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Why Am I Afraid to Die? Ego Security, Fear of Death and Loss

Updated on October 23, 2015
NateB11 profile image

I have spent a lot of time reading about Eastern philosophy since my youth and mostly have given particular attention to J Krishnamurti

Introduction

One of the deep and abiding problems of humanity is the fear of loss and what happens after death. For this reason we hang on to everything psychologically, fearing every loss, fearing every implication of death and ending. Hidden or conscious, this fear of death seems always with us. We will explore the roots of this problem and delve into the significance and meaning of the problem itself, without venturing outside of the problem for artificial solutions.

Source

The Problem

Conformity, following, comes from fear and creates more fear. For the sake of security, we seek to follow something or someone; and in our search for security, we've exacerbated our confusion, which has led to inward and outward conflict and illusion.

And the more thought used to create security, the shakier things get. What you accumulate and maintain, you must inevitably lose; and you must inevitably desire more of it; the desire is a projection in time, which produces fear of loss or fear of not “getting”; and what this is, is the need to perpetuate the psychological pleasure derived from the false security of mere thought which is enmeshed in identity, ideology, image and ideal.

In this struggle, we will fight to keep the psychological trappings which match material trappings, pitting us against each other in continual conflict and competition: The competition of images, of illusions.

And, ironically, the other shoe is always going to drop unless we change.

What is the other shoe? What are we afraid of? And what exactly is anyone going to do about it?

Projections in psychological time create illusion and fear.
Projections in psychological time create illusion and fear. | Source

The Fictional “I”, The Divisive “My”

In an effort to survive, which becomes an effort to succeed, we project images of ourselves, individually, which are rooted in ideology, status, identifications of various kinds. Each one opposed to another inwardly and outwardly; these images are projected in time, backwards and forwards, the past brought to the present and projected into the future. Simply, it is stale purporting to be new; but it is never new, and neither is the battle; the battle with others, the battle to survive, or the battle to win. It is distress inside and out. And in this contradictory and ironic way, we fight to live better by being in perpetual conflict.

This leads to what is mine and what is yours: My country, my wife, my property, my status, my identity, my religion; as opposed to your country, your identity, and so on. It's endless, yet all the same thing. An effort to survive psychologically, producing an incessant need to battle to maintain the identifications; which leads to more chaos, more violence, more distress.

Our fundamental fear is the fear of ending. We do not know that death is part of life and that in ending there is freedom and new living each moment.
Our fundamental fear is the fear of ending. We do not know that death is part of life and that in ending there is freedom and new living each moment. | Source

Death and Creation

Ultimately, it points to a fear of death. To fabricate security, we have the fictional “I”, with its fictional possessions, opposed to and divided from the rest of the world; that illusory “I” acts on the world and against the world to accumulate more for itself for the sake of its survival. It is in its survival that destruction is unleashed on the world. It is only in death that there is freedom from the cycle of destruction. And in this there is true creation, a true incarnation now. The other shoe we fear will drop is death, and it must drop now. And it happens, it ends, there is death, when we see that the security we seek is illusion and so are all the divisive identifications.

In death there is no conformity, a person is alone, with no identification, no image, nothing opposed to another. It is the end of the accumulation, an emptying of thought, a total negation and silence; total awareness.

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    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 2 years ago from California, United States of America

      No problem, adevwriting, glad you like it!

    • adevwriting profile image

      Arun Dev 2 years ago from United Countries of the World

      In my opinion this is a really good topic to write about.

      Thanks for creating this hub

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Precisely, Violet Flame. It is in ending that the new can come into being. Thank you for your great insight and understanding and for bringing your attention to what was said here.

