Are You Afraid of Death?

Paralysed by Fear

Fear of Death

With all the uncertainties that we are faced with in these turbulent times, there are very few things upon which we can rely. We are seeing the banking industry, politicians, social institutions and the old hierarchy undergoing profound changes, which is causing us to rethink our old ways. However, as the old saying goes, death and taxes are the two things that are unavoidable.

In the natural world, we watch as the different cycles play themselves out in a constant movement between birth, life, giving birth to new life, and eventual death. Once life is over, the physical remains become reabsorbed into the cycle to give life to the next generation. Mother Nature wastes nothing as death gives way to life and life gives way to death in the continual circle of life.

An example of this would be the tree, that annually sheds its leaves, and they fall to the ground and in turn, nourish the earth as they decompose to enrich the soil and enable new plants to flourish. Or another would be a whale that is born, grows up, has calves of its own, and eventually dies, and its corpse floats to the bottom of the ocean where it feeds countless other species, who themselves feed countless other species in the vast cycle of life.

All trees, plants, animals and birds play a part in the great orchestra that is life, inter-mingling and co-existing with other species along the way, and ultimately passing on when the time comes.

Mankind seems to be the only animal on the playing field that dwells incessantly on the fear of their impending demise. When studying the prey of the big cats, it was found that the animal that was about to become dinner struggled for a short while, and then gave in to its fate, as if aware of the part that it played in the drama of life.

There are people on this planet that are more closely related to the earth than we have become latterly in the western world. Within these cultures, death is not something to be feared, it is accepted as a small part of the cycle of life. It is interesting that these cultures also seem to revere their ancestors in a way that brings them peace and guides them. They also have a respect for those that have gone before and the wisdom that they imparted which seems to be lacking in our western world.

We seem to have lost our sense of the majesty of life and the sacred within our culture. We have been programmed to expect an explanation for everything, and ideas need to be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt before we believe anything. (That is, until it is disproved, in which case we believe the next theory until that is also disproved.....) This has enabled us to become totally removed from the theatre of life, and has given us a misplaced sense of our own importance. The issue here is that this is in direct contrast to our place in the vast, unimaginable size of the universe.

We are fortunate enough to be living on a planet that has just the right conditions to support life. The ball of rock that we live on is just the right distance from the nearest sun to allow our world to be habitable. This sun, in turn, is part of a galaxy that in turn, is one of several million other galaxies that are all hurtling through space at an astonishing speed......

Death occurs constantly as we go about our daily lives. Each time we face a challenge and come through it, the old perception dies, and a new one is born. Each time we change our perception, make a better choice, let go of that which we no longer need and allow something better to come in, there is a process of death of the old and birth of the new.

How many times have you watched loved ones and friends going through the death of a relationship, and then watched as they blossom and a new friend emerges, more confident, more beautiful, and happier?

In our history, we have seen this repeatedly; empires fall, as new ones are born, meteorites hit the earth, wiping out 95% of life, and this allows different species to develop and prosper, new philosophies are born as a reaction against the old ways, and so on.

One certainty about life is that death follows when it is time to move into the next cycle of life, whatever you believe that to be. You can spend your entire life dreading it, picturing it, planning it, and obsessing about it, but the reality is that it is usually over in an instant. When you die is something that none of us can know- it may be tomorrow, next week, in a decade or whenever is your time. Instead of worrying about something that you ultimately have no control over - the fact that you will die at some stage in the future- would it not be more constructive to put that energy into enjoying today and all that you have to be grateful for?

Spending valuable time and energy worrying about something in the future is called projection. We generally enter into projection when we mistakenly feel that we have the power to control the outcome. Since we cannot say when we are going to die, would it be more useful to live each day as fully as possible whilst we wait for the inevitable?

Hopefully, when it comes, you will have said your goodbyes and put your affairs in order. Too many people are taken away from us at what we perceive are inopportune times, but coming to understand that we very rarely get to see the whole picture or what is best for other people allows us to know that we play a small part in an enormous play, about which we understand very little.

