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Identity is the Problem, We're Going to Die Someday

“Abhinivesha [means] fear of death.

Fear of death includes 

fear of losing one’s identity and 

the anger stemming from being unable 

to prevent losing one’s own life.”

--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

The greatest obstacle to happiness and peace in our lives is our fear of death, “abhinivesha,” in Sanskrit.  Every human being, every physical life form, is afraid to lose its life.This fear drives our desire to look and act young.  It pushes us to focus on our physical health and fitness.  That fear pushes us to eat foods that seem to lift us up and to drink liquids that activate our feelings of excitement and accelerate our physical movement and euphoria.Why are we afraid of death, when in fact we love for more and more life?We fear death because of our intense desire to hang onto our identity as a physical human being, as an active participant in the world as we know it.  When my wife Mary was a hospice nurse she experienced this deep attachment to our physical behaviors.  She often saw a grave depression come over people when they could no longer work in their garden or provide for their spouse or do the usual daily activities and chores that they were accustomed to doing.They became quite despondent when their normal bodily functions failed.  They couldn’t go to the bathroom without help.  They couldn’t feed themselves.  They couldn’t play the card games that they used to play.  They were unhappy because they had identified with all those activities and now they lost part of who they were.  They thought that they had lost themselves.  They were, deep inside, unable to recognize that they were not their body.  They didn’t really know that they were spiritual beings and their purpose in this life was to develop spiritually.We don’t know the spiritual world.  We don’t know that our life will always continue.  The real us will never pass away, but will pass into another state of life.  We will either, as some religions say, go to heaven or hell or purgatory or as other religions and Yoga say to another physical life.We are spirits, energetic beings, that live forever.  When we enter the spiritual journey and begin to experience ourselves as spiritual beings, our fear of physical death decreases.  We even can begin to know, as some yogis do and as Lord Jesus Christ knows, that we will experience a glorified, resurrected, and ascended life.  We will live forever.Only through faithful meditation practice can we begin to know and experience this new life reality.  We will then no longer experience ignorance, “avidya,” the first of our obstacles towards freedom and fulfillment. Happy Resurrection to all of you!I bow to the divinity within you!

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