Understanding Death

The concept of death in modern times is considered to be more or less taboo. People perceive it as a morbid theme rather than a natural aspect of our 3D existence. We talk about faith and science yet when it comes to death, we seem to hit a wall and use neither. Both explain energy as something which cannot die but only transform, so why so much fear?

Part of the reason might be the fact that like sex, death remains taboo. No one likes to talk about it openly, as such we remain afraid and unprepared for it. As some of you know, I like to read a lot and I tend to push myself to read and learn from all sources, so as to not become rigid. In order to balance my reading on the Talmud, Kabala, Bible, Pistis Sofia, etc. I chose to read the Satanic Bible, from which many extracts can be considered Stoic or Humanist in its philosophy. Other parts, it really just hit me as two spoil children fighting with each other (Bible vs. Satanic Bible)…children in great need of some serious growing up.

Satanists like to say only fools embrace death, for “no one likes to leave a good party and life is the best party there is”. I like to challenge such notion; first of all, only an immature person with “Peter Pan” complex would like to idealize the idea of being stuck at a party permanently as a great thing.

Furthermore, if we look at ancient sacred history and mythology, even the “Gods” had an “expiration” date–this tells us death is not something one can outran.

Immortality within the concept of legends, means to simply live a very very long time, nothing more or less. The only ever present living energy, is the one Gnostics and Alchemists refer to as the original force of creation; not a deity; and from which all things are born. It does not judge nor does it hold humane notions of heaven or hell (a concept I will expand on, in my next article about witches) it simply is. Immortality in the form most would like to think of, does not exist; as such only a “fool” would go through life pretending death is not going to eventually knock at the door.

More importantly if death is cause for such fear, one should take that as a sign to look in and analyze why that is; usually it is a sign of a life lived without meaning. We can ran away from life and chase after instant gratification but none of that annihilates the subconscious, which knows death one day will come and when that moment takes place, no amount of superficial things will bring peace. As pointed out within the Tibetan Book of The Death, the only thing which will bring peace, is a life well lived, a life with meaning–not running from life, not a dogmatic life, not a rigid life nor a life full false pleasures–to live a meaningful life, one needs to seek balance, that way one can experience pleasure without destroying nor caging self.

If we are just a body and there is nothing after this body dies, why fear? If we are energy and energy doesn’t die but transforms, why fear? If there are other lives, why fear? If there is heaven and hell…well then you might be at risk to fear. However, those are human concepts created to impose a false sense of order and maintain control over a herd. What type of loving divinity would have a place of fire, ready to burn people for eternity? That seems rather sadistic don’t you think? And how can heaven; as commonly believe; be a place of joy when everything is “light”? Have we forgotten too much of anything is simply a recipe for disaster? Even honey can make you ill. What a monotonous existence that would be, more robotic than blessed.

The truth is, like anything that is considered “Sacred Knowledge”, we don’t know what happens after we die, we have theories, that is all they are. However, nothing stops us from preparing ourselves for death, the way a Samurai would prepare for battle, not knowing if that day would be his last. We prepare not by living in fear but embracing each day, that way when we close our eyes permanently, instead of being afraid, we can say…“I did my best. I lived life and I also gave it meaning”

Do you know that in Tantra we use the moment of Orgasm as a moment of practice for death? After all it is a moment of “emptying” and nothingness. There is a beautiful connection between Eros (love/life) and Thanatos (death).

When we experience an orgasm, the mind suddenly stops, freezes– this is similar to death. That is why to the French an orgasm is called “la petite mort“– the little death. The mind can also stop during tantric lovemaking; we find ourselves in a higher state of consciousness, as if we are outside of our bodies. In that moment, we realize who we really are – that we are not just bodies, thoughts, or emotions. Only the present moment exists…only our selfhood.

Such inspiring experience of nothingness or the great void, is made possible in sexual union, which makes it a good preparation for death. If we frequently engage in tantric lovemaking, we grow accustomed to the state of emptiness, where we are not frightened during the last moments of life because we are familiar with the state of emptiness.

If unprepared, an encounter with death is truly unpleasant and when it happens it causes inner shock…like a cold shower. When we lose somebody close to us or we become very ill ourselves, it can lead us to an inner awakening. It shows us something that is part of reality and waits for each of us. We begin to realize the transitory nature of our lives and that death can come at any time.

