An Essay by Avatar Adi Da Samraj
What people truly mean when they say they do not know about death is that they do not know exactly what will follow it in their own case. Yet, the generalized presumption of no knowledge about death only provides an emotional excuse for avoiding the inevitable confrontation with the reality of death and the necessity that one study it and prepare for cooperation with its process. The process of death — like all the common events of human experience — is clearly available for you to observe in others and to study, as a common (as well as a personal) psycho physical event. You can and must prepare for that event, even as you normally prepare for other great events — such as childbirth, or an operation, or a test of knowledge and skills relating to a profession. Just so, like every human individual, you have many experiences during your lifetime that clearly duplicate at least some of the psycho physical aspects of the death process. These include the regular act of going to sleep, the experiences endured during periods of illness, and (if you are involved in Spiritual practice) the progressive revelation enjoyed via a lifetime of meditation.
Also, many people are given remarkable experiences that reveal and demonstrate to them the actualities of the death process. I Myself have had many such experiences — including complete duplication of the death process. Therefore, you should not presume that you do not and cannot know about the death process. You can and must know about that process, and you must prepare for it through psycho-physical self study. Even if you do not come to know in advance exactly what will follow your own death, you can know about the death process itself, since it involves the familiar processes of your present body mind. Furthermore, you can (while still alive in this world) enter into the profound practice of esoteric Spirituality, by means of which it is possible to Realize the Real Condition of Existence (Which Is your Ultimate Destiny), as well as the actual structures of your experiential existence.
Fear of death is anxiety (or emotional recoil) experienced in anticipation of the event. Such fearful anticipation is basically the result of a failure to observe the death process in others and to study that process through systematic education and self observation. Death is a necessary, purposeful, and (ultimately) benign psycho physical process. It is similar to the process of giving birth, except that it occurs to both males and females. As in the case of preparing for childbirth, you must study the death process bodily and through observing others. Above all, tension and fear must be relaxed during the death process (as it must be in the case of a woman in childbirth). You must relax and release, as when going to sleep — in a feeling of deep trust, love, and surrender to the Divine Reality on Which the process depends.
What is on the “other side” of the death process may or may not be revealed to you beforehand, but it will certainly be revealed to you when it actually happens! Therefore, your only responsibility is to study, prepare for, and rightly engage the death process itself — much as a woman approaching childbirth studies, prepares for, and rightly engages the birth process. In the process of birth, the newborn enters this world via the lower bodily organs of the mother. In the process of death, the living being (optimally) enters a new circumstance via the crown of the head of the dying body (which, in effect, is the “mother” of the transitioning being). Therefore, learn how to cooperate with the death process as a natural event leading to this end. The failure of such cooperation tends to make the death process painful and disturbing, even as the birth process can be for a mother who fails to surrender and cooperate with the event. If you do not surrender in cooperation with the death process, then you will tend to interfere with the ultimate event of release and separation from the body and the world — which, like sleep, is intended to refresh and strengthen the phenomenal being in preparation for a rebirth (or resumed embodiment). Resistance during the actual death process makes the necessary transition difficult, and you may (thereby) force yourself into a pattern of psychic withholding, whereby you remain fixed in a ritual of illusory and frustrated association with past experiential aspects of the now receding body and world.
You should prepare for death as a process of complete surrender and release of all physical, emotional, and mental clinging to the present body mind, its relations, and this world.
Your death should be a complete release of this present “school” and a complete relinquishment of the present design and content of your conditional self. You should fully consent to die at the moment of death, and so be released toward what is new and awaiting you (above and beyond the “realities” of the present body mind).
Your ability to do this will be either enhanced or limited to the same degree that you are able to surrender while alive in the Divine Love-Bliss-Consciousness That Is Real God.
Therefore, in order for death to be an ecstatic transition for you, you must not only study and prepare for the specific and terminal process of death itself, but (while alive) you must also devote yourself to an ecstatic (or ego transcending) way of life.