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We live in a world that's more than comfortable to talk about medical tests, chronic and life-threatening diseases and all the ways we can suffer on our way to death but not comfortable to talk about death itself.  

There is ample evidence that we have an excessive fear of death, but what's less obvious is that it's founded on our faulty ideas of what it means to live and to love, which means that our fear of death can and has had deadly effects on our ability to live.  

From time to time someone comes along and says this could be different and shares their life experience, knowledge and study that explains just how easy it can be to overcome such an intense fear.  Let me introduce Clare Goldsberry and her book - The Illusion of Life and Death:  Mind, Consciousness and Eternal Being. 

Clare points out  the unexpected benefit of being of being able to talk about death is the emphasis on life and healthy approach to life that the conversation creates.  This is also evident in her book and this podcast episode.

....talking about fear and death

 

Death with fear or life with fear - or are they the same?

 

"We do not know how to die because we do not know how to live. We live in fear, greed, power, and desire for material things, including the desire to retain our physical bodies indefinitely."

Clare Goldsberry, The Illusion of Life and Death, p3

 

We live in a world that's more than comfortable talking about medical tests, chronic and life-threatening diseases and all the ways we can suffer on our way to death but not comfortable to talk about death itself.  

There is ample evidence that we have an excessive fear of death, but what's less obvious is that it's founded on our faulty ideas of what it means to live and to love, which ultimately means that our fear of death can and has had deadly effects on our ability to live.  

From time to time someone comes along and says this could be different and shares their life experience, knowledge and study that explains just how easy it can be to overcome such an intense fear.  Let me introduce Clare Goldsberry and her book - The Illusion of Life and Death:  Mind, Consciousness and Eternal Being.

The circumstances of Clare's life led her to find ways to become comfortable in discussions about death when she found herself living daily life in anticipation of death of her beloved partner Brent.  Our conversation reveals some of her life journey, the wisdom she's gathered from multiple religions, philosophies and research and her healthy thinking on the subject of death.  

Clare points out  the unexpected benefit of being of being able to talk about death is the emphasis on life and healthy approach to life that the conversation creates.  This is also evident in her book and this podcast episode.

 

"It is important to understand consciousness if we are to understand life and living and dying and death, for consciousness creates the reality that we experience. To learn to live consciously, with awareness of how all phenomena exist, is critical to understanding how we die. I have found the study of consciousness extremely engaging. My interest was piqued by Brent’s death. Having observed the various levels of consciousness he seemed to be experiencing as he moved toward his transition and hearing his account of what he was seeing while experiencing these levels, I delved into the study of consciousness."

Clare Goldsberry, The Illusion of Life and Death, p45

The Faulty History of Death.

"...because you have chosen fear so many times and labeled it so many things you no longer recognize it as fear"  

A Course Of Love, Chapter 2, verse 3, line 5.

The disease of fear has been 'cultured' into the human experience for thousands of years.  Several previous guests on the More Love Podcast (Judy Carroll, James Willis, Anne Olsson and Carol Schrader) have spoken about the fallacy's that have been used to achieve such an endemic culture of fear, the ideas that; God is separate from us, God is judgemental, heaven can only be experienced after death, life is only found in physical form and that we only have one life.  The Bible was curated to hide the truth and the church was structured to place priests and clergy in the position of the middlemen to God, thus making God unreachable by the everyday person.

"...you have identified death as the only means by which to reach oneness with your Father, knowing that such oneness is not compatible with the human nature you ascribe to yourself.  In this one error do all errors lie."  

A Course Of Love, Chapter 27, verse 1, lines 6-7.

Collectively this has shaped our attitudes about death, caused great doubt about the purpose of our lives and resulted in the disease of fear that changes almost everyone's life experience.

These fallacy's are all so 'normal' that even children come to know them at a very young age.  It's common for adults to feel the need to sooth anxiety in children grieving for the loss of a loved one, even a pet, by reassuring them they've gone to heaven.  The fear of death has become a common fear to all those people who believe that God/Spirit/Source is separate from them.

The inevitability of death is obvious, yet with our approach to death is shrouded in fear - fear of judgement day, fear of hell and fear for the end of their life most people have anxiety about death, whether it's their own or another's - we are frozen in a stagnant position of neither knowing how to die or how to live.

 

Could death anxiety lead us to the death of anxiety itself?

