Conversation with Buddha and TMichael: Fear of Death and Life
TM: How does one accept death and the will to live at the same time?
Master Buddha: That’s not so easy to explain or understand. The reason is because of attachment to living and then attachment to accepting death in order to be free from fear. There is, in between the actual truth of acceptance of death and the first step, a period of elation at no longer sensing any fear around dying. When the fear of dying has so long ruled the physical life it is quite a relief to no longer walk in fear of it. However, there will come a test. And that test will present an option to die or an option to live and that is when you’ll discover how attached you are to the notion of dying versus the notion of living and which one actually carries the most fear. There are two parts to the fear aspect of living in the flesh. The first is fear of dying and that preoccupies all your thoughts, emotions and energy to avoid its actuality. Then there comes the fear of living, which exposes all the painful self-inadequacies. That’s enough to make one embrace death, now no longer feared, as an escape from the fear of living.
Just as one has to face the fear of death, one has to face the fear of living. The fear of living is the more difficult of the two because it is more difficult to imagine. Death is universally the same, except perhaps in the actual method or circumstances of death. Living on the other hand can be a slow form of death or a joyous expression of all that is. You can choose which it is. Again, just because one has the power to choose doesn’t make it easier. You must understand what it is that you are choosing and have the skills to choose according to your individual nature.
TM: So, my question assumed there was no fear of living, only fear of dying. How does the will to live then resolve with the fear of living?
Master Buddha: The will to live requires no effort because it is your innate spiritual will, which in the flesh is instinctual. The fear of living is concerned with those matters of quality and choice. How shall one live? What occupation shall one choose to provide the essentials of living? Shall one create a family, a marriage? What will engage my thoughts and my energy? Those are the questions of living that determine the quality of one’s life.
TM: Where do the self-inadequacies come in?
Master Buddha: That is the lifetime struggle for most humans. It depends greatly upon the wisdom of one’s parents and the living environment that one is exposed to during one’s formative years. But even under the best of circumstances it is unavoidable to deal with self-inadequacy to some degree. In the middle, that which is normal, one sees that before a child reaches school age already the seeds of self-inadequacy are planted and many more shall also be planted during the years of attending school. This is a tremendous challenge to change because parents are still struggling with their own self-inadequacies while trying to raise children, schools are populated with adults who are struggling with their own self-inadequacies and of course the children are in the thick of it as well.
TM: So, if I understand what you’re saying, it is self-inadequacy that is the root of our fear of living, not fear of dying.
Master Buddha: Fear of death is first, but it’s a mask for fear of living based upon self-inadequacies. One must first confront fear of death and then begin the process of awareness of self-inadequacies and correction in order to reach the joy of living instead of the fear of living.
TM: What similarity is there between self-confidence and self-adequacy? In Western culture anyway, adequate is mediocre and not good enough if one is to get ahead in life. So where does this reconcile?
Master Buddha: Well, adequacy is a relative term in this case. If the standard in Western society is excellence then that is what is meant by adequate, that is one must be excellent to be self-adequate.
Self-confidence can be genuine or a rationalization that one has created to cover for self-inadequacy. There are only a handful of truly self-confident people, those who have mastered the fear of death and the fear of living. Most people are spread along the spectrum of self-confident, yet still self-inadequate underneath, to self-inadequate as a constant in their daily lives. The meaning of self-confident is to be truthful with one’s self. So, in that case, there can be a conscious level of self-confidence and fears around self-inadequacy at the same time. What I mean, is that you can be aware of your perception of self-inadequacy and still be self-confident in an honest way. That is the point of transition that many people find themselves now. They are exploring self-awareness, which leads to coming face to face with their self-inadequacies, which is giving them a genuine self-confidence that they are progressing toward joy in living. It’s not always perfect and there is still illusion, but it is in the right direction.
TM: Can any of us really be inadequate?
Master Buddha: That’s for each person to determine.
TM: Yes, but we’ve determined for the most part that we are inadequate and you’re saying that’s a problem. So, clearly we’re incapable of making this judgment.
Master Buddha: And by what standards have you determined that you are inadequate?
TM: We set the standard by looking around us and seeing the ones among us who are adequate and then compare ourselves to them.
Master Buddha: And how do you know what makes someone adequate?
TM: We’ve determined through our social consensus the traits that are desirable and those are the ones that form the foundation of our adequacy. Then there are individual traits that one can have that deviate from the social norm that enhance our adequacy.
Master Buddha: So, under your system the guidelines are derived by social consensus and then measured by each of you as you see it in others in contrast to yourself. Do you see others who are less adequate than you are?
TM: Of course we do. There are others who are more and some who are less.
