It’s taken me many months of patient anticipation, waiting for a real answer to this question. I knew it could never be answered by the ego, so in trust I was sure that Spirit’s answer would arrive just as soon as I truly desired it. The ego tried to answer this question many times. However its answers were hollow and meaningless; forever one-dimensional, always leading back to separation. No wonder. Trying to answer any question through the ego, cycles within an endless loop of insanity. However finally, a real and compelling answer arrived from Spirit; one that made me literally stop in my tracks.
If there was no physical death, it would mean that I was no longer under the spell of believing that old age, decay, pain, disease, scarcity, or accidents could threaten me or cause my death; that I was no longer at the mercy of factors outside myself. I would choose my time of departure and leave the body in exuberant Joy and gratitude.
I saw that the ego could never experience ‘no death’; because the ego is death. No death – no ego. It’s as simple as that. So a prerequisite to the experience of no death must be the relinquishment of our separate ‘will’ while here in the body. The body itself would be thoroughly surrendered to Love’s Will. And only Love would be the eternal Life force sustaining the body until we deemed that our purpose in the body was over. And then we’d leave in Love…consciously, willingly, painlessly and joyfully.
When I looked with Holy Spirit at this ‘no death’ idea, I was shown something astonishing. And certainly not what I expected to see – at all. “What would I remember if there was no death?” I suddenly saw that every form of death such as conflict, loss, grief, pain, disease, betrayal, suffering, scarcity – would fall away. Because all of them are spawned from the ego’s most valued and unconscious devotion – death.
All forms of separation would disappear because their ‘daddy’ – death – disappeared, once belief in it was withdrawn. Our unquestioned belief, or more to the point; our total conviction that death is a natural part of life, is the glue that holds all our fears together. This belief is so firmly rooted in our unconscious that when its threatened in any way, we’re likely to switch off or to defend its illusory existence to the death! And that’s exactly what I did for many years even though I’d studied the Course for so long.
Without our fundamental belief in death, every other fear by necessity, would fall away. Death is the last defense against God’s Love in our awareness. It’s the last obstacle to be overcome because it is intrinsically intertwined with our fear of Love (God). To the degree we fear death in all its forms – to that degree we still resist Love. Another way to say this, is the degree to which we still need to control our life, to compartmentalize it and to defend ourselves from perceived lack, disease, change or loss – to that extent, we still fear Love. We resist our One Will with God; we fear to recognize and to accept our total dominion over all the ego made in the here and now; while we’re still here in the dream.
Death does not mean an exit from the dream. Because death is the extension of the ego’s dream; it’s just a dream of death. Many still believe that in death there is some kind of release, a reward of some sort, or the illusion of peace. This is crazy stuff. As Jesus says in the Course:- “Rest in peace” is a blessing for the living, not the dead, because rest comes from waking, not from sleeping.” T-8.IX.3:5
“There is a risk of thinking death is peace, because the world equates the body with the Self which God created. Yet a thing can never be its opposite. And death is opposite to peace, because it is the opposite of life. And life is peace. Awaken and forget all thoughts of death, and you will find you have the peace of God.” T-27.VII.6:2-7
Jesus also makes a hard-hitting statement about sickness and death being forms of our fear of awakening to the Love that we are:- ” All forms of sickness, even unto death, are physical expressions of the fear of awakening. They are attempts to reinforce sleeping out of fear of waking. This is a pathetic way of trying not to see by rendering the faculties for seeing ineffectual.” T-8.IX:2-4
The ego wants anything – other than for us to recognize what it is terrified of – that all release, all reward, and all liberation must occur in LIFE and not in death. Life is where we consciously choose to undo the one cause of death – the ego thought system. And it’s in life, consciously and diligently, that we learn to join God’s Will in overcoming the ego’s concept of death.
Our compulsive belief in and acceptance of death as being a natural part of life, is an outright and arrogant denial of God’s Love. As Jesus says in the Course, how can there be God AND death? The two are irreconcilable…yet we continue to idolize and welcome death. Not realizing that to say we believe in God’s all-encompassing Love AND yet … to believe in death, is complete insanity. If only one is real and if we still believe that death is – then we must not know (trust in) God yet. This includes any other form of death such as scarcity, pain, depression, disease, and conflict. Disease and God cannot co-exist. Only one is real. And yet we persist in mindlessly accepting that they are both real. No wonder we suffer so greatly!
Without the fear of God, there would be nothing to come between knowing my one Self as God (Love); knowing my Self as Love with no opposite.
The fear of God is an unconscious devotion to death; it’s the unconscious belief in and attraction of death. We made the ego and its central dream – death. I believe that as we awaken to the Christ within, we consciously choose to will WITH God. In all our decisions, we choose with God and against the ego. And how does that look at a practical level? To choose against the ego, we must look beyond what the body’s eyes see. Remembering that the ego sends our senses ‘out there’ to report back what it has projected. And this can never be trusted. Consider disease for instance. We ‘see’ disease, a lump, a cough, etc., then we blindly take it as reality. And we further consolidate the ego’s projection (error) by again, seeking ‘out there’ for the remedy or relief. Yet there is no ‘out there’! Out there is the level of effect only. Contrary to what the ego would have us believe, effects are just that – effects! As such, they have no power to cause anything.
