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How to get over the fear of dying, is it even possible?

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Esteemed member
Lately, I've been thinking about mortality a bit and I'm aware it will happen sometime. It seemed to be a constant theme I had on my ayahuasca trips, given that during the experience it was very natural to let go and even be ready for death even if it happens in that moment.

Usually later I gain a more profound appreciation of life so I don't think about mortality for a while. However, since my mind is always very active even sober I get this horrible fear of death which I thought I actually overcame, but obviously didn't.

The thought of stopping breathing, or going through unbearable pain to the point of ceasing to exist frightens me and some argue that it actually is a healthy fear but I don't quite agree.

Death can happen at any time, if not for old age than by some kind of accident and when it happens I don't want to fear terror rather just embrace it. I'm not sure what can I do to overcome this fear, since I've gone through a death of a loved one already and know for a fact that it's like "today you're here, tomorrow you're not.". All this mortality stuff seems too sudden, and too extreme.

Has anyone here got a near death experience behind the belt to share some info on what it actually is like to cease to exist? Should I be scared? Will I experience pain like never before? Is there anything that can prepare a human for such thing or is this the unfortunate faith we all have to deal with without any preparation eventually?
Fear of death is not the same thing as the fear of dying. The fear of death is irrational. The fear of dying isn't.

Maybe there is life after death and maybe there isn't. But imagine there being a room with either nothing in it, or eternal bliss. In both cases, being in that room isn't such a bad thing.

But now imagine being glued on something like a conveyor belt that will inevitably lead you to a giant meatgrinder. Everything that goes through this big meatgrinder will end up in that room that isn't such a bad place.

To fear that room is irrational. To fear the meatgrinder, i suppose, is not.

That fear of dying is something very basic. I don't think you ever can completely erase it.
Personally I'm convinced that my subjective existence is independent of the matter, energy and information complex I am currently experiencing as a human existence, and even so, I'm definitely worried by the prospect of death.

I feel you have some strange notions about death. Like "unbearable pain to the point of ceasing to exist" sounds like a rather unfounded concept of dying. I guess there are different kinds of dying with different experiences, and yea I agree it's worrying. What worries me most about dying is that in a heavy trip, I know for certain that it will end and I'll come out the other side - when I'll be dying, I won't have that comfort.

If the subjective experience is independent of time, then "after" becomes a strange and meaningless notion, which is strange and worrying in itself. I've experienced "eternity condensed", and it's unsettling. (Even if one is a strict material reductionist, and believes that their subjective experience is purely the product of their body, there is no guarantee that the experience of dying is not timeless and subjectively eternal.)

Also, there's the part about losing your entire frame of reference. As a human being I feel relatively in control and capable of making meaningful sense of at least a portion of the world - I've had psychedelic experiences of chaos and void where I lost this ability, and I missed it, a lot.

So yes, death is a worrying concept. I don't think it will be different for anyone except maybe for those who are irrationally firmly fixed in their beliefs.
The only humans I have known to claim they are not afraid of any form of dying are some Buddhist monks, and some proved it too by sitting completely still while burning alive:


Alas, fear of death is an instinct that is programmed in to all animals and serves a purpose, at least in non-self-aware animals. Who is to say that these purposes are right or favorable? That would be committing the fallacy of Appeal To Nature.

Perhaps meditation may be the key to relinquishing your fear, after all it worked for the above did it not?

dragonrider said:
Fear of death is not the same thing as the fear of dying. The fear of death is irrational. The fear of dying isn't.

Very true.

PsyDuckmonkey said:
Also, there's the part about losing your entire frame of reference. As a human being I feel relatively in control and capable of making meaningful sense of at least a portion of the world

Yes, I think two are share much the same level of fear as they deal with much the same relational aspects. To die is to lose some if not ALL frame of reference, as with the psychedelic breakthrough.
The first thing I think about when I think about death is the 'Tibetan book of the dead'. Leary wrote a psychedelic based on it. He made the correlation between death and the psychedelic experience. And I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Much of me believes that death is not the end. I would think that if your consciousness was to traverse to some other plane of existence, then it would be very similar to a psychedelic journey, such as DMT. If this is in any way true then using substances like DMT could be very much like a practice in dying. I have approached my journeys in such a practice. A practice of letting go, completely.