Sometimes death is a lesson for us to learn forgiveness, compassion, to be able to express grief, or to learn how to let go. Sometimes the death of a loved one can allow us to gain a greater understanding of what awaits us on the other side of death, or lead us to begin a journey of spiritual awakening.

How do we know that the hard part is not here in earth school, and that death is a release from the body and lessons we came to learn? Do we really know that death is the end of the road, or do we believe that there is something amazing waiting for us on the other side?

Whatever your beliefs are about death and the afterlife, spend your time wisely whilst you are on this planet. Do not waste your time fearing death, or what will happen to you after death- you will know soon enough when you get there. In the meantime, there is so much to enjoy here on earth whilst you are here- loved ones, Mother Nature, laughter, learning, playing, life. Live now, love now, and learn to be in today for today because who knows what tomorrow has in store for you?

Written by Caroline Nettle.

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Authors Bio

Caroline Nettle is passionate about healing, recovery, and assisting others to grow.  Her website Spiritual Growth Tools is the culmination of many years of seeking answers about her own health and well-being, and studying the human condition.  She writes articles, is a healer and gives talks about subjects relating to spiritual growth and personal development. 

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Comments 15 comments

stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice and interesting hub. God Bles You.


Spiritual Growth profile image

Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you stars439.

Love and blessings,

Caroline


The Barking Unicorn 6 years ago

"Nothing in the cry of cicadas suggests they are about to die." - Basho

If it's something you'd regret not doing when you're dying you should be regretting it right now, and doing it!

The fear of death is literally fear of not living. If you have such fear then you are not living even though you may think you are. The wordless, irrational fear of death is your heart warning you that you are not living the life you should.

"Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it," said the Buddha. Everything else you do is not living... death.


Betsy Brown 6 years ago

Great article. I've never been afraid of death. Like most people, I don't relish the idea that the process preceding it may hurt, but death itself holds no fear for me. What I have noticed in the passing of my loved ones, including parents and grandparents, is that they often hang on to this dimension until their loved ones are ready to let go. Within minutes of telling my dad, who was in a coma, that it was okay to transition, he died. For my mom, it was my sister who had to let go of the fear of losing mom in order to mom to feel free to go on.

Thanks for talking about a topic that can be difficult for all of us - it is an unknown and that in itself can cause fear. But as they say, there is nothing to fear but the fear itself.


Anna 6 years ago

That's a wonderful article, Caroline. Very touching. And I agree that life is precious and we must make the most of it by doing what we love. Blessings to you and all.


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Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Barking Unicorn. I agree with the point about fear of not living, and see this as something that hinders many people as we hide in addictions, tv land and so on.

Love and blessings, Caroline


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Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Betsy Brown, and I completely agree with you about the ones about to be left behind that almost need to give permission for those about to leave to make an exit. I appreciate your comments.

Love and blessings,

Caroline


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Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Anna. Yes I agree, life is most definitely for living to the best of our ability.

Thank you for your comments.

Love and blessings,

Caroline


Ben Trobaugh 6 years ago

A beautiful uplifting message my dear friend. I have posted to my Facebook page to hsare with my friends.Think of you often.


anita toscani 6 years ago

Darling that is a beautiful article, so well written and an inspiration. Having, in the past, been terrified of death this would have been a most welcome friend.

Love to you dear Caroline - I am looking forward to the next one now!

Anita


Rachel 6 years ago

Inspirational and thought provoking. Helps one appreciate what surrounds everywhere. Thank you.


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Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Ben. I am glad you found it uplifting and thank you so much for sharing it! Love and blessings.


Spiritual Growth profile image

Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Anita. I am glad it was useful.

Love and blessings.


Spiritual Growth profile image

Spiritual Growth 6 years ago from Bristol, England Author

Thank you Rachel.

I am glad it helped you and your comment has inspired me to write another hub on a different subject, so thank you!

Love and blessings.


xen 5 years ago

Been reading your articles for a while and seeing them grow in fluency, beauty and wisdom. This is your best yet, so profound and full of compassion and hope, what a timely subject to choose at this time. It is an inspiration for when we flounder, bless you.

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