“Death is one of God’s best ideas because it so terrifies the beings that it compels them to search for that which is imperishable.” – Mooji
I have always been fascinated by the idea of dying before dying. That is, of getting the experience of death before the physical death of the body. I suppose I felt that it would allow me to put things into perspective, which is so helpful, as I (and I am probably not alone in this) tend to take so much for granted and worry about all kinds of nonsense. To me, it’s the best way I know that lets me stop the anxiety over some imagined problems and to cut through the rat race for worldly success.
That’s where skydiving came up as my first antidepressant followed by other extreme sports. Soon, I realized that there was no need to actually face physical death: there are alternatives to exploring my fears, vulnerability and limitations. BDSM is handy as a transformational experience of surrender in front of a trusted someone. Silent retreats are also a great ways to experience a monastic life with the temporary suspension of certain abilities, such as interacting with others, or speaking, or entertaining oneself. Vipassana is even more challenging, where participants are not only silent, but are also asked to refrain from moving (not even moving a finger!) for certain periods of time.
I was creative with my experiments, finding variety of tools such as a sensory deprivation chamber where all senses are suspended, substances that turn off my rational mind or create an out-of-body experience, and freediving where the ability to breathe is put on hold. And sometimes I didn’t have to search for it, “little deaths” found me through challenges such as breakups, betrayals, loss of jobs.
Right now I’m on my sixths day of detox fasting and I am staying mostly alone exploring my feelings and cravings. Eating is yet another action that I have been taking for granted and I was surprised to find that even a temporary fast shakes my world so powerfully. All of these experiences provide a way for me to die before dying, to see what’s beyond my body and mind, what’s really important in life, find out who I am.
“You never really live until you almost die” is written on my BASE jumping T-shirt and I absolutely agree, and definitely don’t doubt my chosen way of life. What I am finding within it is a process of falling apart at the seams which is a great catharsis that throws me back inside myself, serves as a mirror to reflect the truth of who I Am. After each insight, the world looks much fresher and kinder, I no longer pass so much judgement but rather feel gratitude