If we are courageous enough, we give priority to the things that are most important, before we build castles in the sky and soothe ourselves with activities and pleasures that pass the time. It is good to be prepared for death, even if we consider ourselves young and healthy. Just like in the Tibetan Book of the Death, ancients used to teach how to face death in an accepting and harmonious way.

Death can be a big motivator.

Even people who have had an accident or gotten ill but didn’t look death directly in the eyes, can experience a significant shift within themselves. The shock may help them begin to appreciate life more.

In some ways people who live close to death begin to realize how precious is time and how much meaning is important. They tend to not waste time with superfluous things They focus more on things that are really important so they do not have regrets when they lie on their death beds.

A lot of people are workaholics. They work hard at their jobs and then they come home and work more. That is how they keep their minds busy and escape from their true selves and the deeper aspects of their true nature. Then they tell themselves they are hasslers. One should work to materialize dreams; however, balance is key.

The reason we avoid talking about death is fear of the unknown. We lack the maturity to confront that fear, as such, we prefer empty entertainment and false pleasure.

The ancient Roman philosopher Gaius Musonius Rufus said: “It is not possible to live today in a correct manner unless we live as if it were our last day alive.” As modern human beings we live with the delusion that life will just continue–believe it or not, that is a panic response.

The more conscious response of those who understand the significance and value of life is different. They live and feel intensely, they explore, they expand. Everything else is transitory and impermanent: it comes, and it goes. What remains is our selfhood, who we are at our core.

Life has acquainted me with death in more ways than I would have liked, what I have learned is… as we are dying, we suddenly realize who we really are–this is the gift we can receive from the encounter with the possibility of our death.

In certain cultures, such as the Tibetan culture (and unfortunately there are not many of them left), people realize the importance of spiritual preparation for the moment of death. These themes are spoken of from youth onwards.

Sogyal Rinpoche, author of the extraordinary book, “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying”, writes about this. He grew up in a community where he meditated and carried out other forms of spiritual exercises each and every day. It is believed that the entire purpose of life is preparation for the moment of death. The finale of the human experience is extremely precious from a spiritual perspective. Indeed, it offers us the opportunity for enlightenment.

“Death is not the end but the beginning. The possibilities of what is to come are endless”

The time when we sleep is similar to death in that we are not consciously present. Stephen LaBerge, a leading researcher of lucid dreaming, says that we can learn to be consciously present during dreams and that this is very good preparation for the moment of death.

If we successfully develop the capacity for lucid dreaming, we can remain conscious in the moment our physical body dies, and realize that the eternal part of ourselves, our soul, remains after death. If we come to realize this during our lives, we have mastered the greatest fear: the fear of death.

If we realize who we really are and what is the meaning of our existence, that all of the things and people around us, and even our own bodies, are transitory, then it is possible for us to remain detached as the yogis say.

Meditation is advisable, with the help of meditation, we obtain insights into how our souls work. Descartes’s maxim “I think, therefore I am” does not present the true essence of human beings. There exists something in us that is above the mind and thoughts and that is pure consciousness.

If we learn how to take a step back and notice the mind as it directs us towards fear, toxic perceptions, superficial unhealthy desires, and many other things, we can master it. Whomever can learn to live in healthy pleasure and expansion of mind and spirit, can also tame the mind during the moments of death and come to realize that it is a natural process which we all must go through. He or she will not be afraid and will be able to meet it with dignity.

Helping those who are passing…

Sit beside them and read them passages from “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” or their favorite book. Try to pick something which talks about death as something natural and beautiful–that will help to relax them. Sing to them or play relaxing harmonious tunes. Tell them jokes you know they would like. Express your emotions, don’t wait till they are gone. Bring into the room pictures of people who have been important to them and whose faces can bring back good memories not sad ones–as much as I am not religious, these can also be pictures of saints and spiritual teachers they feel loved by. Light candles so that the space of the dying becomes a temple, a peaceful place. Keep the room warm.

You may meditate or if you pray do so. You may also chant mantras, for mantras hold mathematical equations proven to align the energies within our bodies. You can try to support them through conversation, help them to realize their true nature and that death is merely a transition to another level of being or existing.

"The highest tribute to your life at death is not fear but gratitude"
Sofia Falcone
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By Sofia Falcone

I passionately believe one person can make a difference. I write from my own experiences and interests. It is my greatest hope that by writing about my own challenges, victories, hopes and learnings, others may feel inspired to believe more in their inner power and to fully embrace themselves!

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