A friend wrote “Why do people give death such a negative connotation? ”. I answered “Death is change, and change is bad.” Another person answered “I think it's (death) a fundamentally alien state. Everything we experience (life) is predicated on our ability to be experiencing it. In death, that stops happening. We can't really think about what it would be like to not exist, because the ability to process the thought of not existing depends, by necessity, on existing.”.
The comment that death represented non-existence kicked off a thought for me. While death as change is a valid insight, the latter reason given, that death is non-existence, is the BIG FEAR. This fear of death is unfounded. Fear is removed when the duality of life and death is realized. The following is an excerpt from “The Alchemy of Opposites” by Rodolfo Scarfalloto:
“Birth is a beginning, death is a completion, and visa versa. To allow a thing to be complete is to make room for something new. Fear of birth is fear of the new and unknown. Fear of death is the same thing. To regard one as better is to be ruled by the other. To reject the cycle of birth and death altogether, to be blind to its beauty, is to close the door that which is beyond birth and death. To simultaneously experience the majesty of both is to move beyond both, and therefore, beyond time. “
This excellent analysis explores the duality of birth (life), death, and their connecting element, fear. The fear of death recedes at the same time the fear of life is removed. The interplay of the two polarities, life and death, transcends both.
What does this mean? The bottom line is that people who fear death also have a fear of life. To fully live is to experience many deaths. These deaths come in the various small forms. They are completions that open the cycle to new beginnings. Most people ignore the treasure of these and instead focus on the final big death – Death. and then the final big one. The big one, the apparent termination of being, is itself a transition.
The ultimate illusion of death is the apparent singularity of death transitions. This singularity presents death as a one-way, one-time event. The shamanist knows there is more, embracing the fullness of death for themselves and their charges. Death becomes an entity that is both known and respected, the same as any force in the shamanist's world. The singularity of death is recognized, serviced, and surpassed as both a tool and gateway.
More info about the Shamanist and Death can be found in one of my blog entries from 2007.