 

"We do not know how to die because we do not know how to live. We live in fear, greed, power, and desire for material things, including the desire to retain our physical bodies indefinitely."

Clare Goldsberry, The Illusion of Life and Death, p4

 

Death anxiety even has a name - Thanatophobia, "the apprehension people experience when they become aware of death." healthline.com   While Clare doesn't use this term in her book, she does discuss nearly every aspect of it in the human life cycle in a friendly and understandable way (I can't say the same for the peer-reviewed studies on thanatophobia).  

Not surprisingly the fear of death is said to underlie most of our phobias and anxiety-related disorders.  According to this theory, we manage our fear of death by creating a sense of permanence and meaning in life. We focus on personal achievements and accomplishments of loved ones; we take endless photos to create enduring memories; and we may attend church and believe in an afterlife."  theconversation.com

Creating permanence in life through these coping methods only anchors the fear of death.  Why?  Because our irrational fears of death are based on the false premise that life in human form is the only life there is.   Or in other words, our death attitudes reveal our understandings about life itself.  

The absence or presence of humility is said to change our level of death anxiety.  "People who are less humble are more likely to worry about their own death. People with higher levels of humility feel less self-importance and are more willing to accept life’s journey. That means they’re less likely to have death anxiety."  healthline.com

Humility can give us a greater acceptance of life's journey because humility and ego have an inverse relationship.  Meaning, humility gives us the ability to draw in, think about and develop new ideas, even ideas that may be outside the culture of fear that has been established.      

With humility, willingness and curiosity we can move beyond our fear of death and in doing so expand our understanding of Life and Love, and snuff out the very existence of death anxiety.

Until we realise that fear of death underlies our choices, anxieties and behaviours we won't know our freedom of being.  You'll hear in this episode that Clare was inspired to write The Illusion of Life and Death by her beloved Brent's death with freedom.  He was so comfortable knowing his life, as is everyone's, was terminal that he was able to put everyone else at ease and was able to die easily.  

 

Death with Freedom comes from Living with Freedom

 

"...all fear ends when proof of your existence is established.  All fear is based on your inability to recognize love and thus who you are and who God is".  

A Course Of Love, Chapter 4, verse 5, lines 1-2.

 

Clare isn't the only one encouraging conversations that help to breakdown our fear of death.  The mission of the Death Cafe founded by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid in London is "to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives", to encourage to appreciate what we've got, not get caught up in the nitty gritties of everyday life, and to find presence and love in the moment...in the moment of living.  Interestingly, both Clare and Jon have studied Buddhism.  

Many mystics, including (but not limited to) Mary Baker Eddy and Joel Goldsmith, have worked hard to replace the fallacy's that nurture of fear of death with the truth of our existence and being in Spirit through Christ-consciousness.  Many who live with the loving presence of Christ-consciousness in their everyday lives have received books that dispel these common fears and and reveal the truth of our being in Love and Spirit - Brian Longhurst,  Mari Perron and Sebastian Blaksley just to name three of many.  

To be free we must know the source of Life and Love.  Sometimes in our world of duality and contrast it's easier to clarify what Life and Love is by knowing what it is not.  So we ask, what's the opposite of Love?

Most would answer hate.  But no, it's not hate.  Hate is conditional and therefore can only be the opposite of conditional love, which isn't Love at all.  So is it fear?  Could be.  Because Love is an aspect of God, Spirit and Life which therefore means Love is infinite.  Thus, the opposite of Love has be finite in nature.  Fear is finite in nature, it locks us in, freezes our ability to think, move and act, closes our creativity and excludes joy, happiness and abundance.  This is why spiritual awakening has to include the death of the idea that Life is finite which simultaneously removes fear.  

I do hope you enjoy to this episode and consider it deeply.

 

"Death is the baseline of life. If you do not understand death, you will never know life, nor can you handle life, because life and death are like inhalation and exhalation. They exist together, inseparably. Spiritual process begins only when you are confronted with death – either your own one or that of someone who is dear to you, someone you thought you could not live without."

Sadhguru

 

 

 

o0o

You can learn more about Clare Goldsberry visit her website - https://claregoldsberry.com/

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00.190] - Helen Reynolds

Welcome to another episode of the More Love Podcast with Helen Reynolds. The place for conversations that reveal your greatest strength is in your sensitivity to Love energy. Today, I'm so happy to be sharing this episode with Clare Goldsberry. Welcome, Clare.