That said, I believe meditation is also a practice in dying. Sitting silently. Observing. Posing a question to my mind to imagine what it will be like to exist no more. What regrets come up? What makes me feel happy about the life I created? How can I let it all go and be at peace? What am I attached to that keeps me tethered and struggle to cut the cord?

I thought about these questions and more like them for a long time. I answered those questions for myself. Can I answer these questions should I die? Can I recognize my attachments and let go. Let go of the form that I was and become something more. See the illusions and delusions and see my true nature.

The Tibetan book of the dead talks about bardos. In one of these bardos you will encounter peaceful and wrathful deities. These deities are one in the same. They are both illusions. If you do not see past the illusions you will either be seduced or tortured. You will stall out and no longer want to venture further, seduced by all your wants and desires, or you will run in fear from the demons of your mind.

If I remember right, if you see past the illusions and are able to let go, you can exit the body and transcend into purer being. I think they imagine shooting out the top of their head or eyes. These two being the highest exits points for the soul. If they do not see past the illusions they will be born into a lesser form.

Now I don't know about reincarnation. I don't know what happens after death. I have this feeling after my DMT use that time is not what we think it is. If we do enter into some psychedelic state after death, it could last a very long time or in an instant. Perhaps we are reincarnated but not linearly. Reincarnated in the past, the future, or maybe even reincarnate into the exact same life to try again.

If this is true, then everything is an illusion. Birth, life, and death. All the same thing. What's it for? I think it's for awareness. Pure experience. To feel love. To feel hate. To be alive. To die. To be born. To create life. To end it. To do it all and find the true nature if we can. To see past the illusions. To see that we choose the illusions. We create this together for a reason. All of us are a part of it. I relax into thinking that it is what it is. I let go into that.

The present moment is all we will ever have. Pay attention to every moment. Look at what we create. Do you like it? If not, create something else. It's all for you! Tonight when you go to sleep, imagine you will wake up ever again. Tomorrow when you wake up, smile!

Buddha Amitābha said:
O nobly-born (so-and-so), listen. Now thou art experiencing the Radiance of the Clear Light of Pure Reality. Recognize it. O nobly-born, thy present intellect, in real nature void, not formed into anything as regards characteristics or colour, naturally void, is the very Reality, the All-Good.

Thine own intellect, which is now voidness, yet not to be regarded as of the voidness of nothingness, but as being the intellect itself, unobstructed, shining, thrilling, and blissful, is the very consciousness, the All-good Buddha.

Thine own consciousness, not formed into anything, in reality void, and the intellect, shining and blissful, — these two, — are inseparable. The union of them is the Dharma-Kāya state of Perfect Enlightenment.

Thine own consciousness, shining, void, and inseparable from the Great Body of Radiance, hath no birth, nor death, and is the Immutable Light.

P.S. Check out the links below for more information about the 'Tibetan book of the dead'.

Also, read a book called 'Tuesdays with Morrie'. Below is the PDF.

I saw this posted on a similar post about death. I hope you don't mind me quoting you enteogenic-gnosis? My description of the 'Tibetan book of the dead' was terrible and I found yours far better. Thanks!

entheogenic-gnosis said:
The Bardo Thodol teaches that once awareness is freed from the body, it creates its own reality as one would experience in a dream. This dream occurs in various phases (bardos) in ways both wonderful and terrifying. Overwhelming peaceful and wrathful visions and deities appear. Since the deceased's awareness is in confusion of no longer being connected to a physical body, it needs help and guidance in order that enlightenment and liberation occurs. The Bardo Thodol teaches how we can attain Nirvana by recognizing the heavenly realms instead of entering into the lower realms where the cycle of birth and rebirth continue.

