Do Not Fear Death — It Feels Like Waking From A Dream
To Die Is To Awaken In The Reality Of Your Wider Self.
Death is called the great unknown. But it isn’t. If you have ever woken from a dream, especially a deep dream where you find yourself living the life of another person, then you pretty much already know what death feels like. This is because death is far more a spiritual experience than a physical one.
Birth and death are both a state of transition where consciousness moves its focus from one reality to another. In this, it is important to understand that reality is not a place — it is a state of consciousness
Therefore, it is not that your consciousness (often referred to as spirit) leaves your body; it is that you cease identifying with your body in just the same way you cease to identify with the reality of your dream character when you awaken and remember “who you really are.” Of particular note is the sense we have of leaving a temporary, imaginary self and awakening back into our permanent, solid self — the sense of leaving an “unreal” you and returning to the “real” you.
Like Taking Off A Tight Pair Of Shoes.
The experience of leaving your body is beautiful. I am not sure who said it first (I’ve heard it from both Ram Dass and Esther Hicks), but death is like taking off a tight pair of shoes. I expand this by saying…
Death is like taking off a tight pair of shoes you have been wearing for the entire duration of a particularly long journey. So long in fact that you got so used to the shoes you didn’t even realize how tight they were. What you expect to be just the practical step of taking off your shoes is, therefore, experienced as stepping out of tightness and restriction you didn’t even know you were in.
The beautiful feeling of relief is so powerful that it completely alters your perception of “who you really are”. This is because all experiences exist in relation to each other. Therefore, to realize you have been wearing tight shoes, is to instantly have a much wider frame of reference than you did previously when that tightness was felt as normal.
This is because “the you” that is feeling the tightness is no longer your embodied self, but your consciousness as it exists when it is not embodied.
Your embodied self does not experience the shoes as tight because it has never experienced them as not-tight (it has no relative experience). However, to your unembodied consciousness (spirit), they are tight and restrictive.
EXAMPLE: Before the invention of text messaging people had to write letters. This was simply “how it was” if you wanted to communicate over a long distance. To write and send a letter was an achievement of the modern age and the effort it took was not questioned because it was always far less effort than having to travel the distance yourself. Relatively speaking, letters were easy.
For a person who wrote regular letters to then discover text messaging is to instantly change the relative experience of what it is to write a letter. In an instant, what was once easy is now felt to be a long-winded and inefficient process (not that I am discounting the personal value of hand writing a letter over texting). This shows how meaning changes according to how we stand in relation to it.
The Most Surprising Aspect Of Death.
The most surprising aspect of death is that it isn’t weird. In fact, it is the opposite of weird. This is because…
To die is to leave the “weird” experience of being human, and return to the “normal” experience of being eternal-consciousness.
This is because you are returning to the same state of consciousness you return to after every life. It is therefore your most common experience. Even though you may have had thousands of lives, they are each different from each other. But, when you die, you repeatedly return to a state you know well.
You can call this the spiritual reality, heaven, nirvana, or whatever you like, but those are all loaded words. For this article, I want to call it the experience of your wider self. I like this term because, unlike “higher self,” it does not imply superiority. Wider conveys how it is the state of consciousness that knows itself as having lived all your embodied lives (unlike your embodied state of consciousness, which does not generally see beyond the time frame of its mortal experience).
To die is to stop knowing yourself as only this life. It is to know yourself as a state of consciousness that has lived many lives.
Even though death itself is not weird, what may feel disconcerting is the realization that just as you awaken from a dream and return to “who you really are,” so too, when you die, your current self will feel like a temporary dream-self, and your wider self will feel like returning to “who you really are.”
We are each a dream of self that arises from within the dream of a self, that arises from within the dream of a self, that arises from within the dream of a self, that arises from within the dream of a self, etc.
All realities are dreams within dreams.
We are each the dreamer and life is but a dream.
Although this idea may feel upsetting as you currently experience yourself in such a solid and permanent way, there is nothing to be afraid of. This is because your wider self knows itself as having been many embodied selves. It is only the moment of awakening from a dream that is like death. The analogy does not hold for how we then tend to quickly forget about our dreams as if they did not matter.
