Thursday, December 1, 2011


(Edit: This gets some random hits, people looking for the secret of immortality, or perhaps immortals, looking for kindred- and I realise that this post needs editing.  It is really two posts- one about my experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome and anxiety and night terrors, and one about finding the key to immortality in a release of the fear of death.  The two were intimately linked in my life, but may not be helpful to someone else.  Also, I realise this title does not help the person alone in the night, searching for comfort.  I apologise.  I will edit it at some point.  I recommend this post on Retrocognition and Past Lives, as well.)

Until I was almost 30 years old I was afraid of the dark, afraid of being alone at night, and terrified of going to sleep in the nighttime.

A good chunk of my sexual life owes itself to this fact.  (Not all of it.)  And often, when a relationship would begin to fail me--when I would lie next to that same person and still feel alone and afraid--I would provoke late night arguments.

I also welcomed becoming exhausted, just to be able to go to sleep quickly.

It wasn't until after a nervous breakdown and a lot of therapy, that I began to be able to sleep in the dark and by myself. (And I got a diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder syndrome, which is just a way of saying "you are reliving past trauma repeatedly and suffering great anxiety for it".)

Part of it, I now understand, was that I could hear spirits more loudly at night.  For one thing, for most of these years I lived in a world where there was no God or spirits.  Everything was empirical and explainable by science.  When a person died, they died.

It's just that late at night, it felt like someone was there. But I had no explanation for that feeling.

One reason the spirits would often become louder is that it was so hard to reach me back then. Good or bad spirits, they were spooky and cold. Sometimes they were actually trying to soothe me.  Or warn me about real danger (and that is whole other thing- that I had to shut myself off to my own intuition, when I could not accept the psychic or spirit world). But their presence was so unwanted by me I refused to entertain their existence at all.

Just before sleep is when psychically I become the most "open".  And night is when the spirits have the most likelihood of being able to manifest visually to the physical human eye.  When I was a adolescent especially, too many things went bump in the night.

So, I would already be in a state of anxiety, just because the fear was always lurking, waiting for an opportunity to arise.  And once it found an outlet, it was relentless.  I was in such a state of anxiety.  I would often spend from midnight to dawn with all the lights on, checking and re-checking every closet and cubby, certain that there was someone in hiding in the house.

The other thing that would keep me awake was the fear that I was going to die.  Anxiety attacks often mimic heart attacks physically.  But worse, sometimes they just make you feel really, really scared, and the left brain will look for something to hang all that fear on.

Sometimes I would fall asleep and then wake up from nightmares, or just wake up, and be alone in the middle of night, terrified until sunrise.  All sorts of terrors- both rational and irrational.  I was basically enthralled to fear and anxiety.  And I was always very conscious of how few people--indeed, usually there was no one-- that I could be open about what was happening to me. And if I was, I never felt like they really understand the depth of my fear.  (Fear is VERY personal, isn't it?)

People frequently remark to me that I am so open.  Often they will add that my openness was helpful to them for some reason.

I lived with such intense fear for so many years, and hid it so successfully, that many people are surprised to learn that I have even suffered at all!

Fear thrives in hidden places.  The more afraid you are, the more you have to hide, and the more you have to hide from things.

Moreover, you have not seen the true measure of a person until you have seen how they handle fear when it comes upon them.  If there is anyone out there that is as successful in hiding their fears as I was, then I want to be able to share my experience so that at the very least, they do not have to feel so alone.

The fear of death hung over me for no "real" reason for many years. Most nights that I was awake, wracked with anxiety, absolutely nothing was going on in my physical environment. There is no greater fear the fear of death.  It is the fear upon which all others are based, or formed. And I was plagued by it on a regular, consistent basis.

I was so afraid to admit this.  So ashamed that I could have lived through so many real things, only to be unable to overcome my own mind.

The fear was crippling and so was the shame of it.

I tried unsuccessfully to rationalise my fear away, but death does not appear to be rational.  And the fear makes it hard to think clearly anyhow.

I have recently come to the belief and way of life that fear is a warning that I have separated from my higher Self, or the Divine, however you might want to call it.  Fear is not my enemy.  However, it is also not something I want to live with for long periods of time.  It is an alarm.  The reason for fear is to be hunted down, and then the "noise" shut off.

It is ironic that once I conquered my fear of death, I was able to release a great deal of anxiety.  It really is a matter of making the decision that feeling good is the most important thing.  Not winning the fight, or being right, or having every circumstance conform to what is most desirable, or judging other people.

If each obstacle is met with determination, and the commitment to seek joy is reaffirmed after every encounter with negativity, the rewards become obvious.  The learning process to overcome fear and focus on good feelings, and good feeling thoughts, wasn't easy.  But being terrified and unable to sleep hadn't been easy either.

The novelty of fighting my own reactivity was perhaps, at first, what worked.  Although I do think learning to look for the best in any moment or situation, regardless of how bleak, is an extremely worthwhile experience.  I should mention it was reading Victor Frankel's Man's Search For Meaning that really opened me to this way of living.  This was a man in a "real" nightmare, and he had found a way out. I recommend the book to everyone, but especially to anyone living in fear.

And once I began living in a headspace where I was consistently trying to stay focused in the present moment, I became open to the idea of being immortal.  I began to see how flexible time is.

And, ironically, at that point it did not matter! With no fear of death, and a determination to live as totally in the present as possible, immortality didn't seem very urgent.

This is when I read the book 2150 A.D. by Thea Alexander. A book I believe is actually a probable future, although I think that it will continue to evolve as we move towards it. (In other words, I don't think the book is gospel.  We don't need to all cut our hair short and wear Logan's Run tunics.  But I agree that we as species are shifting from micro to Macro as humans.)

I not only believe that we will evolve to the kind of "utopia" described in 2150 A.D. I believe that I will live to see it in this incarnation.  That I will live to almost 200 years of age! And I think I will continue to look young and fabulous.

That's what I am aiming for anyhow.

It's not really immortality.  It is more a kind of controlled aging process and lengthened lifespan, I suppose.

I think that when we first came to this planet and this thing called "humanity" we lived for hundreds of years in our human forms.  And then we decided to come for shorter periods so that we could all come lots of times.  (Everyone is an "old soul" as far as I can tell.)  We got to experience being a lot of different things in different times and cultures.  Being both genders.  Being parent and child.  Rich and poor. Friend and enemy; friend and stranger.

For most of my life the thought of dying was terrifying, but my life was so often unbearable.  Not just in actual, empirical things that happened to me, but in my nightmares and visions. Only the daylight was safe to be alone, and even in the company of other people I was often terrified.  And I was so rarely happy or comfortable with who I was.

To think that I might have had to live that way for seventy years was bearable only in comparison to death- to the unknown. If I yearned for immortality when reading a vampire or supernatural novel, it was to escape the fear of death.  Not for a lengthening of the life I was living.

True Immortality has its drawbacks.  You can only live forever once. So if you want to live forever, make sure you really, really like your life.  Because there will be a lot of it. 

Of course, many people believe that you only live once, and some also believe that there is no life after this one. Maybe it is even more important to release all fear if all you have is this one mortal coil, so easily sprung?

Either way, open yourself to all the good the world has to offer you.

The real key to either life-- eternal or ephemeral--  is to live in each moment, and to live in the Love present in each moment, the joy.  That is what creates the space for whole lifetimes to exist within the span of minutes.

You live forever, eternal, youthful and vital and vibrant, in each moment as it comes.

The NowEver.

And if ever you are scared or anxious or alone in the dark, if you can draw some comfort from my experiences than I am glad for it.

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