The following is a description of the bardo realms that one travels through after death.
1. The First Bardo Afterlife Realm

The first bardo comes at the very moment of death, when there dawns the Clear Light of the Ultimate Reality. This is the very content and substance of the state of liberation, if only the soul can recognize it and act in a way to remain in that state. The instructions intended to be read at the moment of the person's death are designed to help him do this. He is told, first of all, to embrace this supreme experience not in a selfish and egoistic way but rather with love and compassion for all sentient beings. This will aid him in the second step, which is to realize that his own mind and self is identical with the Clear Light, implying that he himself IS the Ultimate Reality, "the All-good Buddha", transcending time, eternity, and all creation. If he can recognize this while in this supreme state at the moment of death, he will attain liberation-that is, he will remain in the Clear Light forever. This condition is called the "Dharmakaya", the highest spiritual body of the Buddha.

Most souls, however, will fail to do this. They will be pulled down by the weight of their karma into the second stage of the first bardo, called the Secondary Clear Light seen immediately after death.At this point, there are separate instructions to be read according to the spiritual condition of the person while in life. For an individual advanced in meditation and other spiritual practices, there is repeated over and over the same instructions as at the moment of death, enjoining him to recognize himself as the Dharmakaya.For a person who was still at a student-level on the spiritual path, there is the injunction for him to meditate on his "tutelary deity", that is, the particular god for whom he performed devotional practices while alive. Finally,"if the deceased be of the common folk", unpracticed in any spiritual disciplines, the instruction is to "meditate upon the Great Compassionate Lord", which is to say an "Avatar" worshipped by the multitude, equivalent to Jesus as conceived by the average Christian.

2. The Second Bardo

If the soul is still not liberated at this stage, it will descend into the second bardo, which is said to last for two weeks. The second bardo is also divided into two parts; in the first, the soul of the deceased encounters what are referred to as "the Peaceful Deities."On each of the seven days, a particular Buddha-being will appear in radiance and glory, with a bevy of angelic attendants. At the same time, on each day in turn there will shine a light from one of the six worlds of the Buddhist universe, called"Lokas" (the basic meaning is "place";our English words "location" and "locale" are derived from the same Sanskrit root).

On the first day of the second bardo, there appears to the soul the divine Father-Mother - that is, the supreme deity of the universe, transcending all dualities, including the division into sexes. The next step in the destiny of the soul is determined by his reaction to this God. If his life on Earth was well lived, he will now be in a state of purity and grace, and he will enter into the joy of the God and attain liberation. If on the other hand he has lived an ignoble and impious life, the effects of his bad karma will cause the intense radiant presence of the God to strike fear and terror in his heart, and he will be drawn instead to the softer light of the Deva-Loka, which has dawned along with this deity. This is still a fairly attractive fate, for the Devas are the Gods (or angels), and their Loka is equivalent to the Christian heaven; however, the Buddhist teaching is that even heaven is not the highest spiritual objective, because it is still only a temporary state in the manifest universe. Liberation is believed to be the only final and permanent resting-place for the soul, an un-manifest state beyond all existence.

On the second day, there appears the second-highest God in the Buddhist pantheon - in fact, he is actually the Second Person in the literal Buddhist Holy Trinity. At the same time, there dawns a smoky light from hell; and here we note that, just as the Buddhist heaven is not a permanent, eternal state, neither is its hell. Even the most wretched souls will eventually work their way out of even the deepest pit of hell, just as even the highest and purest souls will eventually lose their footing in heaven and descend again into the cycle of death and rebirth. Liberation is the only way out.

Once again, if the soul responds to the "dazzling white light"of the second God with the joy of a pure heart, he will be liberated thereby; but if he specifically reacts with ANGER from having indulged in this vice on Earth, he will recoil from the light in fear and be drawn into hell.

