The fear of death is common to many of you. But this fear, like all others, is rooted in the fear of the unknown. And like those other fears, your fear of death will crumble to nothingness as you come to understand what death is—and what it isn’t.
Much of the anguish you associate with death comes from your very limited definition of the concept. For many of you, death is described only in terms of when your physical body stops working. But there is a much broader explanation of the concept of death, which I will explain in this chapter.
Let’s start with the truth that everyone knows, but doesn’t like to think about: Death can claim any of you, at any time, at any age, without warning. In fact, Death WILL claim you and everyone you love at some point. No human is above this simple fact of life. But if Death can claim you at any time, regardless of what you are doing with your body, it follows that life is not about what you do with your body.
This chapter is not about avoiding death, because none of you can do that. It is about gaining a deeper understanding of death, and using that understanding to enrich your everyday life.
To start, I will address your most pressing questions about death below, in a question and answer format. You are free to accept or reject any or all of this. But pay attention to your heart as you read this—it will guide you to your own inner truth.
What happens when my body stops working?
In short, the illusion that you and I are separate falls apart, and the ultimate truth is revealed—you are a part of Me, you always were, and you always will be. Remember: Death is a transformation, not an ending. Life goes on for you, because, quite simply you are Life itself.
Will I go to Heaven or Hell after death?
I will be with you after death just as I am with you right now. So if you are afraid that you will be separated from Me when your body stops working, fear not, for I am with you always, even unto the end of time.
What about my loved ones? Where are they and will I see them again?
Your loved ones are just as much a part of Me as you are—which means that not only will you be reunited with them after death, they actually ARE with you at this very moment.
When you think of a loved one who has died, those thoughts draw them to you. In fact, without physical form, they are not bound by space or time at all, and thus are with you at all times. Your thoughts of them are not just fond memories—your loved ones, in a very real sense, ARE visiting with you.
What about things I’ve done, sins I’ve committed? Will I have to pay for them after I die?
As I’ve said elsewhere in this message, your world is part of an intricate and extremely efficient system of cause-and-effect. Today, as you breathe, you are dealing with the consequences of past choices and actions. And yes, you will have to deal with some of those consequences after you die. Words, as limited as they are, cannot accurately describe what this will be like for you. It cannot be explained, only experienced.
I will say this, however: It is inaccurate to think of these consequences as punishment. When all is said and done, you are still a part of Me. If I punish you, I punish Myself. Why would I do that?
The most important thing to remember is that upon your death, I will envelope you with my love and peace—just as I am doing right now. So you don’t have to worry about whether you’ll be with me or not.
• • • • • • •
Now, let’s dig deeper into what death is—and what it isn’t.
Many of you fear death, simply because you know nothing about it. It is human to fear the unknown, and death is the Great Unknown. Yet what many of you do not realize is that your fear of death also gives rise to a fear of life. As you come to understand and accept what death is, your fear of it will evaporate, and along with it, your fear of life will vanish as well.
First of all, as described elsewhere in this writing, you are NOT your body. You are made of spiritual energy, just like me. You have no beginning and no end. Your science has proven that energy can change form but cannot be destroyed — the same is true about you. In this sense, even though your physical body can stop working, the essence of who you are cannot “die.”
You are made of spiritual energy—Me. It is that energy that causes your body to function. In a sense, it is not your body that contains that energy; it is that energy which contains your body.
Imagine an electrical appliance plugged into a wall socket. As long as it is plugged in, it receives the energy it needs to operate. But when it is disconnected from the power source, it ceases to function.
Your physical body — in fact, any living thing on Earth — operates in much the same way. Your physical body is “plugged into” an infinite source of spiritual energy — Me. As long as that energy flows through your body, your body is functional. But when something disrupts the flow of that energy, your body will cease to function.
Obviously, this is not just true of humans, but of any living thing you have on Earth. Once its connection with the greater whole is interrupted or broken — once the physical is “unplugged” from its energy source — it withers and breaks down. You see this with every living thing on your planet: plants, animals, fish, birds, insects . . . and of course, humans.
But even in this example, “death” is just one facet of a continuing cycle of life. For even as these physical forms break down, they are absorbed back into the soil—soil which sustains plants, which sustain other life forms including humans . . . on and on, world without end.
Death is a transformation, not an ending. Think of a caterpillar in a cocoon. At some point, that caterpillar “dies,” only to be born again in a different form—a butterfly. And in much the same way, when you leave the cocoon of this life, you too will be transformed.
But there is another aspect of death, and many of you are experiencing it now. For many of you have chosen to disconnect from your source. And consequently, you are withering and breaking down. The fact that your body still functions does not change this. It is a spiritual death.
Many of you believe life is all about what happens to your body, so you pour much of your energy into extending your body’s life or indulging its pleasures. You think life is about its quantity, not its quality.
Now, to be clear: There is nothing wrong with living a long life or with enjoying pleasures of the flesh. But those things are not all that you are here for. And if you focus only on them, your spirit—the very essence of who you are—will wither and die.
Fortunately, you can re-connect to life just as easily as you can disconnect from it. It is merely a matter of seeing yourself as a part of your source, rather than apart from it. And by “source,” I mean whatever you choose to identify with — God, Earth, humanity, family, whatever. One tends to lead to the other, so it doesn’t matter where you start.
To reconnect, you must be willing to see yourself in everyone and everything you come into contact with. This may be difficult at first, because so much of your culture is built upon being “separate, different, better.”
There is no mystical secret on how to do this. It is a matter of choice and of willpower. It quite simply boils down to consciously choosing how you see yourself and the world around you, and having the will to continuously do so, day in, day out.
If you can do this — if you can perceive the beauty of life around you and marvel in it; if you can perceive the pain around you, and seek to heal it — you will touch the heart of the world and become one with it.
Then, you will be TRULY alive.