[00:00:18.080] - Clare Goldsberry

Thank you for having me, Helen.

[00:00:19.910] - Helen Reynolds

It's going to be a good conversation. So I've just finished reading your book. Your latest book. Actually, it's not your only book. The Illusion of Life and Death:  Mind, Consciousness and Eternal Being, which I've thoroughly enjoyed. And I appreciate the loving contribution it makes to the topic of living. Even though it's kind of a book about death, it actually makes this wonderful contribution to how we live. And I thought there were two things that make your book so wonderful. The first is that it illuminates life by discussing life and death in the context of the divine. And I love how you've bridged multiple spiritualities. We'll just say that we'll get more into it as the conversation evolves. And I sort of said it here, actually. Secondly, you've managed to bridge religion and Eastern philosophy and personal experience seamlessly into one easy to read book. I just thought that was wow. So to me, your book is for anyone who is sensitive to feelings, emotion, and energy and who wants to embody their true essence of being in their everyday life experience. So I really enjoyed it. Enough about me talking about your book. Would you talk to us about how you've come to write this book?

[00:01:45.620] - Helen Reynolds

But I'm keen to sort of start back way more towards the beginning. And I know that you are asking why questions from a really young age, and I think a lot of us who are sensitive to feelings, emotions, and energy do that.  We are the kids who go...'but why'? So would you share with us a little bit about how it's been for you being sensitive as you've grown up and how it's led you into this journey to write the book?

[00:02:17.610] - Clare Goldsberry

Well, I always ask a lot of questions and as I've gotten older, I've come to learn. And what I tell a lot of the students and the classes I teach are the questions are always more important than the answers. And I think that a lot of people go searching for answers and they want the answers. We don't always have the answers. I don't have the answers for you. You don't have the answers for other people. And so in the search, asking why really has more to do with learning to live the answers as we encounter them. I've always asked why religion? Why Church? Although I was raised mainstream Protestant Christian, I could never understand the incongruities that life seemed to offer. Why do some people live this way? Other people live that way. Why are some people born in poverty and countries that just never seem to overcome poverty? Other people like myself? I was lucky enough to be born in a family that provided me and my brothers with everything we could have ever wanted and gave us good educations and so forth. So I think the why questions were more like, what is life?

[00:03:41.570] - Clare Goldsberry

Why am I living this life and somebody else is living that life? I think that through the years, even though I've been into various religions and read various spiritual traditions and finally ended up not by accident, by the way, because it's been said that when you're a seeker on the path, there are no accidents. So I was thrown Buddhism in the way there. And actually it was something that clicked very much with me in this idea of why we live the lives we live and then ultimately death, because I've never really thought much about death. Death and dying has not talked a lot about in, say, in the JudeoChristian traditions. And so I began to be confronted by this idea of death because Buddhists talk about it a lot. And in fact, they always used to tell us, remember death. And I used to think about that a lot, remember death, because someday we will encounter it. And it was in late 2002 that my significant other, Brent, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. And I was fairly new into the study of Buddhism. I'd been at it about seven or eight years, and I thought life was just going great, like my life had always gone great.

[00:05:25.480] - Clare Goldsberry

Right. And when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, that really hit me because I had never known anybody with cancer. Nobody in my family was ever even sick. And so when he was diagnosed with cancer, I was stunned. But Brent was not. He looked at me and he said, well, this should be another excellent adventure. And I was just like, wow. Even though he was of no particular religion and had not really thought much about religion, even he seemed to have an attitude that was very Buddhist like, and yet he'd never studied Buddhism. Did I teach him anything? No. I always say he's the one that taught me. I kept a Journal and subsequently the Journal of the 18 months that he lived. And we had a great time and he enjoyed life. And people just couldn't believe the way he continued to enjoy life and never thought much about his body or anything about the cancer. And he had a good death. And so that gave me the impetus to write this book because I thought people need to know not only just how do we have a good life, but the other side of that point is how do we have a good death?

[00:07:06.080] - Clare Goldsberry

And we can't really have a good death unless we learn how to live fearlessly, then we can learn how to die fearlessly and what is life and what is death and all that goes with it. Yes.

[00:07:20.480] - Helen Reynolds

I love that statement you make. If we don't know how to die, then we don't know how to live either. I've probably got the words just a little bit wrong, but

[00:07:29.050] - Clare Goldsberry

that's right.

