Can we overcome the fear of death?

CAN WE OVERCOME THE FEAR OF DEATH?

Ozodi Osuji

      Life in body is destined to terminate in death. If you are born in body, your body will age, weaken, and is affected by bacterial and viral diseases and die. Give or take, you live to be a hundred years and die but die you must.

     We human beings do not want to accept our inevitable death. Everything that we do on earth are influenced by our desire to fight the acceptance of our coming death. Our lives on earth are devoted to efforts at denying the reality of death.

     But despite our struggles to protect and defend our bodies with food, medications, shelters, and creatures of comfort, those bodies will die, and decay to the elements (carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen and sixty others) that they are composed of and those elements decay to their constituent subatomic particles ( electrons, protons and neutrons) and those particles decay to quarks and eventually to light, the light that came out during the big bang, 13. 8 billion years ago and began differentiating itself to particles, elements molecules, in short to matter. Everything composed of matter will eventually decompose back to light.

     In the here and now, our bodies are built from plants and vegetables that we eat, plants, vegetables, animals will all die and become part of nature; the gasoline in your car was formed from dead trees, animals, and your ancestors’ dead bodies and those were formed from solar radiant energy (transformed to chemical energy) that they absorbed while living as life trees, animals, and people!

      Because life in body is destined for death, suppose one stops fighting death and accept that one is going to die, suppose, in fact, that one accepts that one is already dead, what is going to happen?

      Ramana Maharshi (1880-1950), a Hindu saint, said that when young that he was paralyzed by fear of death and decided to die; he simply laid down and asked death to take him, now, not the next minute. He said that his decision to die instead of live to struggle to prevent death led him to experience what Hindus call Samadhi (and Buddhists call Nirvana, Zen calls Satori and Christians call the mystical union of the son and his father).

    In Samadhi, one’s mind is said to escape to a place where all is spiritual light, and all things are joined as one spiritual light and, in that state, we are eternal, permanent, and changeless and experience bliss, peace and joy.

     Ramana Maharshi later returned to our normal state of being on earth, in bodies but now he no longer experienced fear of death; he said that he no longer was afraid of anything. He lived to be seventy years when he died in 1950. He was considered one of India’s God realized selves, a saint; folks from all over the world came to seek his counsel on spiritual matters.

     Obviously, everything we know about Ramana Maharshi’s mental state is what he told us; we have no independent way of verifying the existence of Brahmaloca, spirit state, state of oneness, union of all beings as one being, aka heaven. Since science does not accept anything on faith, we shall not necessarily accept what Ramana Maharshi said; I see it as heuristic.

      Interestingly, what the man did was what Jesus did. Jesus allowed his ego and body to be crucified, murdered, and was said to have resurrected in a different self, a self in light bodily form and showed that light formed self to his followers. Eventually, he was said to have returned to a state of formless self, where one is one with God and all selves (Christians call this state, heaven).

      The salient point is that there is an assumption that when we die to the wish to live in ego, separated self-housed in body, we resurrect to life eternal. But is this true? I do not know.

      What I do know is that I am motivated by fear of death; I am going to experiment with what Ramana Maharshi did, accept that I am already dead and see if that would banish the fear of the inevitable, death, from my mind.

      I am going to find out if Saint Paul is correct in saying that when we die to our current state of being, human being, what I call ego in body, that we resurrect to living in Christ self, a self that is the son of God that is always as God created him, one with God and all other sons of God and is eternal and immortal.

     Nothing tried, nothing found out, right? So, what have I got to lose by trying to find out if there is eternal life when we accept the death of our egos and bodies, our current dream states of being?

ADDENDUM

WHY DO AFRICANS SEEK TO BECOME BIG MEN IN THEIR OWN EYES AND THE EYES OF OTHER AFRICANS?

     Death is one of those variables that make human beings feel worthless and they try to obtain a sense of worth in their eyes and in the eyes of their fellow human beings.

     Africans pursue obsessive-compulsively a sense of importance, worth and value in the eyes of their fellow Africans and are petrified been seen as having no value by their people.

     This is because it is their only way of obtaining pseudo-ego worth, the type of worth all human beings seek.

     White folks seek ego worth through accomplishments in the egos’ world, such as becoming the king, president, billionaire and being socially important persons.

     People feel worthless in ego and body and seek make-belief worth in the eyes of other egos and bodies, a mask over their existential nothingness.

    But why do they not accept their existential nothingness, and live like trees, and not seek worth?

    Since the ego does not exist and other egos do not exist and the world does not exist, all these striving after worth is pointless. Nevertheless, people seek social worth to make them seem to exist and have worth.

      One can live without seeking ego worth and instead assume ones worth in the son of God, Christ, in God, in love.

MY WEAK BODY DISPOSED ME TO SEEK A POWERFUL SELF AND GRANDIOSE WORTH

     My extraordinarily weak body exacerbated my human condition of feeling worthless and seeking ego based social worth. I was obsessed with getting other people to see me as an especially important man. Social importance masked my existential worthlessness.

     I had to accept my total worthlessness to stop seeking other people’s confirmation of worth on me, and to know inner peace.

REFERENCE

Talks with Ramana Maharshi, (2000). Carlsbad, California: Inner Directions.

Ozodi Osuji

November 4, 2022

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