The fear of death is irrational.
I can understand the fear of the pain preceding death but the fear of death itself, that is foolish. Death is rest. Who fears rest? Death is bliss. It is the only constant in existence.
Maybe you think that you will have some regrets before death. I don’t. I don’t have any regrets with my life up until this point. I have made mistakes, I have been foolish. I have been diffident, I have lied, I have even shoplifted once (damn childhood ;P). This may not compare with some of you outlaws out there, but each one of us has different scales. You only have regrets because you don’t own yourself. You are running from yourself. You are running from the choices that you made in the past and what could have happened. I don’t care for what could have happened. I don’t even care for what did happen. Your life is happening here, now. No matter if you are a twenty-something like me writing a blog in your home or you are an eighty-nine-year-old man lying in his death bed. Real power is in ownership and the ability to create change in any aspect of one’s being. Real power is in the now.
Realize this. You have always made the decision which you thought best at the time. Hindsight can be brutally judgmental. I should have known better. I knew that answer. I wanted to do that initially, why did I change my choice at the last instant. The list goes on.
The point is, move on. Let bygones be bygones. All it takes is one little black hole and all the work that has been done by the greatest emperors and saints till now will vanish, just like that. Poof, gone. I’m not saying that their work is not important but that you should not be so stressed about always doing the right things, attain the highest levels of power, wealth and what not. Live real, be honest, and what is important for you will stay with you.
Back to death.
The problem with a lot of people is that they are not aware of their own death’s inevitability. They know that they will die someday but this knowing is cerebral, not existential. It is not a part of who they are. It is just another fact for them.
When you meditate on death and develop a close relationship with it, your life goes up a couple of notches. Daily grievances bother you less and less. You realize that all this could be gone in an instant. Your parents gone. Your children gone. Your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend gone. Your beliefs gone. Your creations gone. Everything will be gone for you, not for the world. The world will still go on without you, no matter how important you think you are. What remains is the eternal, dark, peaceful stillness.
Meditate on death. Buddha asked all his disciples to go and watch the burning pyres of others for months till they realized their own death and were over their fear of death. Don’t keep your death far away in the future. That is a method of avoidance. Remind yourself that you may die any instant and such is the nature of all things in existence. The essence of creation is destruction. Every creation involves the destruction of some other creation and every creation will itself be destroyed.
The acceptance of death is a very important part of stoic philosophy. If you want to know more about that, go read some great stoic philosophers such as Seneca.
Till next time.
Be Real, Know Death, Be Free.