[00:07:30.430] - Helen Reynolds

I think that's fantastic. And if we address the fear, then we've addressed so much that burdens us.

[00:07:38.950] - Clare Goldsberry

Yes, fear is a huge obstacle to being able to live. I know I've read a lot about fear in a lot of different philosophical books, in a lot of the spiritual books, and even in the New Testament, Jesus talks about fear and fear not. And why are you afraid? We're afraid because of loss. All fear is rooted in the fear of loss, whether it's loss of our health, loss of our material possessions, loss of our relationships with our friends, families, children. But it's always rooted in this fear of loss. And if so, we get over the idea that we're losing something when in actuality, if you look at both Buddhism and quantum physics, nothing is permanent, nothing lasts forever. All things are mutable, changeable and permanent. And so there's nothing really to hold on to. And from a quantum physics standpoint, nothing exists as a real solid object. Everything is created in the mind by the mind. And that's where Buddhism and quantum physics are very much parallel in their philosophies, because more than once, many times our teacher at the same time would tell us, remember, everything is created in the mind by the mind.

[00:09:18.530] - Clare Goldsberry

There is no inherent existence of anything outside the mind. And as my favourite quantum physicist likes to say, Fred Allen Wolf is his name. He wrote a wonderful book called Mind Into Matter. He says there is no out there, out there. We look for everything out there when in reality everything is in here, including how we look at life. Our perspectives, including how we live our lives and who we are, is all within. And yet people fear going within, maybe afraid of what they might see when they go with them. But it's necessary. It's absolutely necessary if we're going to live a fearless life and embrace all as the path, even our death.

[00:10:11.230] - Helen Reynolds

So what's in your understanding, what's the energy that gives rise to our being or gives rise to this experience that we're having? Is it Love energy?

[00:10:25.390] - Clare Goldsberry

You could call it love energy. I think most of the Sri Aurobindo in his book The Life Divine, which is an amazing treatise, says that it's a life force. It's the ground of our being. You could say that it is love energy. Then we get into the idea of what is love. And of course, the English language has basically one type of definition for love. Greek traditions have several types of definitions for different types of love because we love things differently. And I guess I've never been really comfortable with the idea of love. People say, well, God is love. Yes, that may be true. Then you get into the dichotomies of, well, if God is love, why did he allow my loved one to be killed? In a traffic accident. And so we see these dichotomies. And so it's the life force, it's the life energy, it's a universal being, and we are part of that universal being, yet we are always becoming this same divine being in Gnosticism. It's the divine spark that we are all born with that gives us our life energy. We are part of what the divine is, and we are that.

[00:12:03.350] - Helen Reynolds

One of my favourite lines actually, is from A Course Of Love, that love is attributeless. We give it attributes in our physical form. In that context, I think the life force energy that you're talking about and the love energy that I'm talking about, most likely the same thing.

[00:12:25.910] - Clare Goldsberry

Most likely. Well, they say about that same thing about God too, that anything you can say about God or the all that is or Brahman or whatever you call it, anything you can say about that is not that, because now you have given it boundaries. If it is love, it cannot be hate. If it allows bad things to happen to good people, then why can't it allow good things to happen to everyone? And so I think attributelessness is part of this whole idea of our ground of being or Brahman or God. We like to anthropomorphize God because that's something we can understand. I can understand you as a human being and you love people and you try to help people. But if I try to put those same attributes onto God, it's not going to work. Sooner or later it isn't going to work because some bad things are going to happen to good people. And I'm left wondering why.

[00:13:38.570] - Helen Reynolds

Which is one of the topics you dive right into at the beginning of your book and in the discussion of Karma. So I've actually got two places I want the conversation to go. You can choose. I'd love to hear you explain about Karma. And I'd also love to hear your understanding of the relationship between love and fear, or life force energy and fear. Where would you like to go first?

[00:14:05.540] - Clare Goldsberry

Well, let's talk about Karma, because that's a word that a lot of people misunderstand. Karma as a word, as a Sanskrit word just means action. And it involves all action of body, speech and mind. And so any action is always creating Karma. On some level, the misunderstanding comes in when people see Karma as retribution. In other words, they see the negative. And yet it is not just the negative things. Certainly if you perform negative actions, you can probably expect a negative consequence at some point, maybe not in this life, maybe in your next life, maybe not immediately, and maybe immediately. There are such things as instant Karma. And so you have to understand that Karma is just action and that we are involved in Karma every moment of every day. Because even thoughts in a body, speech in mind, even our thoughts are creative. We have to be careful what we think, because that can create Karma. We must have put out good thoughts, positive thoughts, positive energy, because that is the type of world we want is one that's positive. And if we have positive thoughts and we have a positive mind, then the world's going to be positive.

