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Dying Unto Death

Dying Unto Death

Like my heart and my breathing, my mind is recirculating images and feelings that are shared with millions of other people. Without death, this renewal would not be possible.

In the East it is believed that our bodies store memories of many deaths as we move from on reincarnation to the next. Thus our terror at the prospect of dying is really a memory. Likewise, the peace that can be felt in the face of death is also a memory. Each of us is susceptible to both recollections, the pain of dying and the joy of being reborn.

Without having to endorse any belief in reincarnation, I have found that people do locate the memory of peace inside. Since the fear of death exists on many levels, so does its healing.

On the emotional level you need to begin ridding yourself of the energy of fear. On the mental level you can read philosophy or scriptures, or if you are a nonbeliever, delve into the many scientific studies of near-death experiences, which have now been documented by the thousands. Faith can come in through the mind.

Yet wherever you place your faith, death remains mysterious. No one fully accepts the reassurances being offered by reason or religion. Dying is a natural process, but our attitudes toward it can be very unnatural. Of course you can be just as afraid of dying before it happens – the fear itself is what needs to be healed.

In every wisdom tradition there is a teaching called “dying unto death,” as the New Testament calls it. This means experiencing the truth about dying while you are still alive. At this moment your body could not be alive without death. Billions of cells have to perish to bring new ones to life. You could not think or feel or dream if your mind did not allow your old thoughts to die away and make room for the new.

Adapted from The Deeper Wound: Recovering the Soul from Fear and Suffering, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2001).

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Deepak Chopra

Acknowledged as one of the world's greatest leaders in the field of mind body medicine, Deepak Chopra, M.D. continues to transform our understanding of the meaning of health. Chopra is known as a prolific author of over 49 books with 12 best sellers on mind-body health, quantum mechanics, spirituality, and peace. A global force in the field of human empowerment, Dr. Chopra's books have been published in more than 35 languages with more than 20 million copies in print.

73 comments

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4:43PM PST on Mar 1, 2013

Fear does no one any good.

9:31AM PST on Nov 6, 2012

noted

6:15PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:35PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Sorry to add-Life is short, relax and breathe not everyone has the same mindset - please allow others their opinions without responding in intense anger and insults!

Have a Lovely Spring everyone and for those in the world entering into another season, have a great one!

8:30PM PDT on Apr 1, 2012

Always interesting to read other viewpoints about death.

Have no idea of what really is in store for me after passing-one may well become pure energy as in the soul, there are so many unknown things, fascinating things-a few of my religious friends go on about if I don't accept Christ into my life I will burn for eternity in the torment of hell screaming and writhing in agony. Okay, so much for love and all that. Whatever happens will happen and death is one of them.

Went to church and know there are all sorts of mysteries and intrigues in life and death and do fear dying but more so if I end up dying agonizing pain if one gets cancer or some other painful lingering death/illness.

There was a mention by another about phobias being something of a past life revisited-could be but did not like spiders once because one huge monster of a water spider bit me when young and was not impressed by the huge lump he (or she) left me and for a long time was terribly phobic of those eight eyed wonders. Just glad that I am not an insect! (Perhaps in a distant past life...who can say!)

I have noticed on my visits to this site that some people get something out of yelling and screaming at the rest of us who do not agree with their viewpoint of the world--we can all read and do not need to have everything written in caps as if we are mindless. Some people are very rude and nasty if they encounter another with a differing view of the world. Life is short, relax and breath not

8:59PM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

Well, ya we are all individually "alive" and we do have similar "feelings" because we are the same species but death is a "renewal"? It has been scientifically proven that death is the end of "life". What is the moral of this story? Are we supposed to obsess about death, think about death constantly and wonder what fairy pie heaven we're going to? What's the point? Talking about death, obsessing about death is a WASTE OF VALUABLE TIME ON EARTH. SEX has been scientifically proven to keep us HAPPY, we should be getting plenty of it. Also being filthy rich is the key to happiness too. I can tell because I don't see any rich people giving away any of their money to the rest of us.

5:19PM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Thank you for this article...

4:27AM PST on Jan 18, 2012

Thank you

4:41AM PDT on Sep 29, 2011

Great article. Thanks.

7:44PM PDT on Sep 28, 2011

Thanks!

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