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Overcoming the Fear of Death

Overcoming the Fear of DeathBy Harold Klemp

If Eckankar can offer people anything, it’s how to get over the fear of death. A woman, who found ECK during Paul Twitchell’s time, disagreed with her former church’s teaching that the dead remained unconscious in a black grave until Judgment Day. In her heart, she simply knew that was untrue. She began a search for books on reincarnation in bookstores and libraries. “Do you know how few books there were on reincarnation twenty years ago?” she asked. But Paul’s message of ECK gave her a hope such as she had never thought to find. He said that Soul is eternal, and that whoever is on “the high path of ECK always dwells in the spiritual planes.”

The consciousness of the public has indeed become broader since then, but death still alarms people. A common belief is that both the good and the evil are in their graves until the Last Day. This means that any of our loved ones who have passed on—father, mother, brother, or sister—are not in heaven at all, but in the ground. Job, the Old Testament figure, must still be there, waiting patiently, thirty-five centuries later.

When I was in college, a pop-psychology quiz made the rounds among the students. The idea was to unlock an individual’s unconscious feelings about life and death. One question was, “You come to a wall in the woods. What kind of wall do you see, and can you get over it?” Unknown to those who took the test, the wall was to signify death. Responses were on this order: (1) “I see a castle wall—and you must be kidding, nobody gets over that!” (2) “It is an earthen wall that reaches to my chest. I could get over it if I tried.” (3) “There is a low rock wall covered with ivy; it’s easy to get over, but the dirt on it makes it messy.”

Any who are like those in the first group see death as an insurmountable obstacle. Fear, no doubt, rules them, and they miss much of the enjoyment that life offers. For those in the second group, death is a minor challenge, but they are sure to go through the experience fairly well when it comes. The people in the last group are not at all frightened. Death is an event of slight inconvenience in the continuity of life. Death is but one line in the Book of Life. Life expands forever into greater circles; death is just a springboard.

Many years ago, a woman suffered a serious accident and was pronounced clinically dead. During her absence from the body, she went to a place where nine men around a table (ECK Masters) made a decision to heal her crushed lungs so she could return to earth and accomplish what she had come here to do. They did not heal all her injuries but enough of them so she could go on with her spiritual unfoldment. She was given a new lease on life because this was the lifetime she was to make great spiritual gains that would not be possible under easier conditions.

Then, five years ago, the Mahanta again took her out of the body, this time to the Causal Plane, where a guardian let her read her past-life records. This spiritual being was so gentle and loving that she begged to remain, but he said it was necessary for her to return to her body. Her learning would be speeded up so that she would never have to return to another earthly life after this one.

Death is simply the end of something in a known form that reappears as a new beginning. There are more aspects to death than the demise of the physical body. Another variation of death is the end of a relationship. This is usually a painful time for one or the other of the two parties, but the spiritual help of the Mahanta is there, if one should ask for it and can accept it.

A man wrote that he loved a woman who did not return his love. Until then, he had been certain that he could calmly accept any test from the Master, but this situation left him helpless, on the verge of an emotional breakdown. When he was about to break, he finally thought to ask the Mahanta for help while in contemplation. On the inner planes, he was put on a beautiful old sailing ship without sails that was moored near a sandy beach. This was his dream boat, but the mast empty of sails meant that all he wanted or desired in this relationship was going nowhere. On the mast was a button, which if he pushed it, would blow up and destroy all his lovely dreams. But he had to do it if he wanted any peace, even though it would be painful to shatter his dreams.

So he pushed the button, destroyed the old ship, and watched it sink to the bottom of the sea, never to rise again. When he realized the finality of his deed, he became quite emotional, and for a moment he experienced intense sorrow and loss. But then, unexpectedly, came the feeling of freedom and relaxation; his burden lifted. The Mahanta, who was his companion in this drama, then lifted him to a higher level of consciousness and led him into “a rich, green, warm, bright land” that the ECK initiate was ready to explore now.

This was a profound spiritual experience that left him detached about that relationship, because he knew it was up to him to do something about it, one way or the other—if he wished. The end of a relationship, like all endings, is really the beginning of a new spiritual chapter for us.

The key to survival here and in the afterlife is the ability to yield. The Shariyat says that “he who can yield, can survive both here in life and in the invisible worlds.” This means letting go of old ideas such as what supposedly happens to Soul after the death of the body. It’s also learning how to regain serenity when our routines are shaken up and we are bruised.

Excerpted from Wisdom of the Heart, Book 1.

 

A Writing Exercise for You

How does yielding help you navigate through this life and beyond?

14 Responses to Overcoming the Fear of Death

  1. AL says:

    I don’t think I have a fear of death. I do however, seem to fear some of life. The idea of Death, even complete destruction as if me as Soul no longer exisited doesn’t bother me in the least. Even if I (Spirit) have to be ripped to pieces. It sounds like sweet nothingness. After all if I didn’t exist, there’s no consciousness to be aware of not existing.
    Life on the other hand is far more challenging. Lessons are everywhere and absolutely required. Although I have worked diligently & successfully risen to many occasions, there seems to be a wall of deep pain that makes dealing with this physical life so challenging even for basic and ordinary things. Perhaps there is some intense & unresolved pain from a previous life.