[00:15:43.010] - Clare Goldsberry

And I think that people misunderstand Karma, and I think that's a shame. I know people who say they don't believe in Karma, which is like saying, I don't believe in gravity. Well, whether or not you believe in gravity, it's there. Gravity affects you every single day, every single moment. So you just have to remember that Karma is always just. It's the consequences of everything, your actions of body, speech and mind. And so if you try to tame your mind, have a better sense of how you're feeling. Pema children. She likes to say, how is my mind behaving? She said, we should ask ourselves that several times a day, how is my mind behaving? Because sometimes you feel yourself getting pulled off, pulled off centre, all of a sudden you're thinking bad thoughts or you're saying something nasty about somebody and like, oh, I probably shouldn't have said that. And so you just have to ask yourself, how is my mind behaving? And then try to remember that everything is body, speech and mind.

[00:16:58.010] - Helen Reynolds

I really love that Karma is action. That's just so perfect. That really helps demystify it, really, because we can take action in alignment with the energy of who we truly are, or we can take action regardless of how we feel and force something or really drive something. And it could be a good thing or it could be quite a bad thing. Still, it's action and it's either with the life force energy or without. And so accordingly, we're going to have responses to that combination, right?

[00:17:36.770] - Clare Goldsberry

We have to learn to act rather than react. I think we are very reactive in our responses to things, and I think that's difficult. We need to learn to act rather than to react. I think that's where learning to tame the mind, learning to think before we blurt out and see how that's going to affect us in that respect.

[00:18:09.150] - Helen Reynolds

What's popping into my mind just now is Brent's love for and enthusiasm for life. It's a little bit off the topic of Karma in a way, but it just popped into my head and can I share a little story from the book? Yeah, I think it's page 167, and it's a little anecdote about Brent. "One day, just a couple of weeks before he died, he decided to take his Corvette out for a run on the freeway. It was early in April on a Sunday morning, not much traffic, and he could get it up over 100 mph and have some fun. When he came back, he told me he had the vet up to 120 on the freeway. I was stunned. You're going to get a ticket. I told him that's. Okay. He replied, I'll be dead by the time I have to go to court. He considered that one of the benefits of being a short timer". He really did just grasp life and all that he had, did not. He?

[00:19:17.780] - Clare Goldsberry

He did. And it was interesting because so many of the things he would say and just the way he would act to me would be how someone who was a practising Buddhist might react to things. And yet he wasn't. He was just someone who had lived his life very fearlessly and didn't really have any expectations that life should be different than it is. And I thought how wonderful that is, because that's one of the things you learn in Buddhism, that when you have expectations, it's when you're going to be disappointed and when we get disappointed, then we suffer. And so I always say expect nothing. You'll never be disappointed. And you might be surprised too. Some people think that's a negative thing, but I don't know, it works for me.

[00:20:13.290] - Helen Reynolds

I think the idea of expectations has been really amplified by the self help movement and the movement that sort of has embraced the idea of affirmations and using our mind to create our reality. So I'm not trying to suggest that we can't use our mind to create our reality because we've just been talking about that. However, there's this gap or this pothole, I guess, that you're talking about, where we can develop these expectations as a result of the affirmations we're using or the expectations that using our mind in a certain way will give us a better home to live in or whatever the thing is. And so we've set ourselves up then for this judgement, this period of judgement that we're imposing upon ourselves.

[00:21:08.070] - Clare Goldsberry

Exactly. I think that when we have these expectations and as you point out, there are particularly developed during the 18 hundreds in the mind body movement where thoughts became a reality, which that is true, we can think ourselves sick. Can we think ourselves well, but should we have an expectation that we will never be sick? If we get sick, then what happens? And Brent sort of just didn't think about the cancer, didn't think about his body. He had surgery, but that's all he had. He refused the chemotherapy, as you probably read in the book, he's, he just kept on with life and he didn't really think about it. So I think he had no expectations that anybody was going to cure him. As he told the oncologist when he refused the chemotherapy and the oncologist looked at him and said, well, if you don't have chemotherapy, you're going to die. And Brent said, "dude, I'm going to die anyway". So there was no expectations that if I do chemotherapy, I'm going to love to be 100. This is just life. I'm going to live my life. That's the way he thought, I'm going to live my life.

