Whoa scary, right? Who doesnt have a fear of death? And yet most religions and philosophies contain the wisdom that it is the fear of death rather than death itself that is the most dangerous part of life.

But Fear Itself

I say fear of death is dangerous to life because fear hardens us and robs us of peace. When we are encased in the armor of fear, we cannot enjoy the gifts of our short existence. Instead we are likely to attach to momentary pleasures in an attempt to forget our mortality.

We will buy anything, do anything, if we think it might help us live longer or allows us to ignore reality.

It is this fear-based attachment that causes people to eat their young. I dont mean literally. But the modern propensity to overtax the Earths resources, mine in fragile ecosystems, pollute the water and air, use chemical fertilizers, and all the other ways that we try to elongate our own lives and be comfortable at the expense of future generations are selfish acts of destruction prompted by fear.

For that reason, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.

Forever Young

At the other extreme, some people believe that they will never die at all. We all learn about death in childhood, and at some point come to know logically that we will die like our loved one or pet. But for many people, this knowledge never becomes embodied understanding.

They live as if they are indestructible, eating food products or engaging in activities that actually make them age faster. Or they work jobs they despise just for the money or obligation. They have convinced themselves, on a subconscious level, that their lives will not end.

So they do not embrace the preciousness of life and often miss a lot of the beauty.

Acceptance Is The First Step

Accepting death sets us free. When we can understand that our time on this Earth is limited, but not be afraid of our ending, then we can do great things. It gives us just enough push to take care of our bodies.

To show our loved ones how much they mean to us whenever we can. To make beautiful gardens, healthy children, inspiring art, and other legacies of our existence.

When we accept the inevitability of the death of our bodies without fear, we are more likely to treat the Earth as a beloved home that we are preparing for the next generation. We take only what we need, and seek to be in reciprocity with life.

Whatever your religious belief, some part of you will live on. It may just be the matter of your body decomposing into the Earth. It may be your children. It might be a piece of art, or bit of legislation, or building you constructed. Our essences are immortal.

And that is the beautiful paradox of life. We, as we know ourselves to be, will die. This body and personality will cease to exist maybe tomorrow, maybe 30 years from now, but it will happen. And yet there is a part of each of us that can never die.