In the Bhagavad Gita written thousands of years ago, Lord Krishna says to Prince Arjuna: There never was a time when you did not exist, and there never will be a time when you cease to exist. Krishna is reminding Arjuna that he is eternal.
Of course, Krishna is not referring to Arjuna in his physical body. Rather, he is referring to Arjuna's immortality as an atma, or soul.
Our fear of death
Like Arjuna on the battlefield, we are afraid of death and will do everything we can to prolong our physical existence. Most of what we do every day is designed to meet the needs of our physical bodies and ensure our physical survival.
Do you know you currently are in an Earth phase of your eternal existence? This lifetime — like those preceding it — is just a temporary illusion you made up in order to have the kind of unique experiences you are now having. And despite what you may have heard in church, you don't have to wait until you die to become eternal and experience eternal bliss. You are already eternal and you can experience eternal bliss right now.
The accelerating pace of time may alarm you at this point in your life. It reminds you that your lifespan is limited, thus convincing you that you are mortal. But when you return to spirit, you will leave behind the sensation of time and enter a timeless state.
Perhaps you would like to achieve physical immortality. Many people would, because of their fear of death. We are so attached to our physical bodies that we want to live in them forever. We believe our physical bodies are what-we-are. We think we are born, live, and die in our physical bodies and that constitutes the extent of our existence. Our five physical senses and brain support this illusion. Our senses and brain enable us to deceive ourselves about what we really are during our time here on Earth.
What you really are
You are, in fact, eternal, non-physical spirit. You have taken on the form of a physical body temporarily for the purpose of spiritual evolution. The physical world you have come to is a marvelous place in which to accelerate your evolution. You need a physical body in order to experience the physical world. You take on the appearance of a physical body when you arrive here, and you discard it when you leave.
The part of spirit that dwells in your physical body is often referred to as the soul. You-as-soul are actually individuated spirit that has taken on the form of a physical body. You-as-soul are like a drop of water in the infinite and eternal ocean of spirit.
While here on Earth, we try to extend our lives as long as we can. Certainly, science and medicine have helped us do this, and yet we continue to look for ways to cheat death. Throughout the day, we devote nearly all of our time to sustaining and preserving our high-maintenance physical bodies. Then, at night, we sleep because our physical bodies require it. Sleeping eight hours each night means we spend a third of our lives meeting this requirement to rest our physical bodies. That adds up to a staggering 25 years or so asleep! You may be surprised to learn that when your physical body is sleeping, you-as-soul are galavanting all over the astral realms. Then, near the end of our time here on Earth, we may find ourselves hooked up to life-support systems in hospitals in hope of extending our lives. That's how desperate we are to remain in our physical bodies.
I think the attachment we have to our physical bodies explains why Christians believe in resurrection. They believe they will be resurrected from the grave in the bodies they now inhabit. Through the resurrection of their physical bodies, they hope to achieve a kind of physical immortality. Personally, I prefer the definition of resurrection offered by A Course in Miracles: raising the mind from the ego’s dream of death to the awareness of eternal life.
The desire to achieve physical immortality is futile, isn't it? Yes, we might be able to extend our lifespans, but we probably won’t be able to live in our physical bodies indefinitely. In fact, I believe the timing of our departure is pre-determined and is known at the soul level. When we came here, we didn't intend to stay forever. “Death” was the way we devised to get back out of the physical world, most often through aging, illness, or accident. At the time of death, the soul-you-are departs from the physical body and goes on to new adventures in the spirit realms where we normally dwell. Without the spiritual energy of the soul to sustain it, the physical body becomes lifeless, like a burned out light bulb that no longer receives electricity.
We may not be physically immortal, but we are indeed spiritually immortal, and we do survive the illusion of physical death. Immortality really means spiritual immortality. But how can we know for certain that we are spiritually eternal as long as we remain trapped in the belief that physicality is real?
Evidence that we are eternal
We don't have to die to learn that we are eternal. There are a number of gentler ways to learn it. One of them is to study near-death experiences. People who have had an NDE return to tell us we are eternal. They provide us with a glimpse of eternity. They tell us that time does not exist in the spirit realms.
Another way to confirm that we are eternal is through after-death communications with our departed loved ones and through conversations with our spirit guides and other friends in spirit. Yes, you can do this, and despite what you may have been told in church, it is not evil or sinful. Our departed loved ones and our friends in spirit can tell us what happens to us when our physical bodies die. They can assure us that they are happy and in a beautiful place. They can tell us about our never-ending existence. Through our conversations with them, we can learn that our separation from them is just a temporary illusion.
Past-life and inter-life regressions are still another way to confirm that we exist forever. Past-life regressions show us that we normally dwell in the spirit realms and that we choose to periodically reincarnate into new bodies here in the physical world. These past-life regressions show us what our life has been like during our other incarnations. Inter-life regressions, on the other hand, show us what our existence in the spirit realms is like between physical incarnations. Both types of regression help us to understand why our current life is the way it is. They both confirm that we exist eternally.
An end to fear
We continue to fear death because we don’t know what happens to us when we die, and we haven't been willing to find out. The nonsense we were taught in church underlies this fear. We are still living in a spiritual dark age.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can awaken from our spiritual slumber and remember what we really are. As Krishna says to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, you are not a physical body. Rather, you are the indweller, the atma, the soul. As such, you are eternal. You will never die. When you fully come to realize this, you will never again need to fear death. ❖