Question: I have been a spiritual seeker almost all my life. I have had many wonderful experiences and feel I have grown and evolved immensely. However, there is still one area which I feel has not changed much and that is my fear of dying. How can I overcome this fear of death?
Leonard’s answer: If you are not present, and you are functioning mostly from within the mind, then death is always approaching, and it creates fear in two ways. The first is that we are afraid of the unknown, and generally what happens after death is unknown, and so we are afraid of it. To the extent that you are afraid of death, you will miss life, simply because the fear of death keeps you in the future, and life is only truly experienced in the present.
Fear of death also arises because of our attachments. The more attached we are to people or things, the more we will fear losing those things and so the more we will fear death.
To overcome the fear of death, you will have to become more present.
When you are present, you are in the unknown in the sense that the remembered past or the imagined future is not with you. All you know is this moment, not because you understand it or know it with your mind, but because you are experiencing it, moment to moment. It is very peaceful, and the more present you are, the more you will trust the unknown and the more relaxed and accepting you will be.
If you are truly present, there is no such thing as death.
One moment, you are here, alive. The next moment you are here, alive. If you remain present, then at the point of passing all you will experience is a moment of transition as you leave the body. Prior to that moment of transition, if you are present, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion. During that moment of passing, if you are present, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion. After that moment of passing, you will experience peace, love, gratitude, acceptance and compassion.
You will also experience a lot of light as you are returned to the dimension of the soul. Before this incarnation, you existed as a soul within the soul dimension. After leaving the body, you will be returned to that dimension, but your experience there will be radically transformed by the level of Presence and Oneness realized in this lifetime. Future incarnations will be radically affected by the level of Presence and Oneness realized in this lifetime.
To be fully present, you will also have to surrender your attachments. You accomplish this by bringing everything that you are attached to into consciousness. Own your attachments. Acknowledge them and confess them. Your attachments keep you imprisoned in the past or future. Your attachments keep you out of Oneness and in separation. Realize that you came into this world alone, and you will leave this world alone. You cannot take anything or anyone with you, but you can take your sense of attachment with you. This will create fear and it will contribute to the soul’s sense of separateness and loss.
In truth, you are the champion of the soul and it is through your awakening into Oneness through Presence in this lifetime that your soul will be restored to immortality. The more present you are in your day-to-day life, the more present you will be in that moment of transition. If you are present, it is truly a moment of great inspiration for those who love you. It is a moment worthy not of grief, but of great celebration.
Submit questions to author and teacher Leonard Jacobson: for guidance on the path of presence by email to [email protected], or mail your questions to: The Edge, Ask Leonard, P.O. Box 25543, Woodbury, MN 55125. Include your name and mailing address. If your letter is selected for publication, you will receive a copy of the author’s latest book, Journey to Now.