Fear of Death is the Other Face of Inner Peace

Are you afraid of dying?  What if you looked your own death in the face?  Would the fear kill you or would you learn something?  This man did!  In fact he received a precious gift from death that life had not previously given him.

Life issue:

A lot of fear of death and grief at the loss of his health and the onset of aging.

(Character,) would you please tell me about yourself and what you are doing?

I’m like a large male lion, shaggy hair.  Very fixed, angry look in the eye.  I’m walking around inside him, mainly inside his heart and chest.  If he gets too happy or too far to one side I just tear the hell out him. I am a large critter with big teeth.  Fearsome.

What do you like most about yourself? What are your strengths?

I like that I can take someone who has strength of character and will and reduce him to a pile of nothing.  It gives me a sense of a lot of power.  I can take Felix, who may be very happy, satisfied with his life, who is doing well, who is working with dying people, and make him feel like he’s going to lose it all and not have anything to show for it.  I can make his life miserable.  It gives me incredible strength.

What do you dislike most about yourself? Do you have weaknesses?  What are they?

There’s nothing I don’t like about myself.

(Character), you are in this person’s life experience, correct?  They created you, right?_____  (Character), what aspect of this person do you represent or most closely personify?

I’ve always been here.  I emerge whenever I feel like it.  I am now because he is getting close to where I live.  He generally does not have a lot of fears.  He has generally faced me and that’s given him courage.  But if he gets too close he gets mauled, and he got too close last night and he got mauled.

He’s going to come to you sooner or later?

I’ve just eaten my host!  There’s no one left to maul!  MY existence goes away also!

What’s that like?

Now I’m afraid of what I’ve done.

So your existence isn’t completely gone?

I’m not part of his soul so I can’t really die.  It feels rather good!  Now I know that I’m eternal.  It’s very peaceful.  I am in bliss.  I feel wonderful.

(Character,) if you could be anywhere you wanted to be and take any form you desired, would you change?  If so, how?

If I were back in Felix and feeling this way, it  would be incredible!  It’s very deep, soft, gentle.  It’s been described as the peace that passes understanding.  What he’s been going through has been a learning process for him.  He’s doing pretty good!  If he doesn’t know how others feel, if he doesn’t know how this is, he can’t relate and understand others.  He can’t show the courage he needs to have.  I would like to be more allies with him, but I’m dangerous.  I’d like that when he sees how fierce I am that instead of being afraid of my fierceful countenance he relaxes into my peacefulness.

If you could live ______’s life for him/her, how would you live it differently?

If he does he will go from the temporal to the eternal.  Oh God!  Will his life be so much better!  He’d have equanimity!

In what life situations would it be most beneficial for ____ to imagine that he/she is you and act as you would?

He needs to do this when he sits with a hospice patient.  Just acknowledge that I’m here and that we should work together at being here.  And when he feels physical pain that seems to emerge from nowhere that he acknowledge me and that is the outer countenance and that the inner countenance is peace.  With practice he will understand how to do this in many, many ways.  He can understand that Maharaji sent me to him as a really powerful lesson.

How is this person most likely to ignore what you are saying to them?

Felix would be most likely to block or sabotage me as his lesson by getting overloaded and unaware of the quantity of death coming at him he’ll find himself in my den before he reminds himself that he needs to relax into my peacefulness.  Instead he reacts and gets into fear and grief.  I’m not going anywhere.  When I am at peace his rational mind calms down. Then he is at peace and he sees how wonderful it is.

“I am really surprised.  I didn’t realize where that deep sense came from.  I didn’t realize that the reverse of this fear was this deep peace.  But now that I see it seems to me that this will allow me to begin to expedite that faster.  When those fears emerge I can realize that is just the reverse of the deep peace that is already there.  I have to honor the fiercenss and fear because I have to acknowledge all the limitations of being human and honor them.  If I don’t I will keep doing this over and over on a very shallow level.  I’m going to do it anyway so I might as well use it as a way to deepen the practice.  It’s not like this is going to go away.  I can’t handle it as a one-shot.  Let’s get on with the practice and do it well because trying to resist it doesn’t work.”

This lion has been a part of me always.  I’ve used strategies before.  But now I can make use of all the opportunities that have been given to me.  All this stuff is in my head!  This is just the dream theater of the mind.  With that awareness my fearsomeness becomes theater, my self-created dream. When I think it is real and hold on tightly, I become more fearful.  If I hold it gently I can find a balance and be present through death for myself and others.

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