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Does one have to "die" in order to be connected?

I feel I am facing a difficult issue in regards to connection experience and do not know further.

In LP we are made aware of the necessity of connection: “connection is the most important concept that you have to understand, and the most important thing you must accomplish” WBI. The same is said in the integral yoga, which I have been practicing, that yoga can only begin, once the connection is there; otherwise – it is just a preparation. But what I found only in LP is the fact of the “fear of connection”, because of the “damaged” bodily ego/physical unit. The damage happens in the course of toxic socialization, negative experiences, and it needs healing.

In yoga it is said that the “Active Mind” (there are different minds) and its mechanical, repetitive, fruitless thoughts create this veil, hiding or covering the soul, our true self. There is a big stress laid upon the practice, called the “silent the mind”. I was engaged (though not too intensivelly) in this practice since few months already, as I felt the need for that for various reasons in my present stage.

I have just got a short holiday and spent time only for the practice. I was reading, practicing silent mind, repeating mantras, did the GI meditation, concentrated on opening the crown chakra, etc. It was an intense work. But yesterday evening I got such an attack of fear. This happens to me almost each time, as I get closer to being connected. As I know that this will happen I try to prepare myself for that. I think in advance what I will do, what I will think, etc. But when it happens – all my preparations are just vanished. I physically feel this fear: hands and feet get cold, respiration is interrupted, and the root chakra goes mad… As if it becomes a matter of life and death. And then, instead of going through, I try by all means to stop this horrible experience. If I would drink alcohol, probably I would do that. But as I do not, I take homeopathy, rescue remedy, valerian; I switch on a movie, just to stop thinking of it; to escape form it. There is this unreasonable fear of getting mad, doing something crazy, dying… I couldn’t sleep till 6 AM and am physically completely finished today. It was probably the worst fear I ever had; maybe because I was alone. When I am with my husband, it is easier to stop it.

Today I found a book, written by one Russian scientist, who is practicing yoga. I will post an excerpt bellow, which I translated. It is quiet interesting. His experience is similar to what I went through. I thought it couldn’t be a coincidence. Maybe we all have to go through that? Though, there is probably also a gentle connection process possible? I do not want to make others afraid. I remember Michael wrote somewhere of different types of fear of connection. Mine, as an ex-atheist, was the fear of “loosing the mind”.

This Russian person explains that this fear came exactly at the moment as the connection to the soul was about to happen and that he had to “die”, even if only symbolically. He died and he was “reborn in eternity”, as he writes.

I was wondering, do we really have to go through this experience of “dying”? And I think that I would be very afraid of that. Not sure, if I could do that. At the same time I am excited, cause I feel that I am getting close to some turning point, which I always postponed because of this fear… In the last few months it happened very often. And for the first time I've read a detailed experience of someone who went successfully through that. Also I am afraid, what if I manage to go through that experience and not to stop it, and what if then I will truly get mad.

I want to ask. Can we go though that experienced even with “damaged” ego? Or should we go through the healing before doing that? Waiting very much for the LP healing Map.

A. Kliuiev “Freedom from death”

"In the second half of December 1990 (a month after the beginning of the practice of active meditation) every day, sometimes several times a day, acute bursts of longing and fear began to occur, accompanied by respiratory cramps and thoughts of death. My inner voice directly connected these moments with the advancement along the Path and advised me to return to my former settled life. It was a test, and not an easy one. The same voice insisted that for me earthly joys, love, all kinds of pleasures would disappear forever. He prophesied that I would be abandoned by my loved ones and would be declared crazy, that I could never again enjoy life. It was during these periods in my mind that an acute dilemma arose - to continue the chosen Path or return to the “grey” past with its small joys, sufferings and worries. I honestly admit that there were moments of hesitation - to continue the Path or return to the past - and thoughts of suicide accrued in the speed of lightning. I was afraid I won’t stand this test. At the same time I clearly understood that there is no turning back. It became clear to me what Sri Aurobindo had in mind when he said that Yoga was not for the weak. And one more thing became obvious - in order to be born again, it is necessary to go through death. All ancient esoteric sources spoke of this. One must agree to die to the past.
I was placed in condition, in which death (even symbolic) is inevitable - the Divine (Evolutionary) Force brought me to this point. My conscious choice was required: either trust Her (Power) and die for the past, or return to the past and die physically. In any case, death! Without dying, one cannot be born! This is the axiom of Eternity.
It is necessary to make another conscious choice - to evolve or replenish the ranks of cosmic debris, since betrayal is not forgiven.
Finally, internal stress reached a critical point. One of the December evenings (three days before the New Year), when I was at home, I felt mortal longing and an irresistible desire to somehow disappear altogether, cease to exist completely, disappear without a trace and memory. Fear immediately arose, I started running through the rooms (my wife and daughter were at home), ran to the balcony door (I even had a thought to jump from the twelfth floor), closed the balcony door more tightly, then told my wife that I feel very bad and I want to sleep. I asked her not to touch me or ask about anything. I went to bed and covered my head with a pillow. My breath became unstable, I physically felt the nearness of death and at the same time I clearly felt that if I would relax and agree to die, the problem would disappear. I did just that, saying: “What should be shall be. Lord, I trust you completely. I am not there, I have disappeared.”