The pattern is repeated on the third day; this time it is the fault if egotism that will cause the soul to react to the God with fear, and he will be drawn to the human world, where his next incarnation will thereby take place. On the fourth day dawns the God of Eternal Life; if the soul has a negative reaction to him because of miserliness and attachment, he will be drawn toward rebirth in the Preta-Loka, a world of"hungry ghosts"who have huge stomachs and throats the size of pinholes, and so they wander about in a constant state of unsatisfied ravenous desire. On the fifth day comes God in the form of an Almighty Conqueror; this time it's jealousy that will unseat the soul, and he will be born into the Asura-Loka, a world of fierce warrior-deities (or demons). On the sixth day all the deities return and dawn together, along with the lights from all six Lokas. On the seventh day there appear the Knowledge-Holding Deities, who are more fierce and demonic-looking than those that have previously dawned;and in fact they are sort of a transitional element to the next stage of the second bardo, where the soul encounters the wrathful deities. Meanwhile, if because of stupidity the soul cannot face the Knowledge-Holding Deities, he is drawn toward the Brute-Loka - that is, he will be reborn on Earth as an animal.

In the second week of the second bardo, the soul meets seven legions of Wrathful Deities: hideous, terrifying demons who advance upon him with flame and sword, drinking blood from human skulls, threatening to wreak unmerciful torture upon him, to maim, disembowel, decapitate and slay him.The natural tendency, of course, is for the soul to attempt to flee from these beings in stark, screaming, blood-curdled terror;but if he does, all is lost. The instructions at this stage of the Bardo are for the soul to have no fear, but rather to recognize that the Wrathful Deities are really the Peaceful Deities in disguise, their dark side manifesting as a result of his own evil karma. The soul is told to calmly face each demon in turn and visualize it as the deity it truly is, or else as his own tutelary deity; if he can do this, he will merge with the being and attain the second degree of Liberation, that lesser aspect of it which is now the best he can hope for here in the second bardo.

Furthermore, he is told to awaken to the fact that all these fearsome creatures are not real, but are merely illusions emanating from his own mind. If he can recognize this, they will vanish and he will be liberated.If he can't, he eventually wanders down to the third bardo.

3. The Third Bardo

In the third bardo the soul encounters the Lord of Death, a fearsome demonic deity who appears in smoke and fire, and subjects the soul to a Judgment. If the dead person protests that he has done no evil, the Lord of Death holds up before him the Mirror of Karma, "wherein every good and evil act is vividly reflected." Now demons approach and begin to inflict torments and punishments upon the soul for his evil deeds. The instructions in the Bardo Thodol are for him to attempt to recognize the Voidness of all these beings, including the Lord of Death himself; the dead person is told that this entire scene unfolding around him is a projection from his own mind. Even here he can attain liberation by recognizing this.

The soul who is still not liberated after the Judgment will now be drawn remorselessly toward rebirth.

The lights of the six Lokas will dawn again; into one of these worlds the soul must be born, and the light of the one he is destined for will shine more brightly than the others.The soul is still experiencing the frightening apparitions and sufferings of the third bardo, and he feels that he will do anything to escape from this condition. He will seek shelter in what appear to be caves or hiding-places, but which are actually the entrances to wombs. He is warned of this by the text of the Bardo Thodol, and urged not to enter them, but to meditate upon the Clear Light instead; for it is still possible for him to achieve the third degree of liberation and avoid rebirth.

Finally there comes a point where it is no longer possible to attain liberation, and after this the soul is given instructions on how to choose the best womb for a favorable incarnation. The basic method is non-attachment:to try to rise above both attraction to worldly pleasures and repulsion from worldly ills.

The final words of the Bardo Thodol are: "Let virtue and goodness be perfected in every way."
I'm not afraid of death. I'm more afraid of the pain that could lead to death (e.g. some illness, or violence), than death itself. And while I like Buddhism (it's probably my favorite of the various religions), I don't need religion to guide me through the mechanics of death. In fact, all that Bardo stuff others quoted above, while there might be some truth in it, it's laced with so much mystical jargon and connotations that is hard to take it seriously (at least, it doesn't provide the kind of intellectual understanding I need of the various worlds).

