Fear of Death
Here is a great experiment I shared in the free Mastery of Meditation newsletter a few months ago. I think it is worth doing by all of us, as it helps us overcome the fear of death and in the process teaches us how to live.
Overcoming the Fear of Death
I want to share with you all today an extraordinary excerpt for the great teacher J. Krishnamurti on death and why we fear it. In addition, I want to suggest for you a particular experiment on death, which I feel was incredibly helpful in helping me in my own spiritual evolution and I am sure which you be of great value to you as well.
Do you think a leaf that falls to the ground is afraid of death? Do you think a bird lives in fear of dying? It meets death when death comes; but it is not concerned about death, it is much too occupied with living, with catching insects, building a nest, singing a song, flying for the very joy of flying. Have you ever watched birds soaring high up in the air without a bear of their wings, being carried along by the wind? How endlessly they seem to enjoy themselves! They are not concerned about death. If death comes, it is all right, they are finished. There is no concern about what is going to happen; they are living from moment to moment, are they not? It is we human beings who are always concerned about death – because we are not living. That is the trouble; we are dying, we are not living. The old people are near the grave, and the young ones are not far behind.
You see, there is a preoccupation with death because we are afraid to lose the known, the things that we have gathered. […]. We don’t want to leave the known; so it is our clinging to the known that creates fear in us, not the unknown. Th unknown cannot be perceived by the known. But the mind, being made of the known, says, “I am going to end,” and therefore it is frightened.
Now, if you can live from from moment to moment and not be concerned about the future, if you can live without the thought of tomorrow – which does not mean the superficiality of merely being occupied with today; it, being aware of the whole process of the known, you can relinquish the known, let it go completely, then you will find that an astonishing thing takes place.
Try if for a day – put aside everything you know, forget it, and just see what happens. Don’t carry over your worries from day to day, from hour to hour, from moment to moment; let them all go, and you will see that out of this freedom comes an extraordinary life that includes both living and dying. Death is only the ending of something, and in that very dying there is renewing.