Thinking about death and meditation

The fear of death is fear of uncertainty but if there is no ego that can feel like it has lost something by being dead then there is no suffering being dead either. So the main fear of death comes from not wanting this life to stop, not wanting to be unable to do things.

So why do humans want to do things? It is to stimulate themselves with new experiences. So fearing death means also fearing the end of stimulation. From an evolutionary perspective intense feelings of being stimulated such as having sex, eating high sugar food or similar developed to sustain life and live long enough to reproduce. Our attachment to stimuli has a natural cause.

Money is perceived as one of the main keys to unlock new experiences and bring more stimuli to ones life. As creatures who crave stimulation the run for money is one way to temporarily satisfy those cravings. Another way is to lessen our attachment to stimuli while also making ourselves more sensitive to simple stimuli such as a beautiful quiet morning or simple natural food.

Thinking about it this way, doing meditation might be just a way to bring constant stimulation to ones life by developing a beginners mind that reacts to common experiences as if they were new and as a result giving us more intense experiences.

One way of practicing mindful eating for example is by focusing on the different flavors of food, how long they linger in your mouth and how they change while chewing. By paying attention we get a similar sensory experience to others who eat heavily flavored junk food. It is just that we train ourselves to be more sensitive to stimuli and therefore “get more out of it”.

This might be the reason why the combination of acceptance and awareness helps people to live more happy lives. They can easier let go of things and therefore deal better with anxiety and primal fears such as the fear of dying and also get more stimulation from paying more attention and being more receptive to stimuli. The focus on the present moment as the only “real” thing also helps to lessen anxiety.

Not worrying and being stimulated the whole time doesn’t sound like a bad deal. Nevertheless being in the moment, perceiving things as new and not being attached to anything is a sort of stimulation. All this comes for free and has a multitude of positive side effects.