COLUMN: 'Fear of death is a futile worry and only holds us back from living...'

Karl Clancy writing in this week's Nationalist

Tipperary Tipperary Tipperary

The Everyday Mystic, Karl Clancy

The only two certainties in life are death and taxes, or so the saying goes and nothing will make you appreciate the fullness of life as much as thinking about and contemplating death.

In our culture death is to be feared beyond all other fears. It’s the unspoken taboo. Religion hopes for the continuance of ourselves beyond dying.

Some believe that we go to a heavenly paradise or are simply remembered by a God who will bring us back at a later date or that we are reincarnated over and over, or whatever variant you might imagine. All these beliefs are born of the fear of death.

They are an attempt to put ourselves at the centre of the universe, of creation. To invent an answer to the most basic of questions, what happens when we die?

In reality though they are just our ego’s way of explaining the one basic truth. If we live, we die.

Dying can provide the most stark backdrop to life. It’s a blackness against which life is even more bright, more wonderful.

A radiant, shining jewel, resplendent in its brief flame, that burns against the velvet darkness before burning out completely.

Our light is a spark and gone as quickly but the stars would trade the span of theirs to know what it is to be us.

Our ego can’t have us simply burn out and be gone though, and so we create complex ideologies and stories to tell ourselves that there is more to us than just this paltry few decades of life.

Ego is,on this occasion, correct. There is more to us, but ego is wrong in what that more is.

We are eternal in that the pattern that is us is incorruptible. What we call the soul is that part of the universe that is folded and shaped to become us.

The energy and the pattern coming together create a vibration with a signature that can’t be undone. Once spun into being our DNA is the road map for shaping every atom and vibration of the jigsaw that becomes us.

Once the particles share this vibration they will never lose it, even across the vastness of space and time. Teaching our ego to see this is difficult.

We are wired to survive here and now. We are wired to think of ourselves as the centre of everything. To tell ourselves that one day we will die and that this isn’t to be feared is something ego can’t hear... it’s afraid.

It’s afraid of so many things, most of which are contradictions if we look at them clearly.

Ego tells us to love ourselves above all else yet also to care about the opinions of others more than our own, to put ourselves first so we may be successful enough to attract a mate but the very traits we show in doing this are those least likely to win a mate, to ensure our DNA is passed on but to put ourselves before our children in the event of a catastrophe, to crave acceptance from the group yet to strive to be better than anyone else.

Ego is made of too many pieces to be unified but we can use that against it.

The work of altering and integrating the ego is in putting the devil to work, taking ego and using it’s imperative for self care to change ourselves.

We become the best us we can be by telling ourselves that this is in our best interests, that change is not to be feared but welcomed because it will show who we really are and allow us to grow beyond who we are now, ensuring that we create around us a tribe or group of people who see this change as good too, people on the same wavelength, the same vibe.

Using ego to overcome its own negative tendencies by flipping them into positives becomes part of Acceptance, accepting our tendencies to be selfish and being the kind of selfish that benefits everyone around us. After all, the stronger the tribe the more secure it is and the safer I am.

Growing into selflessness lets us become whole and we do it by realising that the best care we can take of ourselves is to become the best version of ourselves we can be.

This method will allow us to be free of fear, to be accepted by the group and become what ego always thought we would and should be, even if it’s exactly the opposite of who it thought we would be.

We use the tools of ego to negate it.

We become open, trusting, compassionate, kind, full of empathy and raise our vibe to a point where we accept life as it is and know that the lie of ego is finally undone when we die. No one survives life but if we wake up we can really live.

When we die, that pattern, the soul, is finally free of the limits of this physical person and ego is no more. We are completely free, completely immortal, just not at all who we thought we would be.

Fear of death, then, is a futile worry and only holds us back from actually living.

Expending our energy in that direction is a waste when we could be expending our energy being present today to see the wonder of life and to see it far more clearly against the backdrop of its end.

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