-06-2016, 07:14 PM
WabiSabi WabiSabi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnia
I believe this to be very true...

This is an off-topic comment but this reminds me of stories I've heard of people falling into a coma...I remember listening to the radio on my home from work one morning, and this lady said she was in a coma for several months, but to her no time had passed at all...She said one minute she "blacked out" into complete unconsciousness and the next moment she woke up....No time passed for her but several months had passed in the physical world...

Indeed. But the key difference is that in being deeply asleep, being under general anesthesia, or being in a coma, you are still alive and your mind is still functioning, just to a greatly lessened degree. So that in such states we are still experiencing, but such experience is not stored in memory, so that these states are akin to death, but to a lesser degree. There are coma patients who claim that they were aware of every moment of their coma, and that they were aware of everything that was going on around them. In these cases, I believe that their coma was simply not as 'deep' if you will.
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  #17  
Old 03-06-2016, 07:30 PM
Somnia Somnia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WabiSabi
Indeed. But the key difference is that in being deeply asleep, being under general anesthesia, or being in a coma, you are still alive and your mind is still functioning, just to a greatly lessened degree. So that in such states we are still experiencing, but such experience is not stored in memory, so that these states are akin to death, but to a lesser degree. There are coma patients who claim that they were aware of every moment of their coma, and that they were aware of everything that was going on around them. In these cases, I believe that their coma was simply not as 'deep' if you will.

Of course...I am aware there are cases where someone in a coma is completely aware of every moment...It all depends on how deep they fall into it...I was mostly focusing on the one story I remember hearing about where the passing of time was non-existent for them and relating that to the topic of the thread of no time passing for individuals who experience such things while still being alive...
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  #18  
Old 03-06-2016, 07:36 PM
WabiSabi WabiSabi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnia
Of course...I am aware there are cases where someone in a coma is completely aware of every moment...It all depends on how deep they fall into it...I was mostly focusing on the one story I remember hearing about where the passing of time was non-existent for them and relating that to the topic of the thread of no time passing for individuals who experience such things while still being alive...

Sorry, I didn't mean for it to seem as if I was correcting you. I was simply elaborating for gotspirits.
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2016, 07:55 PM
Somnia Somnia is offline
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Oh no worries : )

I didn't feel as if you were correcting me...It might have sounded as if I was defensive but I wasn't at all (no tone in text is a pain ;P)...just clarifying my thoughts for you...
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2016, 08:13 PM
WabiSabi WabiSabi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somnia
Oh no worries : )

no tone in text is a pain

I agree. It's easy enough to misunderstand people when there IS tone.
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