    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 5 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      NateB11,

      "It is in its survival that destruction is unleashed on the world. It is only in death that there is freedom from the cycle of destruction." --- what poignant truth that you pointed out in the excellent hub. What I quoted here from your hub just reminded me of that movie Donnie Darko. What a sad movie but now it totally makes sense if the hero of the film symbolizes our ego. Our ego is petrified of death, but die it must for one to finally live. "To die when you are still alive" is an interesting motto to live by. Eckart Tolle describes the death of his ego in the introduction of his book The Power Of Now. I love the way he describes the brand new morning after his ego has departed, it makes the dying of a thousand little death of the ego very desirable. xoxo Bravo!

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Yes, precisely Gypsy Willow; when there is freedom to see, to observe our thoughts, feelings, environment, when there we are free from our standard conditioning and other influences; then we are aware and bring the end of confusion. Thanks for stopping by, giving your attention and feedback.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 5 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Great hub with a truly important point to make. The older I get, the more I try to understand realism from my own thoughts. Unbiased from organized religion,politics and what others think of me. Thanks for putting it down on paper so succinctly.

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      I'm glad that it helped, MysticHaven, and thank you for stopping by.

    • mystichaven04 profile image

      Jennifer Nichols 5 years ago from Syracuse New york United States

      Thank you for answearing my question in a round about way. Once again trult spoken... sincerely (lab Mouse)

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Absolutely, Mystique. Ego is false, illusory, and holds onto itself for security, does not want to end. Thanks for stopping by and showing interest and bringing your insight.

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 5 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      I agree with you and share that view of philosophy in many ways... Fear of death is simply the reluctancy of ego to recognize that it is temporary...Soul and Spirit never fear anything, for they know what´s behind the veil...

      Excellent hub, my brother... Thanks for sharing it...

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thank you, gmaoli for that very thoughtful insight and observation, and for obviously giving this article your sincere attention.

    • gmaoli profile image

      Gianandrea Maoli 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I enjoyed this article quite a bit. I think when we try to follow something or someone, we're always trying to put ourselves under a great deal of stress to make whatever changes we can about our lifestyle. This is to ensure (so we tell ourselves) that we are following the lead of the very thing we label as the best example to follow. The problem is we get so tangled up in following the example note-by-note because we're never sure we're doing it right. That's why, as you say, we find ourselves in that constant internal conflict for which death is really the only cure unless we're willing to make that change on our own terms.

      Well done!

    • NateB11 profile image
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      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thanks, daskittlez! I'm glad you stopped by!

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 5 years ago from midwest

      This is a great philosophy lesson. It is right up my alley. Thanks again, here is your Up!

    • NateB11 profile image
      Author

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Yes, sometimes you've got to soak it in, let it work out, things get revealed. Thanks for stopping by, Aubrey, and thank you for your interest and attention to my Hub!

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 5 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Umm... wow. Your way of thinking is mind boggling. I've never read something like it before. I definitely don't know what to say at the moment, still soaking it all. Good work. I look forward to seeing you around the hubs.

      -Aubrey

    • NateB11 profile image
      Author

      Nathan Bernardo 5 years ago from California, United States of America

      Thank you and I'm glad you stopped by to read my Hub and that you left a very thoughtful comment. I am an avid reader of the works of Krishnamurti, who talked extensively about the "I" and "me" and "mine" and it's illusory, divisive and destructive qualities. You are very correct about fairness for workers and our rights. Thanks again for stopping by and also thank you for your Hub about workweek and pay and justice for workers!

    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 5 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      As there are supposedly "no coincidences" according to a recent Pope, I find it "a happy happenstance" to be the first to comment on this Up, Awesome, and Interesting Hub of yours, just as you were the first to comment on a new Hub of mine you found well-written and on a topic you have done a lot of thinking about, too! I suspect you are a good candidate from some tapes, readings, books on Buddhism as a way others might cast off the "My" materialism and end that cycle and the destruction it brings with it. Nonetheless, we agree that people should be paid fairly for the performance of the tasks they are assigned, and what they do with what they earn is their problem, while what they earn is a societal problem of basic fairness. Thanks for creating your Hub, and for reading mine.

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