So my suggestion to you, would be read this book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0892812028/

In my opinion, it's the most concise book ever written about how reality (and all realities that are stacked on top of our physical universe) are structured. It's written in a logical way and it has answered many of my questions.

For example, if you go into these New Age web sites around, where they speak of "ascension", and then they mention a number of physical symptoms that arise from it (e.g. various physical pains and illnesses). I always thought that this was a bunch of hoo-hoo, that it made no sense for spiritual evolution to cause physical harm. If that was true, all monks would be affected. The book though provided logical information why this is happening, and for the first time, there was some sense to it (hint: the speed of this happening is a factor, e.g. kundalini happening almost overnight, while our nervous system hasn't evolved to the point yet to be able to deal with something inside us that operates "out of phase" from our reality -- hence the screw up that leads to physical, and mostly mental illness).

So anyway, the book provides solid info about why death shouldn't be feared. It explains how evolution works not only in the physical plane, but in all the planes. How evolution is a spiral, and so we are going up and down in the various planes, each time a little higher than the previous time. This is why when we "die" we find ourselves in the HIGHER dimension (the correct naming is "inner" though, not higher). The lowest one for us, in our stage of evolution, is the world we currently live, as humans. After many incarnations as humans, each time more wise than the last, we eventually leave this place, and we only incarnate between the "astral" planes. And after many eons, when we reach a plane further inner than the causal plane, we don't reincarnate at all. That's where the DMT Elves live, these are the majestic beings that create new universes. These are our "higher selves".

What Buddhists monks do when reaching nirvana is bypass a whole bunch of steps. It's possible to do that in a single lifetime. But do you want to? I mean, the whole point of having universe(s) is to live and experience and gather knowledge about yourself. To me, the Buddhist way of "signing out" is a cop out to the whole meaning of existence. Although I accept it as a free will option.

So anyway, please read the book. There's nothing to fear of death. Death is like you lost a life on your favorite computer game. You get up, look out of the window, you take a p1ss, you go grab a drink, and there you go back in the game, starting anew -- but this time with more experience. Eventually, you become so good at that game that you don't want to play it anymore, it's too predictable and there's nothing new to learn from it. So you try new games, harder and more exciting. Eventually, after a lot of time, you find no pleasure in computer games at all. You prefer to go out in nature and just sit there. Maybe you start a garden too, create new life.
@Handel, while I am glad for your feeling of certainty, let me voice my concerns over how you so readily dismiss Buddhist teachings without even understanding them, and at the same time push some random New Age pseudoscientific distillation of probably every mystical tradition ever as the ultimate truth.

As someone who is quite familiar with many traditions, and have extensive experience in a few, I really don't think you should look down on Buddhism. It doesn't have more mumbo-jumbo than this book (I'd subjectively say it has far less).

If you (or anyone else) really wants a no-nonsense analysis of "higher states of being (as we are capable of understanding them atm)", without someone trying to sell you their opinion on the afterlife and cosmology as "scientific"(lol) fact, I suggest checking out the books of renowned psychologist and Buddhist monk Ken Wilber.
Your reply was very condescending and I don't appreciate that.

Also, did you somehow missed my sentence above that from all available religions, I consider Buddhism to be the best? And how do you know that I don't understand it? Just because I took a shot at it? I have my own set of books on Buddhism, Sufism and Kabbalah btw. I don't follow any of these religions, but I study them, in order to find common threads of truth.

I just don't agree with any of them 100%. ALL religions, mystical or not, are laced with ignorance when it comes NOT to the Absolute Reality (which they DO get it right because it's the purest experience of all), but when it comes to lower dimensions than that, where other civilizations exist. These more solid realities are less pure than Absolute Reality, so they can easily confuse a Middle Ages monk who's never seen high technology, and then he comes back from meditation trying to explain what he saw. Religions often saw these beings as gods, or they see these realms as angelic and what not. I don't like such explanations, they're stupid and ignorant in my mind.

