Reframing Death Into a Tool for Personal Development

Labels and concepts are tools which can be used, good or bad, depending on one’s state of mind. However, it can be very refreshing to take some time and meditate once in a while with a conscious intent of discarding ALL concepts. I think of this kind of meditation as seeking inward actual ‘death’ or ‘suicide’, but in perfectly positive sense. It is aimed at creating a ‘death’ of the accumulated ego-construct which makes up a big part of our persona.

How do you actually do it? If you don’t want to be too radical, you can start doing it by asking yourself some questions about yourself. For example

  • Who am I?
  • What am I?
  • Why am I?

Don’t stay satisfied with the typical surface answers, instead continue to question that answer. Try to find out what is behind each answer, where does it come from. Why are you associated with a certain name, personality trait, belief, habit, idea, mindset etc. Continue this as far as you can. What you will discover if you persist might surprise you.

 

If you prefer an even more radical approach, you can meditate intently on disassociating yourself with ALL concepts and ideas about everything you perceive about yourself and your reality. Focus intently on the all parts the old conceived notion of self no longer existing. Especially useful is dropping the ideas of having any particular needs or desires. This, done intensely can quickly create profound changes in one’s life.

 

Renewed happiness, joy and vitality in life is the purpose of these types of meditations. It bares similarities to the commonly suggested self-help advice “What would you do if you only had so many minutes/hours/days to live?”, where we typically discover/rediscover what really matters to us, and thus gets brought closer to living true to our higher values. The meditation however, is more profound, and perhaps somewhat similar to a near-death experience. But as a consciously self-imposed meditation, it does not involve any experience of fear, it is in fact a complete letting go of all fear.

 

A similar experience of giving one’s self up is or was provided in different tribes, cultures and religions by rituals or initiation rites. Our current western secular culture has remnants of them, but they are often devoid of the original depth.

 

If you feel that you lack anything in life, you can develop your own rituals of self-discovery. This process can be highly rewarding, a great source of strength, inspiration and newfound energy, giving a truer expression and leading to a more authentic and fulfilling life.