29 May, 2002

Making A Deal With Death


((Apologies are due for the long break in new messages, I've moved cross country and it's been a rather hectic past few months…I think things have settled down now to the point I can add new material on a more regular basis.))

I've read several books now, from a wide variety of religious and spiritual viewpoints, discussing the importance of coming to terms with death as one of the key requirements to achieving true spiritual growth. (See books by Castaneda and Peniel in our Reference section.)

In other words, you can't truly grow spiritually, if you continue to fear death and the end of this mortal existence. What I've been able to take from these books is that we need to make a deal with death. Accept it, make friends with it, only then can we develop past this fear and open ourselves to the full possibilities life presents.

My wife has a close friend who works daily with terminal cancer patients. She lists fear of death as the key factor preventing her patients from being able to constructively live their last few months. Instead of accepting death as a fact, they run from it, or ignore it, robbing themselves and their loved ones of many last opportunities to experience love and peace together.

I made my deal with death over 10 years ago. I was flying on a military aircraft from Germany to Turkey prior to the start of the Gulf War in January, 1991. At the time we weren't certain how the war would turn out. We believed the Iraqi Air Force would put up a fight. As our plane was rather large and unarmed, and our missions would take us quite close to Iraq, there was a good possibility we faced hostile action. During the several hour flight to our forward base in Turkey, I had time to reflect on the subject of death….more specifically, my own death. I accepted my death.

During my meditation, I had the strong feeling that my time to die wasn't yet near, but more importantly, death held nothing to fear. Death was simply a transition to continued existence and continued growth. Death will come to us all, but for now we need to really live. I made my deal with death. I knew my soul, my spirit, my essence was eternal. I knew that if death separated me from my loved ones here, it would be only for a short time, then we'd be able to experience each other's company again, just as we had prior to this life. The important thing was to make the most of the time allotted to me. Take time to smell the roses, visit beautiful places, spend time with my children, question outmoded beliefs, and seek new experiences and ways to grow.

In so many tragic ways over the past several months, at many spots all over the world, sudden violent death has come to hundreds of innocent people. If you really think about it though, isn't that the way it's always been? Any sudden death, whether from accident, disease, or murder is a tragedy. A tragedy for those left behind to deal with. Feelings of loss and pain will remain with loved ones, but at some point you have examine your feelings and make a deal with death, the death of your loved one, and your own death, then move on.

Today, terrorists are killing people all over the world. If we live in fear, they've achieved their goal….they win. No matter where you live, no matter how much your government spends, you will never be totally safe. Why? Because sooner or later, death comes to us all.

I urge all of us to take some time, better yet, make the time, to think about death, contemplate it, accept it...make a deal with it. Once we've done so, we can overcome our fears and get on with the business of truly living. Follow your heart, chase your dreams, love all people, live life fully!


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