As for nirvana itself, as I said, I accept it as a free will option. I just don't agree with it to get there in one go (Kabbalah has the same opinion on this btw). All things eventually reach nirvana, it's only a question of how fast you want it happen. The All created all the universes in order to experience itself. Reaching nirvana is of course allowed, and it should be allowed in the grand scheme of things. But it's still a cop out in my (and Kabbalah's) view.

As for Ken Wilber, what he says is not fundamentally different than the book I suggested. The only difference is that the book I suggested was written in 1976, and Wilber's in 2001. They're just variations of the same theme. So please don't shoot down a book you never read. Calling it a "random New Age pseudoscientific distillation" is very offensive to me. Just like you didn't like it when I criticized PARTS of Buddhism, please don't shoot down my experiences and opinions.
I equate the fear of dying with the fear of the unknown. I like dragonrider's distinction between death and dying.
dragonrider said:
To fear the meatgrinder, i suppose, is not.
And yes, perhaps we'll always have that natural aversion to the physical pain. But I think it's been established that people can learn to tolerate it, and even embrace it. Truly fearing physical pain is simply a fear of the unknown in disguise as I see it; the uncertainty of how much you can tolerate and what will happen when you can't. It's the unknown we fear and the only way to combat it is to learn to embrace those uncertainties and always plod forward, no matter the destination.
To fear dying means to fear living.

The process of dying starts with my birth and luckily, so I can not get lost on the way, all roads lead to the same destination, death (what ever that is). I am not getting younger or healthier, thus, I am slowly dying all the way and we all are witnessing it...

.. more, I came to die.

Happy and safe travels, tseuq
I'm sorry. I don't know the answer to your question, but I must say you've got some fine leads to go on already developing. Helluva resource—amazing when you think about it. I won't dive in with own conjectures on death or fear—they're pretty left-brain I afraid. I'm a blunt empiricist when it comes to end of life issues, grief, and trauma—I say look to fields and sciences that treat the fear of dying as a matter of swift business. Veterinary surgery, geriatric medicine, mainstream and psychedelic psychotherapies, the Colorado state guidelines and practices for assisted end of life decision, and death row inmate executions per federal and state definitions of "cruel and unusual" —compare and contrast their assessment and procedures with emphasis on best practices. Then synthesize the resources you find there to a program that fits your work schedule. Sigh, I know. :| Nothing else I can offer but I think you're in good hands with thees Nexus folks.

Good luck, but I wouldn't rush the answer. You've got a long time to consider and reconsider how fear (an emotional reaction that any animal has at times) relates to dying (a process that takes place in the animal body at the end of senescence). Thanks for sharing your story. Thanks for your curiosity.

These are a dumb questions I'll admit but there were a few things I was wondering, per your research: what will you be afraid of if you're not afraid of dying? Fear of dying—it's kind of a classic as far as fears go. It's like giving up vanilla. I guess you could still go on with fear of age, illness, loss of capacity, strawberry, and madness. But somehow that just doesn't have the same palette as dying, (on the East Coast of the US every family has its own recipe, passed down from generations by wintery spinters to black-sheep)—the fear of dying in a sugar cone on a hot summer day, on its own with served up a bowl with a swirl of any of these...

