Opiate addicts (maybe not some other forms of addiction) are more familiar with Death than squares. It was an intimate part of our using lives, with the constant knowledge that each day could be our last shadowing us for as long as we used.
It is possible to transform the simple fear of Death into a more nuanced grasp of It’s role in a material world incarnation. Castaneda said that Don Juan told him that a warrior of knowledge used Death as an adviser. We all know this is the final transition, yet most people fear the end of this life because they’re caught up in the materialist worldview. This is just one of many reasons that some form of spiritual practice is required in any successful, lasting recovery. It may, among other things, lead to the realization that death is just the last transformation of one’s current incarnation. Our souls are eternal and move on to the next appropriate learning experience, which may be another birth on Earth, or not. This viewpoint can free us from some of the fear of Death.
I used a capital letter to embody the Person or Angel or Agent of death because at the end of my using career, I had an encounter with this primal force or being. It “told” me (through a visionary experience, not in so many words) that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I would have only two months left to live. This encounter initiated the chain of events that resulted in my finding a way to do ibogaine, which in turn gave me a chance to re-boot my life. So, I am grateful to that Dark Being – the Angel of Death – for showing me the way to live (Death as an adviser), instead of just taking me away.
A reduced fear of death can be a movement toward a more cosmic view of life. The choice is ours. As ever, more consciousness leads to enhanced understanding – and thus a probable improvement – of any situation.