Drowned, burned, buried alive, starved, death by thirst, falling off a building, airplane crash, suffocation, are just a few of the truly great fears. But there is one greater, one that is the source of all others. It is so insidious we have to bury it deep in our subconscious, push it far away; so heinous we must deny it utterly. It is in fact so awful, so unimaginable and indescribable that we can’t even conceive of it.
More Frightening Than Death
And the greatest of all horrors is that we must all face it – that we are all headed straight for this ultimate terror. It is not death, we know that one. Death is certain, natural and inevitable. Many have conquered the fear of death. It is wise to live well, with intention, because we know it will someday end, will simply go out like the final flicker of a candle.
Humanity staves off the fear of death with religion, science and rationalization. But we fail to look deeper at the sustained myths of living eternally on a cloud in the sky or being reincarnated. Even burning in Hell for all eternity is easier to deal with than facing the truth.
One Day We Will Lose Our Self
The consciousness that allows us to comprehend our individuality – our separateness from the billions of other men and women – will absolutely end. What we call self, that unique person that we spend a lifetime developing and understanding will simple cease to be. All the money, power, and accomplishments cannot change that. Worst of all, is that it is inconceivable. Even the deepest meditation involves mind. When the mind ends, we end.
What if we could experience that before we die; know what it is like to be a no-mind, a no-self? Would you try it, travel the unimaginable journey; face this fear and perhaps come back to tell others?
Zombies as a Metaphor
Zombie stories and movies fascinate our imagination. We hate these mindless creatures and revel in the men and women who try to survive the cartoonish world of a zombie apocalypse, those brave souls who would bash in the heads of the undead. But these stories are fairy-tales, unreal, denying nature and physics. Zombies are just a metaphor for the greater fear. We use these stories to crack the impossible nature of what we must all face. It is the no-mind we recoil from.
The development of advanced technology may allow us to experience nothingness, may even force it upon us. Then the ultimate fear will be realized and the choice will have to be made: eternal life without self or death and the unknown.
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