In death, we fear we will lose our 'I,' or 'me-ness.' And we notice that the stronger this idea of 'I,' the more distinct is the feeling of a separation from life and a fear of death. The more we attempt to protect this idea of 'I,' the less we experience anything beyond that concept.
The more we have invested in protecting something of 'me,' the more we have to lose and the less we open to a deeper perception of what dies, of what really exists. The more we hide or posture or postpone life, the more we fear death.
Protecting this precious 'I,' we push life away, and wonder at its meaninglessness.
Until we have nothing to hide, we cannot be free. If we are still considering the contents of the mind as the enemy, we become frightened, think we have something especially wrong with us. Not recognizing the mind as just the result of previous conditioning, nothing special. That all these states of mind which we fear so much can actually be mulched back into ourselves to become fertilizer, the manure of future growth. Which means that in order to allow these materials to compost, to become rich fertilizer for growth, we must begin to make room in our hearts for ourselves.
We must begin to cultivate the compassion that allows the moment to be as it is, in the clear light of awareness, without the least postponement of truth."
Stephen Levine in "Getting Born"
from Who Dies? An Investigation of Conscious Living and Conscious Dying"
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