The Revs. Tom and Lisa Butler deal with a question they are asked frequently in the course of their work.
Question: Can you help me understand why I should not be afraid of dying?
Answer: You said that you fear death. It can be said that we all fear death, but that the fear is mostly the fear our body feels and the fear we have of leaving. You can deal with the fear of leaving by making sure you keep your affairs in order, and trust that your loved ones will be okay without you. Important projects you have underway may need to be left unfinished, but think of them as your legacy. Leave good documentation so that the next generation can have something to do.
Your first task, then, is to make sure your affairs are in order.
Your body has a sense of awareness separate from yours. Whilst you will experience a sort of transition from this “atmosphere and awareness”, as the Spiritualist likes to say, your body does experience a sort of death, knows this and is afraid. If you do not learn to distinguish between your feelings and the instincts of your body, you will feel its fear as if it is your own.
Your second task, then, is to learn to distinguish between your body’s natural responses and the feelings of your true Self.
Based on the reports we have received from loved ones on the other side, what you expect to experience has an influence on what you will actually experience when you make your transition. For example, if you strongly believe in a heaven as described by a particular religion, then you may actually find yourself in one. It is often said, and rightly so, that we create our own reality. Thoughts more easily become things beyond the veil. Here, we live in a world of more concrete things, while they live in a more conceptual one. We never hear “I want revenge” or “They killed me” in the messages from the other side. “I love you” and concerns about a loved one’s well-being dominate the messages of Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP).
We think that many of our ideas about the other side are really local taboos developed to manage our societies. For instance, we see that suicide is a wasted opportunity to experience and learn, but there is no apparent foundation for the idea of a sin. If any, the only real sin might be imposing your will on others.
We experience a judgement during our transition from this awareness to the next; however, it is we who judge ourselves. The catch is that we apparently judge ourselves from the perspective of how we influenced others. It is apparent that we exist in this lifetime to have experiences and gain understanding through those experiences about how natural law operates in this venue. After a period of adjustment and introspection, we find ourselves in a new venue for learning which may not be this one. It appears that our ultimate objective is to gain substantial understanding of our part of reality and to return this to the “greater” aspect of ourselves. In this way, we believe the collective of Self comes to understand what it has created.
We understand what we are saying here is not very specific or supported by evidence. We have some, but it gets very abstract and complicated. The bottom line is that you have a unique point of view or personality and that you are part of a greater consciousness. You will find in time that who you are on the other side depends on how clearly you see yourself.
So, your third task is to be aware of what is in your worldview — what you believe and why.
We have a lot of evidence that you will continue to be aware of yourself as a personality when your physical body can no longer support you. For instance, a member’s son has been very helpful in the 4Cell EVP Demonstrations (four people working together to gather information using EVP). He once said, “We are cell mates, Mom!” He likes working with his mother and has given us many important glimpses of his life on the other side.
One of our Big Circle founders is Martha Copeland. Her daughter, Cathy, has also given us hints. Martha took care of Cathy’s dog after her untimely transition, and one day she left the dog alone in the house while she went shopping. The dog destroyed a plant. As is her habit, Martha had left her recorder on in the sound-activated recording mode. In the subsequent recording you can hear the dog tearing up the plant and the voice of Cathy saying, “Doja, No!” (Doja is the name of her dog.) So, we know she saw the dog, cared about what it was doing and tried to help. (We almost always recognise her voice.)
It is difficult to talk about death, survival and things beyond the physical without evoking thoughts of religion and faith, so let us be clear that this answer is based on objective evidence and not faith. This is not about religion and we do not ask you to accept what we say as a matter of faith. Perhaps the fact that we are able to study survival in objective terms is the best reason for you to accept that you will experience a transition to a new venue for learning, rather than ceasing to exist.
To minimise your fear of dying, understand that your family will be fine without you, that it is your body making you afraid, and that many of your beliefs about the other side are not supported by evidence.