Master Buddha: Have you ever heard someone say really flattering things about you and you felt those things weren’t true?
TM: At first it feels good to hear those things, but there have been times then when I doubt those things are entirely true, maybe a little.
Master Buddha: Do you tell yourself about your qualities that make you adequate?
TM: Not often, but sometimes.
Master Buddha: Do you tell yourself about the times you are inadequate?
TM: Probably more so than the other way.
Master Buddha: Why is that?
TM: Because I’m inadequate more often than not?
Master Buddha: Well, you were a good sport to fall into my trap on this one. Although I know that a part of you believes there is much truth in what you said. It’s hard in this world to counter the many messages of self-inadequacy. And that’s what everyone wants the most, to feel adequate and have others recognize them for this. It’s understandable that if you are telling yourself than you are inadequate that you would turn to others to get the feedback that you are adequate. What happens though when they confirm your belief that you are inadequate?
TM: That’s the worse when it all coincides to tell you that. That’s the worse kind of depression and despair I think; to feel worthless and incapable of living a good life.
Master Buddha: You have a fairly simple prayer that you recite to accept yourself as you are and know you are loved. Because ultimately adequacy has to do with being lovable, don’t you think?
TM: Are you saying they are synonymous?
Master Buddha: I think so, even though adequacy has to do with a performance of talents that in total can make you lovable, what is someone if they are adequate but unlovable? Are they happy? What if they conform to all of the social standards of adequacy, yet they don’t feel others see them in that light and they don’t experience love in their lives?
TM: Well, that pretty much sucks. So you become bitter or you try harder and harder to prove your adequacy, and lovability I guess.
Master Buddha: What is the prayer that you recite?
TM: It’s Love in Abundance. There’s one line in particular that resonates with me in terms of self-acceptance and self-love. “I am that I am and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.” If I’m feeling critical or judgmental of myself, I often recite that line with a substitution for “that I am”. It could be, “I am selfish and inconsiderate and thus receive the blessings of love in abundance.” It has the effect for me of embracing the worse things I could think about myself in love and then I just feel love and not the power of the criticism or judgment.
Background Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Love and Loneliness (Part 1)
This is the third conversation with Masters Jesus and Buddha. I’m never sure how it’s going to start. I sit. And wait. I think of things to say but they’re not really the things to say only forced ideas that my mind impatiently pushes into the foreground to get it going. But then a question springs up and that’s the beginning.
Conversation with Jesus and TMichael: Love and Loneliness (Part 1)
TM: Why are people in my culture so lonely and are people in other cultures lonely too?
Master Jesus: That’s a good question. Relevant for many people, yet misunderstood in this age of plenty and hectic daily living. As I look at the times that have passed and note that throughout human history and human suffering, never has there been as much loneliness relative to so much material and social progress. How could this be?
TM: That was my question.
Master Jesus: Don’t you have an idea why it is so?
TM: I don’t really know. I observe people who are lonely and I feel sad for them. Sometimes I see people who are surrounded by friends and family and still they are lonely. They’ve somehow lost contact in a way that they don’t know if they exist or not I suppose. I’ve had moments when I felt alone, but they seemed fleeting like a day or two and then I remembered something that connected me and I was back.
Master Jesus: Do you imagine hope has anything to do with the feeling of loneliness?
TM: I don’t think so, but since you brought it up I imagine that you think it has something to do with it. Do you?
Master Jesus: No I don’t. But I can tell you that people who are experiencing loneliness feel as if there is no hope for them. They are hopelessly isolated.
TM: If that’s so, then hope does have something to do with it.
Master Jesus: Really? And how is that?
TM: Well, if there’s an absence of hope, then hope has something to do with it then hope has something to do with it—the reason why they’re feeling lonely.
Master Jesus: What if they’re wrong? What if hope is just something that fills the gap in a perception of life filled with holes? What if hope merely replaces for a moment the underlying sense of despair that is the theme of a disjointed view of life?
TM: Yes, but that is the point of hope. It’s sort of a wild card, a get out of jail free card. It bails you out when you don’t know exactly what has you down, whether it’s loneliness or depression or sadness. Hope is a handy antidote.
Master Jesus: That’s an interesting way to view it. I see love fulfilling that promise. So is hope a bridge then to something else?
TM: I guess so in a way. It’s getting out of someplace, an emotional place that feels yucky. I’d say it’s more of an escape “out of” rather than a bridge. Although I think in order for it to work, obviously it has to be a bridge to something better than the thing that one is getting out of. But since you brought up love, how is that different from hope? Isn’t it the promise of something better but in a more generalized way?