If you got over the fear of dying what kind of life would you lead? ** Consider any of the proposed early Mars colonies that tend to be a one way voyage for the first generation that trait would certainly come in handy. Would you pass its secrets on to your martian born progeny? Are we facing a future ruled by martian supermen who fear no death??!... What would you do first to test it out? Skydiving? medical testing, deep sea cave diving, Alaska? (I don't recommend Peru.) Would you keep your hands inside the ride at all time while he sings you up the mountain in some ramshackle machine made of roots and leaves? Would you still enjoy an occasional horror movie? Would you still yield to oncoming traffic? What if you dozed off behind the wheel late at night while driving; what would wake you: hubris, nostalgia, ennui? Would you lose your fear for anyone and everyone dying? Would you only have Loathing in Las Vegas? Would you deeply consider every breath from that point like you would a hit of a drug that you quit whenever you willed it—with some ugly withdrawals but no fear? ...Exhale. Inhale. Exhale? Nah, not today..screeeew that…Inale, eh maybe after I get stoned…Exhale. Gotta breathe the toke right? Keep breathing and vaping in the universe, it's free and dispersed—and bits of it get you high if you boil it just right. and some of it can just scare the holy hell out of you. You're beautiful. :thumb_up:

**sorry, I had taken LSD before starting this post, at that point the woodwork of a rocking chair in my room morphed into a meter high bipedal armadillo/gopher monster with anthropological alien green eyes set in a frame that was bald from some kind of pervasive fungal mange. I'm not generally prone to gross visuals meaning full animatronics and I startled and saw it morph back. and mid yelp began laughing at myself. For a second I was scared it was going to kill me, and I'm afraid of dying I suppose. lol:lol: You gotta keep this fear. If nothing else it’s one of the funnier ones.
Love the post by someblackguy (aswell as the sid barrett/Intezam bird thread soliloquy). Fear of dying. I don't want to die. As far i have experienced an noticed there is nothing wrong with fearing death. It's what living is all about.If you are lucky enough to come face to face with yuor own physical mortality and managed to come through it, it gives added
value to any particular time that you have left.

AwesomeUsername said:
Death can happen at any time, if not for old age than by some kind of accident and when it happens I don't want to fear terror rather just embrace it

I think that when an accident occurs with physical trauma, there is too much shock and disorientation to dwell on the conundrum of mortality. There is no time to have any existential crisis relating to imminent demise. so there really should be nothing to worry about. One minute you are howling in pain, turmoil and confusion, the next you're dead. Job done, no worries. Or better still being squashed and killed instantly. Alive then dead. Again no worries about death.

I have watched someone die from old age and to be honest i didn't notice any terror. The death row thing, now that opens up a whole new can of worms. That's gotta be hard. Facing the days counting down to ones guaranteed demise and how to deal with that? I don't know. But if i was to be executed i think that i would choose the guilotine as i would like see if my brain worked after i was decapitated and if so, for how long.
What about the people who get terminal illnesses and then go out and live life to the full in their last months/years?
Preparing yourself for death is about living life in the best way that is suited to a particular individual.


Edit.. the above documentary is a must see.

thomas traherne said:
The corn was orient and immortal wheat, which never should be reaped, nor was ever sown. I thought it had stood from everlasting to everlasting. The dust and stones of the street were as precious as gold: the gates were at first the end of the world. The green trees when I saw them first through one of the gates transported and ravished me, their sweetness and unusual beauty made my heart to leap, and almost mad with ecstasy, they were such strange and wonderful things: The Men! O what venerable and reverend creatures did the aged seem! Immortal Cherubims! And young men glittering and sparkling Angels, and maids strange seraphic pieces of life and beauty! Boys and girls tumbling in the street, and playing, were moving jewels. I knew not that they were born or should die; But all things abided eternally as they were in their proper places. Eternity was manifest in the Light of the Day, and something infinite behind everything appeared which talked with my expectation and moved my desire. The city seemed to stand in Eden, or to be built in Heaven. The streets were mine, the temple was mine, the people were mine, their clothes and gold and silver were mine, as much as their sparkling eyes, fair skins and ruddy faces. The skies were mine, and so were the sun and moon and stars, and all the World was mine; and I the only spectator and enjoyer of it. I knew no churlish proprieties, nor bounds, nor divisions: but all proprieties* and divisions were mine: all treasures and the possessors of them. So that with much ado I was corrupted, and made to learn the dirty devices of this world. Which now I unlearn, and become, as it were, a little child again that I may enter into the Kingdom of God.
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