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Fear of death

In the second chapter of Yoga Sutras, Patanjalli talks about klesas, or obstacles on the road of knowing who we are and ultimately, understanding the world.  One of the klesas is abhinivesa – the fear of death.

Why do we fear something that we don’t even know? Is the real fear to let go of the known?  Even thought, everyone is born with an expiration tag – sorry, but when’s and how’s are omitted – we like to pretend like death doesn’t exist.

At the age of 11, I came to the realization that I am going to die on or by my 30th birthday. I thought it would be most likely a car accident. I guess 30 seemed like an old age back then. There was nothing to be afraid of and even though my life would be somewhat short, it would be very fun and fulfilling.  After all, I have 20 more years to live – not so bad, considering that I wouldn’t have to deal with the burden of work, marriage, childbirth, family and other social responsibilities that come with age.  Not to mention, the age degradation and disease.

For sure, I had to hurry up and get as much fun as I can before I cease to the realm on non-existence…I started smoking at the age of 12. I got drunk first when I was 13. And it all continued for quite a few years. I partied hard. I drank like a sailor and ate like a pig. I made so many friends with all kinds of humans, junkies, wealthy, intellectuals, aristocrats and thieves to name a few. I traveled. I danced all night.  I rode motorcycles with strangers through dusty streets and abandon highways. I am still not sure how I didn’t die or get hurt all this time. I must’ve been very fortunate.

Evidently, there is no freedom in constantly gratifying the senses, and by the time I turned 18, I was starting to feel old and tiered.  The self-injected clock started ticking, death was not too far. Something needed to change.

Luckily for me, sooner than later, I found myself wondering in the streets of NY.  It was a long road. I realized that I might not die by 30. And if I want to continue living I must change.

It was a long road. A few years flew by and as I was driving through the prairie of California on my 30th birthday, I felt more alive than ever, embarking on the road to the new beginning. In a sense, may be some of my old patterns finally died.  And here I am now, still kicking. Go figure…As it turns out to be, life is great. There are no burdens or hardships as I imagined. In fact, I love getting older.

Life has so much to offer!  I still reflect on death. It helps me keep things in prospective and overcome the fear of living.

 

In conclusion, I would like to quote one of the character spill on death from  Tony Vigorito Nine kinds of Naked:

“Freedom comes only from the embrace of chaos, the embrace of death. Death animates existence. The denial of death is the destruction of life. Death is the chaos that lights the fires of life.”

 

 

This entry was posted on Monday, June 6th, 2011 at 12:12 pm and is filed under Fear, Yoga. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “Fear of death”

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  1. […] Many of our fears are irrational and can be overcome. Our most basic fear is the fear of death, which functions to make us alert in dangerous situations, and can thus be a very healthy emotion. […]

  2. […] breath”. Many of our fears are irrational and can be overcome. Our most basic fear is the fear of death, which functions to make us alert in dangerous situations, and can thus be a very healthy emotion. […]

  3. […] breath”. Many of our fears are irrational and can be overcome. Our most basic fear is the fear of death, which functions to make us alert in dangerous situations, and can thus be a very healthy emotion. […]

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