Do you think I could walk pleasantly and well-suited toward annihilation? ~ Walt Whitman

Walt WhitmanIn ordinary life the inevitability of death is laid aside. It is not thought about or resolved. For many people this is the right approach. Without having a verification or a strong belief of an afterlife, thinking about death will only lessen the joys and compensations of living life moment by moment. Of course it is also common for people to delude themselves with beliefs about an afterlife that are not grounded in any kind of personal experience. Unlike some modern religious theories, which emphasize belief as a primary requisite for an afterlife, conscious evolution emphasizes practices that are a preparation for an afterlife. It deemphasizes belief and provides you with exercises, like self-remembering and the transformation of suffering, that teach you how to get in touch with and strengthen the part of your being that can survive death.

It would seem that the fear of death would be conquered once and for all by these practices, but in reality the fear of death is a mechanism of the body, and as long as the body lives, it will be subject to that fear. Death for the body is real. It will die. The transformation of the fear of death can only happen by placing our sense of self in the emotions or in higher centers. In particular some higher states of consciousness can reach a scale of perception where it is possible to understand that physical death is not a finality. I have met many people who have had occult or mystical experiences that have allowed them to personally verify that consciousness can exist outside the confines of the body. I have had many such experiences myself. But to live in a place where this is permanently understood requires that we permanently live above our normal fears and anxieties.

Fear thrives best in a state of attachment to a small picture of self.  If you live in a place where you feel that you are your body and that everything and everybody outside of your body is separate (or even a threat), then you will certainly fear death. But if you begin to see and to understand that you are not so separate, that your higher self is increased by effort, by connection, by being present, and by love, then it becomes possible to get above this fear and to see it for it is. Still in the end it seems to me that the best way to conquer the fear of death is to conquer death itself.