17 Dec How to Overcome Fear of Death | Motivation Podcasts
Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you in part by Book of Zen, makers of wearable inspiration for a better world. Today’s podcast has been edited and adapted from the book entitled The Conquest of Fear by Basil King, published in 1921…
Fear of death is greatly diminished by recognizing the truth of everlasting growth. This truth is reflected in everything we know of life. Our observation of life is, of course, limited to this planet; but as far as it goes, it shows us a persistent and perpetual system of development.
We have only to let our imaginations go back to the first stirrings of life in Earth’s primeval seas, and contrast that with what it became in Plato, Sophocles, Raphael, Shakespeare, and Einstein, to see how high the climb upward has been.
Every individual is a growing entity. Each year, each day, expands you a little further, with increased fullness of character. At thirty you are more than you were at twenty; at fifty more than you were at thirty; at eighty more than you were at fifty. Nothing but our distorted view of mortality stands in the way of further expansion still.
Our fear of death is one of the impulses we have to struggle with. The mortal tendency, which means the deadly tendency, always seeks to kill whatever has the principle of life. This tendency is in every one of us; but in some of us, more than in others. You can see it at work in the morbid mind, in the mind that is easily depressed, and in the mind that easily closes.
Perhaps it is in this last example that it becomes our most pernicious enemy. The closing mind is found in all our ranks; the closed mind is the deadwood of all our professions. It is not only deadwood; it is death-in-life, the foe of the developing life-principle, the enemy of the divine.
That the dead mind should be often found among people who have had few intellectual advantages is not surprising. On them it is forced from without, by sheer pressure of circumstance. Where it is most painful to see is among college graduates and professionals. Yet here too, it seems common.
Lawyers, doctors, clergymen, teachers, writers, politicians, and business people with dead minds choke all the highways of life. To the extent that they have influence, they are obstacles to progress; but sooner or later the time comes when they no longer have influence. Life shelves them on the plea that they are old; but that is not the real reason. They are shelved because they have killed their minds, becoming the living dead.
One of the most valuable of our social and national assets is the old person who has kept their mind open. Found all too rarely, they are never shelved, for the reason that life cannot do without them. Having the habit of expansion they continue to expand, keeping abreast of youth and even a little in advance of it. Although this person is today the exception rather than the rule, there is no reason why they should not be the common type.
The reason they are such a rarity is that so many of us begin to die almost as soon as we have begun to live. Our very fear of the death-principle admits it into our consciousness. Admitted into our consciousness, it starts its work of killing us. It wrinkles the face, it turns the hair grey, it enfeebles the limbs, it stupefies the brain.
One of its most deadly weapons is fatigue, or the simulation of fatigue. The tired business person, who rules American life, is more often than not a dead business person, who in addition to dying themselves, infuses death into the customs, literature, economics, and art of our age, since they so largely set the standard which becomes the rule.