By way of preparing you for an essay about death and dying coming soon, I am sharing part of a conversation between Jack, a soul who is being prepared for his incarnation, and Harley, his Angel of Incarnation. This excerpt is taken from my eBook entitled A Radical Incarnation and retitled as A Soul Contract for the audio version. This excerpt deals with the notion of death and the fear we have about it. Part Two explains why we need to forgive before we die or before the other guy does.
“Think of the human experience as a spiritual boot camp,” explained Harley. “Like all boot camps, it is designed to build you up by tearing you down until you surrender completely.”
“So what keeps people in the program?” I (Jack), had to ask. “If it’s as unpleasant as it sounds and there appears to be no reason to be doing it, why do people make such a strong point of doing it for as long as they can?”
“Simple,” replied Harley. “The fear of death. The fear of ceasing to exist. That’s what keeps them in the program. You have to hand it to the Ego, Jack. First it seduces you into believing that you are a separate entity, existing alone — separate from other human beings and from the source of infinite supply and security, God — and, to all intents and purposes, independent and self-reliant.
Then it teaches you to fear death — which we up here know to be the way back home — to such a degree that you hang on to life at all costs and never give up trying to keep death away. While it is true that the pain of being separate and alone may be almost unbearable, it is still preferable to the only alternative — death. Fear of death, Jack. That’s what keeps us in the game. Perfect, don’t you think?”
“I guess it is,” I agreed. “But is that the only purpose for making death fearful — to create a kind of prison without bars from which no one wants to escape?
There is more to it than that, Jack. The fear of death raises the bar for achieving a meaningful level of transcendence through the actual death process. If there was little fear, there would be little challenge to it. The journey of life is nothing more than a march towards death, and the purpose of life, my friend, is to face our worst fear and transcend it.”
“How do we transcend it?” I enquired.
“Surrendering to what, though?”
“You’ll find out, Jack. Until you know what it feels like to be in a human body facing death, you can’t imagine how it is. You will have spent the whole of your life thinking that you are sufficient unto yourself and in control of your destiny. As you slide towards death, you realize that you are powerless to control anything, and that you are moving into the void, into nothingness, into non-existence. There’s nothing more terrifying for human beings than the idea that they don’t exist. And that’s what death represents to them.
“We have set it up in precisely that way so that when they transcend their fear of death and go through the experience and discover that “not existing” means becoming once again ONE with God, their awareness of what that means will be magnified many hundreds of times. Can you see how that would raise the transcendence bar, Jack?”
“Yes, I think so,” I replied thoughtfully. “It gives spiritual value to the whole experience. The higher the bar is set, the greater my growth through the process of transcendence.”
“That’s right,” said Harley. “Now you’re starting to get it. It is not death that is the doorway to the sublime; it’s the fear of death. The sublime arises in the realization that not only is death an illusion but so is separation. Cool, isn’t it?”
“I guess so,” I replied.
“Up here, we have known that fact forever, of course. We know that separation is not the truth and just take it for granted that we souls exist in the same relationship to the Whole as a wave does in relation to the ocean. We think of Universal Intelligence as being a vast ocean of consciousness. Each one of us souls arises from that ocean and then, at the right and perfect moment, falls back into it to become one with it again.
“For us then, death is nothing — just part of the song of existence. Since we know that we are existence itself, ceasing to exist is nothing to us, anymore than it would be for a wave.”