At that very moment, something seemed to burst out from the chest, and an incredible lightness spilled over the entire body. The fear miraculously disappeared. I just felt enormous fatigue and was afraid to move – if suddenly the fear would return again. The feeling was as if an abscess broke through, which pulsed incredibly long and painfully inside my chest. I fell asleep, and in the morning I woke up as a completely different person.
The first thing I felt upon awakening was the blissful lightness in my whole body. There was no trace of yesterday's mortal suffering. And yet - I wanted to hug the whole world and declare my love to everyone. I loved everything and everyone - people, animals, plants and even inanimate objects. Once and for all I clearly felt that there is no death and cannot be. I am eternal, like the eternal World in which we live. No matter what happens to me physically, I will never die, I have always been, am, and will be. Now this is not just a declaration - it is a fact.
I was born in Eternity."

When people talk about "death" in the context of a Connection Experience, they are almost inevitably talking about a point where they reach a fear-block that requires the Bodily Ego to trust and let go. People with a Vedic spiritual background might talk about this like an ego-death. Those with a more Western training might talk about being "born again." Some gnostic traditions even play up the whole death metaphor, but it is not really death they are talking about, it is a moment of trust where the Bodily Ego finally "steps through" the fear and releases control so a Connection might ensue.

Because this world is so toxic, and because our brains are filled with so much ideology and misconception, trusting and letting go can be a major obstacle for the Bodily Ego. My own blocking fear was a fear of being considered unworthy in the eyes of God (whom ironically I did not believe in at that point), and being condemned to eternal damnation as a result. I was raised Catholic, of course.  Another fear for me, later on, was the fear that I might be going crazy.

I resolved both of these fears differently. The primary Catholic fear of God I simply had to "walk through." I just said "fuck it" and moved on through. The second fear, going crazy, was more of a thing I resolved over time. As I engaged in daily Connection Practice, I slowly improved my ability to control and ground the Connection.  As I did that, my fear that I might be losing my mind slowly dissipated.

For you, fear of going crazy, fear of losing control, perhaps fear of what you will do if you do, is a Blocking Fear. These sorts of fears require a Titan act of faith and trust, which so far you have been unable to manage. So to answer your question, yes you have to go through this.  You just have to walk up to the door and walk through it. You have to have faith/trust that it will all be well on the other side.

That's a good connection visualization, BTW.

Visualize your body ascending into "heaven." Visualize a golden door appearing in front of you. Now, knowing that there is only intelligence, love, compassion, and inclusion on the other side of that door, open it and walkthrough.

Don't worry. We're here to support you both walking through that door, and also  "on the other side,"  so to speak. Trust me, you'll be better than fine on the other side.

Also, what you are doing is perfect. Distracting yourself, valerian root, hot tea, a movie, works to calm you down. Now, talking about it is important as well. Talking about it demonstrates to yourself and others the commonality of these experiences, and puts an appropriate perspective on it. Not death, but walking through a blocking fear. You have to walk through your blocking fears.

Does this help?

 

-- All you need is love...

Hi Mohini,

Thanks for posting this. It inspires me a lot to get a move on on my own path.

Mike already gave great advice and explanations. I wish to expand/comment shortly on it.

When people talk about "death" in the context of a Connection Experience, they are almost inevitably talking about a point where they reach a fear-block that requires the Bodily Ego to trust and let go.

This is surely true, but it doesn't seem to explain why the fear is connected to the concept of death. Why do people who have such experiences have the feeling: "moving one step closer, and "I" will die?" Fear, ok. But why death?

I think the following should give an acceptable explanation.

First, let's ask ourselves what the Bodily Ego actually is. What is it comprised of? Well, the Bodily Ego seems to be the result of brain activity. It is the result of the Default Mode Network (DMN). Thus, it is not really consciousness. Rather, the Bodily Ego is comprised of a specific set of ideas. If people ask themselves, what makes me be me. More often than not, our responses are: "Well, I have these traits, that name, these possessions, a character of such and such; my strengths are, my weaknesses are, I like this, I dislike that etc.  These things make up what we think we are. They make up our (bodily/psychological) identity. This identity is created and maintained by the DMN.

Now, when we connect to the Fabric of Consciousness, the DMN stops. This means, when we connect, the thing that maintains our "sense of self" (our Bodily Ego) stops functioning. Thus, we get the feeling of death, because the thing that maintains our identity stops functioning. Obviously, we don't die. It is "just" a feeling that comes up as a result of the non-functioning of the DMN.