For your wider self, the experience is more like returning home after being away for several months. There is not only a period of adjustment, but there is also a period of reflecting on the journey taken. This is the natural order of the death process and this reflection will then lead to new ideas for your next journey into embodiment.
ELABORATION: The idea that you will reincarnate is the part of my writing that many are resistant to. If this idea upsets you I encourage you to read my article on our desire to escape this world.
The wider understanding is that only within the relative context of an embodied life do we experience great difficulty (tight shoes). However, from the broader perspective of our wider self, a human life looks like a beautiful, enticing, pair of shiny new shoes. Therefore, no matter how much you dislike your life — even if it is to the degree you are insistent you will never return — when you die and become your wider self, those feelings will be experienced from a different vantage point.
It is not that your negative feelings are not acknowledged, but whatever it is you found so difficult, will instead be experienced as the seed of your next experience. This is when you start to get excited about creating a life to better explore and understand whatever you have felt defeated by in this life.
Your wider self isn’t some strange new self. It does not, even for one moment, feel like “other”. The wider self you will awaken into at your physical death is your eternal-self. It is the self that remembers choosing every one of your lives. It will feel to be your oldest self, meaning…
Your wider self is the self you have most commonly been. This is because you only live each embodied life once, but you return to the same self between lives.
This is why it feels like the “common self.” Just as you may experience many different selves and worlds through your dreams (but you always wake back up into the same human self), in the same way, each of your lives is like a single dream to your wider self.
Death can be imagined as the shifting of what is experienced as the common self.
When human, you are the dreamer of your dreams and you return to your human self between dreams.
When your wider self, you are the dreamer of your lives and you return to your wider self between lives.
The Tunnel Of Light and Meeting Loved Ones.
The “going towards the light” experience is a translation of opening your eyes in a different self / reality (with eyes representing your perception). Your wider self is felt as a beautiful light because it is the remembering of what it is to be a self that is not wearing tight shoes (tight shoes being a metaphor for physicality). So, instead of feeling strange or scary, it is experienced as a totally familiar place that feels like returning home.
The reason that deceased loved ones are felt to be within the light is because all selves are within the wider reality. There is no other place for consciousness to go after death. There is no judgment on your life because judgment requires a level of duality that does not exist in the wider reality.
People imagine being re-united with their loved ones as they remember them to be. This happens when the wider self feels your desire to take it slowly. Your loved ones will initially appear in the form you knew them in this life. However, the core of what I am seeking to convey is that death is waking up into a wider state of self. Therefore, just as you awaken into a different experience of self, so too will your deceased loved ones.
Just as when you die you will remember being your wider self; so too will you remember the wider selves of all your loved ones. This is who you will ultimately be looking to reconnect with. They may just initially present themselves to you in the familiar human form as you go through the process of reorientation.
To meet your loved ones isn’t just to meet the embodied form you knew them to be; it is to meet their wider self. And, just as the wider reality will feel like home to you, so too will the wider selves of your loved ones be completely familiar to you (in an extremely comforting way). In fact, you will feel closer to them than was ever possible within human life.
You will be two selves meeting — but each self will be a group of lives and you will remember how you have known your loved one across many lives / embodied relationships.
This idea of your loved ones initially appearing to you as you knew them in embodied form shows how the whole death process occurs at your own speed. Death is to awaken into the wider reality as I have described, but the path from being focused on earth to being focused in the wider reality not only takes as long as it needs, it takes on whatever form is chosen by the person transitioning.
Every death is different.
Every death is a personal experience.
This is because every life is unique and therefore sets up unique expectations for death.
This is why we initially tend to experience whatever it is we expect, as this is the easiest place to start. What then happens is that you are reaching out to meet your own wider state of existence. So trust you will reach for yourself and you will support yourself through the transition by giving yourself whatever you need.
Your wider self will reach out to you, engulf you in its love for you, and that love will call to you. The white light you are opening your new eyes to is you. And that is eternal-consciousness. The light you seek is yourself.
