How do I Overcome the Fear of Death

The only truth of this life is death. It is a certainty. It comes to all those that are born. We die a little each day and yet the thoughts of our mortality are far away from our minds. Death is something that happens to others. But as we age, thoughts of our mortality and the inevitability of death begin to plague us. Sickness that accompanies the ageing process reminds us that our time on this earth is soon going to come to an end. And that is when the fear of death grips us. We long for our youth, to undo the mistakes of our past.

But what really sparks this fear of death is the sense of “I”, the ego. The ego, which pervades every sense of ours, is loath to perish. It creates bonds of attachment to inanimate objects, bonds that prevent us from contemplating the imperishable.

So how does one overcome the fear of death? With practice one can. We have to accept that one day this body will die. We should realize that we are not this body. The body serves as an instrument for this soul, we are the soul, and we are eternal. It is not we who perish.

When we stop identifying with this body and begin to identify with the soul, we cut loose the bonds of ego. The ego, which attaches us to the body, creates in us a desire for the fulfillment of our actions. We desire fruits of our actions. By detaching ourselves from the yearning for the fruits of our labor and treating labor or our duties as the end in itself, we release ourselves from the bonds of attachment. The cravings for unfulfilled desires create a fear of death. A fear of what will happen if death overtakes us before those desires are fulfilled creates an attachment to this body; it creates a fear of death.

We should strive to achieve the highest possible position after death; that of oneness with God. We should conduct ourselves such that we enjoy communion with God. Death is not the end; it is a comma in the soul’s eternal journey. It is not an unknown; in fact, it is a journey to where the soul gets to meets its maker.

Death or the casting off of our mortal coil is an opportunity to enter a new learning experience, the impressions of which will be cast on our soul.

Acceptance of the inevitability of death and an earnest desire to make the best use of the time we have available on earth will give us the courage to quell the fear of death and face live with a positive attitude. It gives us the inspiration to use our faculties to do good while we can, because as we age our faculties give way. We cannot see, eat, walk, or talk for as long as we could in our youth.

Remember, death is just a turn in the astral highway that we all travel. We may think that the mind does not know where it comes from or where it is headed, but it does. We only need to tap into those hidden pieces of information through meditation and yoga.

Jim McElwee