  2. Russell Nicotri says:

    I have been on the spiritual path of ECK many years in this lifetime. Many times I have been in experiences where I did not want to let go or surrender. Unfortunately I had to learn the “Hard Way” when it came to detachment. These past few month’s I finally started yielding my views, opinions and wants of the way I wanted the out come to be. I began accepting the events and circumstances, there is a purpose for the things that occur. My sense of “Doom & Gloom” were being diminished and I realized these were learning experiences for me.
    I always felt the Mahanta was always there to guide me and all I had to do was to be grateful & appreciate the love I have in my life.When I focus on the blessings in my life, I appreciate everything I have.
    As far as the will of Sugmad, my view is, we are given free will to travel any path or have any experience we desire. The Sugmad sends his Love to One and All regardless. We all were created by the will and love of the Sugmad. If it takes us an eternity to return home to the world of the Sugmad, it is up to us. I would like to accomplish this in this lifetime with the help from the Mahanta.
    In the flow of ECK

  3. Peter Akpokodje says:

    The fear of death can be paralyzing. Just last night there were series of shouting and screams in the middle of the night as though there was a home invasion. And I noticed something interesting as I awoke. My neighbours began quickly closing their windows, even those on higher building floors. The sounds from an all night vigil died down, but the calm was shattered by a few repeated wailings.
    I wondered what I could do, so I sang HU, a love song to God declaring myself a channel for love and surrendering my thoughts, words and actions into the hands of Divine Spirit. Then I called the police. Normalcy has since returned.

    It was discovered in the morning to be a case of fire burning a shop. May the blessings be.

  4. AdemolaShote says:

    “The end of a relationship, like all endings, is really the beginning of a new spiritual chapter for us.“ This particular statement is masterly.

  5. Joe Homsey says:

    I would venture to say that the fear of death is an advanced state of the fear of the unknown. When we don’t know what’s around the corner or on the other side of the ridge or river or ocean, we can become tentative and sometimes unwilling to take a risk. It’s one thing to have “faith” that on the other side of death is paradise. It’s an entirely different thing to “know” that an amazing existence thrives there. I guess, in that way, I’m quite fortunate. I’ve had some “Near Death Experiences”. Been through the tunnel and experienced the Loving Light of Sugmad. Magnificently perfect one might say. Death is not an unknown quantity for me. The fear of death is how cultures, through their respective religions, control people. Eckankar frees one from those erroneous mindsets. Not only can one learn of reincarnation, spiritual realms and heavenly states of conscious by studying the ECK works, the individual can actually gain access to those realms through the spiritual exercises, thereby lifting away the fear of death.

  6. David says:

    Surrender in Eckankar does not mean surrendering free will to some outside authority. Rather it means doing one’s best then looking to life to learn a better way like many of the posts are saying.
    I prefer to think of the Mahanta as a high state of spiritual awareness that Soul is learning to awaken within itself.

  7. Rama Badarou Soule says:

    Challenges make life interesting. Overcoming them gives sense to life. However, being aware that I am, as Soul, sent on mission here below and, that all I need do exist already, I always rely on my Guide whose love never stops: I sincerely turn my eyes to the Inner Master.
    Total surrender to the ECK Master helps me realizing the joy and the happiness that surround me all the time. I feel very light. There is no more panick; I do sense all time the Master’s presence wherever I am. There is always a way! Yielding gives me the opportunity to seeing beyond appearances and to visualising life as a multi-episode movie.
    The certainty of the presence of the Mahanta gives me inner calm, and serenity. Moreover, the Mahanta does protect me. In fact, there is no surprise to me, since It (Mahanta) kindly shows me, in advance, through dreams the scenes as well as the appropriate dispositions.
    Yielding helps me realizing that I am not a victim, everything is at its right place. Yielding helps me to overcoming passions. Therefore, I can capture the messages / directions the Mahanta offers me to get out from troubles. The doors that seems looked cadenaceous open greatly. I live the ECK with the unfailing support of Mahanta. This is a great help to becoming more better life’s player than in the past. I feel relax. There is always a way!
    My ability in practicing the ECK disciplines leads me there. The ECK Teachings strengthened my faith in God.
    Yielding. What would do a child who is fully aware of the love his father has pouring on him all the time? He would melt into his arms. He just has to surrender to him in order to gain strength, more strength and, comfort.
    Honestly, ECKANKAR’s way is the best! It proves me that there is no barrier between me and God. I was blinded in the past, now I see.
    Truly love Wah Z!
    May the blessings be!

  8. Eleanor Leon, Canada says:

    Yielding to me is like being an athlete in a close game and a timeout is called. It’s an opportunity to listen to the coach who will give me tips on how to help win this game. Of course the coach is the Mahanta, and the game is life, and now it’s my job to listen to coach and play with all my heart!
    Best coach in all the planes of existence!

  9. Ann McCarthy says:

    The image of a bamboo tree being blown in a storm comes to mind. If I yield to life’s storms, bend like the bamboo tree, I will not break. Being flexible and yielding to higher guidance (The Eck, The Mahanta, The Sugmad) will see me survive through any storm.

  10. DocScientist says:

    Yielding helps me in maintaining my inner connection to Mahanta and be led towards true happiness,peace and freedom. Yielding helps me in being balanced inside so that I get through the ups and downs without being affected in any way. I feel it is a beautiful way of getting through the hardest of times because the inner balance gives me the strength I need to figure out the solution and unfold. Yielding is a way of being patient which I consider as one of greatest virtues in this life and beyond.

  11. Zacchaeus Akighir says:

    “Yielding” here means “surrender” and surrendering to the will of Sugmad (God) is key to survival, both here now, and in the invisible worlds. To most of us, surrendering does not come easy. There is this thin line between being passive, (like just surrendering without any effort at finding solutions); and trying to find solutions with the help from the Mahanta, before surrendering. The secret to yielding as a survival factor in life rests in knowing when to press on with one’s efforts while looking inwards for the nudges that tell one when to surrender, and say “May the blessing be”.

  12. Moses Nduekhe says:

    This ECKANKAR Blog has been very rewarding. What an incredible resource base it has become for all who seek GOD.

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