In Osamu Tezuka‘s Buddha, a young Siddhartha faces ordeals in the forest of Uravela. Seeking to understand suffering he pushes his body to the limits of survival. As he does this his peers keep repeating that death due to an ordeal is the ultimate fruit that one can get. To this Siddhartha keeps repeating that he is afraid of death.
This fear he talks about is not the pain of suffering before death, its not the uncertainity that he faces on the other side of life but rather the lack of meaning in such a death.
This line of thinking totally amazed me. I have always looked at the fear of death as unacceptable acknowledgement of one’s own mortality. But once we link it to the purpose of life, it changes the meaning of everything.
While reading the philosophies of Dalai Lama, he mentions about the same fear of death and that it is strong in him. Reading that felt odd as I believed that the strongest of men, who have a clear vision of their goals aren’t afraid of death… Turns out they mostly are.
I don’t know how many people I know live with a similar reason for the fear but something tells me they are probably doing something special with their lives…