Master Jesus: Love is more than the promise of something better. It is all there is. Any other state is a creation of someone who isn’t connected consciously with the only state there is. So that that doesn’t confuse you, let me state it another way. When you are experiencing loneliness, fear, doubt, depression or sadness, you have created those states, but they’re not real. They’re illusions. Love is real and the only state.
TM: When you say they’re not real and love is, what do you mean? What does ‘real’ mean?
Master Jesus: The limitations of language are real. ‘Real’ means the genuine thing, the enduring, absolute thing. It is the be all, end all. There can be no other. Something is unreal when it poses as something real. Sadness poses as reality, and so does loneliness. Those states pretend to be real to give you the experience of what it would be like if they were real.
TM: That’s fine for you to say, but how can we know that is true? When people are lonely or sad they are those things. That is a real experience.
Master Jesus: I see how you trap yourself in believing that those states are as real as love. Let’s say that only one thing can be real. Let’s also say that everything other than that thing is unreal. The only reason you would believe that the unreal things are real is that you believe the real thing is unreal.
TM: Now you’re messing with my head. I don’t follow you. I know love is real. When I experience love I know it and it’s real. Then there can be a moment when I experience loneliness and it’s different than love and for that moment it is real and love isn’t activated or present, at that moment, so the other thing is and it’s real. Why can’t they all be real?
Master Jesus: So, by your reasoning all things are real and none are unreal?
TM: Yes, I guess that’s true.
Master Jesus: But only one of them can be real at one time, is that it?
TM: For the most part, yes. But I think there are times when I experience more than one state at a time, or there’s some overlap. Often I can sense the transition from one state to another.
Master Jesus: What causes the shift then, from one to another?
TM: I don’t know, it just shifts. Thoughts trigger the shift I suppose.
Master Jesus: And you create the thoughts, is that correct?
Master Jesus: And you create the thoughts with the intent to shift from one state to another, or is it involuntary?
TM: Well, mostly I think if you’re depressed or lonely then you’re motivated to shift out and so it’s a conscious act. If you’re in a happy or joyous state and you start to slip into another state it seems more of an unconscious act. I mean people basically want to be happy and so they strive to stay that way. If they’re sad they try to get to the happy state.
Master Jesus: I noticed you used happy and joy, not love. Why is that?
TM: I remember what you’ve said, that happy and joy are states of love.
Master Jesus: So does that make love a meta-state?
TM: Could be I guess.
Master Jesus: If love is a meta-state and happiness and joy are states that reflect love, then what meta-state does loneliness and despair reflect? Or do you consider them to be meta-states?
TM: I consider them to be undesirable states. But I don’t know the answer, maybe they reflect evil.
Master Jesus: Now we’re getting somewhere. So, you believe then that love and evil are the meta-states and from those the others come into momentary reflection?
TM: I wasn’t aware that I thought that, but maybe I do or maybe I just don’t know and you’re putting words into my mouth. I have never thought that deeply about it. I guess I’m like most people I just live my life from one state to the next trying to stay a little longer in the good ones and avoiding the undesirable ones.
Master Jesus: Well, that’s an honest answer and one that represents the majority, if not all, the human race. But surely you have thought deeply about these things, as have others. Is it that you don’t trust the conclusions you’ve reached?
TM: I think it’s more like I’ve never really concluded anything. I resort to the old story of love and evil, good and bad, happy and sad, because that’s easier than risking a new story that may not be true. And at least the old one is accepted by nearly everyone.
Master Jesus: It’s time to risk a new story. I think you already have, but you’re not sure whether or not you want to tell it. What if you’re wrong, right? Then you’ve duped yourself and everyone else who believed you. I’ve told it and others have told it. It gets changed a little here and there so that it looks more like the old story to make it more comfortable for everyone. So, I’ll tell it again.
TM: Please do. I’m willing to listen. Is this going to answer my original question about loneliness?
Master Jesus: Yes, and more. Love is all there is in this universe. It is the meta-state. Every other state of emotion you experience is either a reflection of love, or it is a state you have individually and collectively created in order to experience that which isn’t love. Evil is the creation of humanity and is unreal. It appears real because you believe it is as part of your collective agreement to do so.
You experience life one moment at a time on Earth. You experience life on more than the Earth dimension. The meta-state of love is on all dimensions. You create within the realm of Earth during your incarnation here. Your creation does not extend beyond this dimension. You can choose to create with love or you can choose to create with that which is not love. At the point when your creation is purely from love then your boundary of creation will expand. That is the moment we are all waiting and working for.
The challenge of humanity is to synthesize all that is in your human nature with all that is in your spiritual nature. Love is in both and will temper the fusion. Give up your addiction to your own creation when it isn’t in alignment with love.