If we search exclusively ‘out there’ for a remedy, how will we ever undo the CAUSE? Because the cause is always an un-forgiveness in our mind. Can we recognize how the ego purposely diverts our attention away from discovering the real cause of all our suffering? It treats us like a dog; by playing ‘go fetch’ with us…it always throws the stick the farthest away from the cause of suffering; thereby preventing us from undoing it once and for all. And although we don’t yet realize it, every time we believe the body’s senses to tell us what reality is – we continue to ‘go fetch’ for the ego. This …really is funny!
The Full Forgiveness Process
I am presently learning the healing process that Jesus teaches us in the Course. This is the miraculous forgiveness process that he shares with us…in practical and user-friendly terms. It can be used in any instance of loss of peace, regardless of what or whom appears to threaten us:
1) Cultivate discipline in mindfulness. Train ourselves to observe each time we’re in fear, resistance or control. But do it without self-judgment. This is the first step to undoing error. Any self-judgment is the ego re-appearing. In this step we remember that EVERYTHING that appears to upset us arises from one place only – our own split mind. There can be no compromise in this.
2) Look past appearances! This step is one that is most often neglected. Yet without this step, forgiveness can fall prey to ego-forgiveness (forgiveness-to-destroy). This is the essential practice of the “denial of the ego’s denial of truth” that Jesus speaks about in ACIM. Jesus says, “True denial is a powerful protective device. You can and should deny any belief that error can hurt you. This kind of denial is not a concealment but a correction. Your right mind depends on it.” T-2.II.2:1-3
Train ourselves to identify when we’ve fallen into believing an erroneous judgment, i.e. sickness, conflict, etc; believing that something dreadful can threaten us (or another). In this judgement, we negate God. Only God’s Love is real. When we choose to believe a problem, we deny God’s Power in us. We deny there being only ONE Power. And we then give the perceived problem ALL power. From this, God cannot save us. Only when we recognize that the problem must be an hallucination – can we call on God’s Power. Remember this…we cannot forgive something that we still believe is real.
3) Accept the Atonement. The Atonement is God’s correction of our perceptional error in our mind. We accept only Love! Love then corrects the mind-error that caused the problem as we perceive it. Jesus says this about the ‘miracle’: “It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false.” W-pll.13.1:3
In this return to Love, we will away both death and the separation. We, through taking conscious dominion in Christ, undo the concept of death in all its forms and no longer choose to be at the mercy of our own making; the insanity of death.
Here’s what Jesus says about death:
“Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end? We have asked this question before, but now we need to consider it more carefully. It is the one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world that all things in it are born only to die. This is regarded as “the way of nature,” not to be raised to question, but to be accepted as the “natural” law of life. The cyclical, the changing and unsure; the undependable and the unsteady, waxing and waning in a certain way upon a certain path,–all this is taken as the Will of God. And no one asks if a benign Creator could will this.” M-28.1
“Death is the symbol of the fear of God.” M-27.3:1
“If death is real for anything, there is no life. Death denies life. But if there is reality in life, death is denied. No compromise in this is possible.” M-27.4:2-5
“And the last to be overcome will be death. Of course! Without the idea of death there is no world. All dreams will end with this one.” M-27.6:1-3
“Teacher of God, your one assignment could be stated thus: Accept no compromise in which death plays a part. Do not believe in cruelty, nor let attack conceal the truth from you. What seems to die has but been misperceived and carried to illusion. Now it becomes your task to let the illusion be carried to the truth. Be steadfast but in this; be not deceived by the “reality” of any changing form. Truth neither moves nor wavers nor sinks down to death and dissolution. And what is the end of death? Nothing but this; the realization that the Son of God is guiltless now and forever. Nothing but this. But do not let yourself forget it is not less than this.” M-27.7.
And Jesus goes on to speak of our Resurrection:
“Very simply, the resurrection is the overcoming or surmounting of death.” M-28.1:1
“The resurrection is the denial of death, being the assertion of life. Thus is all the thinking of the world reversed entirely. Life is now recognized as salvation, and pain and misery of any kind perceived as hell.” M-28.2:1-3
If I was to surrender to this – LOVE – there would be nothing in my experience here, to seek nor to defend myself against. And in that clarity, comes the recognition that all my needs are met. Well. What happens when you reach a state of absolute trust in Love with no opposite? Of knowing without a doubt, that all your needs are met. And that there is nothing left to defend yourself against, nothing you need, nor anything you need to control? What then? That just about takes care of everything. Think about that…
Without the perception of fear, defense or scarcity, there are quite literally no remaining blocks to seeing and experiencing the truth of Who we are in Christ; in Love with no opposite. We realize that there is only ONE reality and not two. Therefore, if there is only LOVE…what can we fear? And what is it that we would possibly defend ourselves against? *LOVE*
And so, “What would I remember if there was no death?”
If I was to surrender to this wholly – there could be no more illusions to separate me from all encompassing Love as Self. And the most astonishing thing of all that came from this epiphany about ‘no death’ was this: Once I saw through death, and realized there was nothing left in my awareness of the world to resist, nor to seek any longer – I remembered also that there was no reason to stay. Other than to be a living example of Christ in the dream, there was zero desire to be defined and limited by a body any longer.
And that was a great surprise! From the ego perspective, I believed that the thought of ‘no death’ might enable the ego even MORE opportunity to wreak havoc; to encourage an even greater body-identity. Isn’t that what we think when we entertain the seeming myth of immortality? And now I can see it. Of course, the ego would take physical immortality to its limits in grandiosity. But luckily…the ego is death by definition. No death – no ego.
So the truth that came to me is this; in the overcoming of death (ego), the desire to remain limited by a body just drops away. And what a paradox that is! I am so, so relieved!