Yes, your loved ones may come and meet you, but the most significant self you will be meeting will be your own wider self. This is why you do not need to fear death. It is only to remember what you forgot when you became embodied.
To die is to fall into the embrace of the love and magnificence of your wider self.
SIDE NOTE: What is heard about in near-death experiences is from people who have only just started to enter the experience. What they report is not based on fully seeing the wider reality. It is based on their own starting point (which forms from their expectations). Near-death experiences are just that, they are near death (they are never the full experience as the person would be dead). So, although such reports are fascinating, they are highly subjective and can be misleading.
In closing I want to clarify three points that may be of concern:
1) What about physical pain?
Death is a far more spiritual than physical experience. In this I am not saying that physical pain cannot be felt just before death but, more often than not, by the time the body biologically fails, the person’s consciousness is no longer connected with it. When this isn’t the case, the state of shock caused my imminent, physical death is far more effective at cutting us off from the experience of pain than we realize. This can be seen in people who have their leg bitten off by a shark but do not realize it has happened until the attack is over.
2) Is there anything to worry about in meeting my wider self?
Any ideas that you may not like your wider self, or that there may be something about the wider reality that is negative (such as remembering you have had past lives where you were a “bad” person), are all based on our ingrained religious fear of judgment that has been drummed into us through many religions across many lives.
To be human is to live within this kind of good-bad / heaven-hell duality. Your wider self does not perceive in this way. It knows it is connected to everything in existence so does not seek to divide or separate itself from anything.
What this means is that in relation to how you perceive, you will experience the perception of your wider self as being the kindest, most loving and inclusive way of seeing life possible. Not only is there no chance of not liking your wider self, your wider self will feel like a beautiful, divine Angel / Christ / Buddha /Awakened One that experiences love for all it perceives… even tight shoes.
3) How does all this relate to suicide?
I know there are many who contemplate suicide. It has been a place inside myself that I have visited many times in this life. What I say to anyone contemplating suicide is based on what my wider self said to me.
You do not need to fear death, but neither should you feel excited by it. Death is not good or bad. It is neutral. It is a doorway. Death is never a solution, but it is a valid choice.
Death is not wrong and there is no punishment for suicide (or anything for that matter), but… you did not create this life with the intention of committing suicide. This does not make suicide a mistake, but it does mean it will not be “the end” in the way you intend. The feelings around your suicide will be the seed for a new life. Therefore, if starting another life is not appealing to you, then suicide will not be the solution you hope for.
I believe in our right to end our own life, but with everything I know and the amount of communication I have received from my own wider self, I have obviously never succumbed to ending my life. This is because I understand the best time to deal with the difficulties I have with this world is in the present moment and, in the present moment, I am alive.
Yes, embodied life can be difficult, but to consciousness that exists eternally, the diversity of experience offered by embodiment makes our experience seem like heaven to it. You are not going to stop embodying, so deal with any difficulties now while you have the level of self-awareness that you do (which is necessary to even contemplate suicide).
So, if you are someone contemplating suicide and close to the edge of doing so, I suggest to you that, rather than killing yourself, make significant changes to your life. What have you got to lose? I can’t tell you what that change should be, but I would suggest that it starts with focusing on the things that bring you joy and taking your attention off of whatever makes you feel bad (related article).
Seek out what makes you feel good and forget the rest. You don’t have to save the world — just find your own happiness. Do what you have to do to achieve that, including walking away from all people and situations you experience negatively. Your life is the choice of where you focus. If where you are focusing is making you feel suicidal, then focus elsewhere.
Please consider calling a helpline or talking to friends if you can’t find a way out. No matter how it may seem, joy is possible.
Thank You For Reading.
Though it may not seem like it, I really have done my best to keep this article as simple as possible to address people’s concerns about the death process. Having finished the article, it feels like the tip of the iceberg and I hope you will explore more of my articles to continue to fill in the big picture such that this comes to make more and more sense.
Let me inspire you! I release regular new articles through my medium publication — The Gnostic Writer.