It is therefore salient why people who experience this kind of "death", or "being reborn again", most often experience a very strong change of identity. When we connect, the DMN stops. Since the identity is comprised of nothing but a specific set of ideas, it is in fact quite fragile. So when the DMN stops, the ideas comprising our identity may be changed easily. Thus, when we connect, we usually become "more ourselves", because the experiences made during the Connection Experience give us new ideas about who we really are. We basically dismiss certain ideas about our identity, and embrace other (better, more true) ideas. If the difference between our previous set of ideas, and the ones gained through the Connection Experience is big, most of us either conclude that they have died and been reborn again, or simply that they have been reborn again. Psychologically, this conclusion is perfectly understandable. However, it is, of course, merely a metaphor trying to explain the huge psychological differences prior to the Connection Experience and after it.

My answer to your question whether we need to go through the "experience of death" is a clear "yes and no". 🙂

Yes, if you want it quick. No, if the transition period between the old ("bad") ideas about yourself and your new shiny "good" ideas about yourself, is long.

However, please do note the following. In my eyes, it is best to go the quick way for several reasons. The main one being a practical one. In order for the long method to work, you will need an extremely strong will power and discipline , and moreover a very very healthy environment. Since we live in a world that is far from healthy, the second method becomes less viable. Depends on your circumstances of course.

In the hopes of giving you hope and strength, I'll shortly recount some of my own experiences.

I also had (and still have to an extent) difficulties connecting precisely because of the fears you described. The difference being that my fears always have subsided shortly after I aborted the attempt to connect. The fear never lasted. It was always shortly prior to the Connection Event. Knowing/feeling that I am close to connect, I felt some stirring in my root chakra, which was (almost) always the sign telling me that I'm about to establish the connection.

At the moment, I rarely feel fear prior to Connection. It is rather strong excitement. There was a period 3-4 years ago, just like yours right now, where I had the strong urge to advance on my path. During that period (some months) I focused a lot on connection practice, just as you do now. Just like you, when I reached the point shortly prior to connection, fear kicked in. A very strong one, and at first, I couldn't control it. I talked with Mike about it. He gave me reassuring responses, suggestions and explanations. So I went on with my attempts. I remember him telling me that positive self-talk might help in my case. And indeed it did. But not at first. The first 10 attempts or so I felt I don't really advance. But after some more attempts, I managed to push past most of my fears. Often i told myself just shortly prior to connecting: "it's alright." "I'm coming home". "There is nothing to fear. You only become more yourself." "I love myself." "I am strong and capable." Etc. With these kinds of positive self-talk, after a number of attempts, I managed to go one inch at a time further. And then "splash", consciousness inundates my body, and more often than not, I am overwhelmed, oscillating between positive self-talk and acute observation.

Note that this is not how Connection is supposed to work. At least, probably not. The fact that Consciousness kicks in so rapidly and brusquely into my PU shows that I have lots of blockages, otherwise it would come slowly and gently. But it needs to push through the blockages, which is why it happens so abruptly. Due to the amount of CQ, my body cannot take it for very long, and after a couple of seconds, the Connection Experience ends, with my CQ still relatively high, compared to normal consciousness, but quite low, compared to the CQ during the peak of the Connection Experience.

A connection event which is described by a person as "rebirth" is a connection event where the fear is somehow dealt with, which in turn makes for a very strong Connection Experience, which changes the self-view (identity). In my case, I am actually trying to go the slow route. With other words, I am trying to come closer and closer to the identity of my soul with small, short connection experiences. Added together, they change me thoroughly. After months or years, I look back and see that I have changed totally. I am having the "slow death". More precisely, "death" is the quick change, while what I am attempting is the slow change. The results are the same, if I manage to succeed.

And here is the problem. I have the feeling that I often get kicked back due to various reasons. Sometimes, there are entire years where I surely don't move even an inch forward - perhaps even backwards. This is why I suggested to go the fast route if you are in for it. Note that the fast route requires two things, if you want to go for it. First, some support by the people around you. Second, a relatively healthy environment. This is for the aftermath 😉

 

 

Thank you so much for the answers, Michael and Aim. And yes, it helped me a lot yesterday. Actually reading it gave me a real change in the perspective. Instead of being afraid of the next time it would happen, I felt a release and some curiosity and even joy. I will write in a while, because I realised that I have to re-think some of my ideas. So, still processing.

I just want to say that I felt your answers loving and supportive, which means a lot.

Hey everyone,

I was thinking about what you all said and I think when we become aware of ourselves, see all who we are, make any fundamental changes in order to be who we choose to be, is kind of like a death i.e. we let go/or allow those things in us that we choose to not be anymore, to die. I think when we make conscious change, especially when that change really is different from who we were, it is kind of like a death of our old self. Could the feeling of death be mourning a loss of our old self?

G

Yes Gina,

That's exactly what I was aiming at in my post.

 

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