[00:22:32.720] - Clare Goldsberry

I'm going to live it to the fullest. When my time is up, my time is up. And that's okay, too. So I think expectations can lead us down a path to disappointment if we truly believe that everything we think should become exactly as we want it. I've always said the universe doesn't always give us everything we want, but it does give us all needful things for our life. And I think we need to remember that that what we want, always is not always in alignment with what we need down here in this boarding school we call life.

[00:23:21.190] - Helen Reynolds

I loved that analogy. I loved the analogy of boarding school. Oh, wow. And it always gives us what we need for our spiritual development as well, I believe.

[00:23:34.530] - Clare Goldsberry

Absolutely, yes. We need to learn a lot of things. And part of that learning is being part of the divine is finding our divine mind and making that connection with the universe, with God, with whatever you want to call it, the all that is Brahman, whatever we need to learn. That because our spiritual life is important. Our spiritual life, I think, is far more important than just our physical life, how we look at life, how we adapt to life, how we embrace all of the past. It's very important.

[00:24:11.920] - Helen Reynolds

I completely agree. I'd love to share another anecdote. I love this one, too. I actually lost the page number for this. I'm sorry, Clare, but it's definitely from your book. At work one day, after getting off the phone with a client with whom he was laughing while talking business, one of the other salespeople, a young woman, came to him and asked, how can you have so much fun when you know you're going to die? Brent replied, we're all going to die, Jenny. But I'm one of the lucky ones. I know about when I'm going to die and I know what I'll die from, and that's a luxury most people don't have. There's two things I really love about that anecdote. One, he was willing to talk freely about death and alleviate the you know, when you're working. I just imagine for Jenny in that scenario, she's working with someone she knows is terminally ill and has a relatively short time period in their lives. And she most likely feels some kind of burden and some kind of difficulty around being there with him just because of our inability to talk about death and dying and how it's a subject that's just so withheld in a way, which is what your book is contributing, making such a big contribution to.  But he was just so free about it that opened the energy and allowed Jenny to be free about it as well, I imagine.  It's a beautiful anecdote.

[00:25:55.050] - Clare Goldsberry

Yes. I think that's what all of friends and business colleagues really learned from him. They didn't have to be afraid when you know somebody's dying or what do you say? I mean, it's like you said, you're around this person and you know they're dying and how do you react and what do you say? And so for him to be so free with the fact that he was dying, but it also had benefits allow other people to embrace that, too, and maintain their good humour about it and to learn that maybe death isn't to be feared so much. I know there was one other anecdote that just really cracked me up, and that was when he went out to lunch with his colleagues. It was a birthday of one of the colleagues. And so they all went to lunch together. They were all sitting there looking over the menu, trying to decide what to have. And people will say, Well, I'm on the South Beach diet or I'm on the Atkinson's diet or whatever kind of diet. And Brent said, well, just be glad you're not on my diet. It doesn't have any T in it. And it took everybody just a little like that split second where you go, no T.  Oh, die diet, it doesn't have any T in it. But that's just the kind of sense of humour he had. And you're right, it did allow all of them to laugh and, well, dying isn't funny. Well, it has some humour parts. And Brent found all of them and he made people laugh, and I think that was a very good thing.

[00:27:40.990] - Helen Reynolds

Would you talk with us a little bit about how you see the suffering that we experience because death is such a taboo topic or avoided topic, even if it's not taboo, what kind of suffering does that lead us into that we're probably not even aware of? Because it's not like death has become a taboo topic in the last ten years. It has been for a really long time. And so there's generations upon generations that have been who have struggled through the death experience of loved ones and maybe even themselves?

[00:28:16.750] - Clare Goldsberry

Well, I think that our attitude toward death in the modern world is different than what people experienced early on in the 18 hundreds, 17 hundreds, because we are not very close to death today. Most people and there's been studies done on this. Most people die in hospitals or hospices where 100 years ago, 150 years ago, people died at home, people died with their families, children died at a very young age. They said that if your child lived to be five years old, he would probably live to be an adult because death took a lot of young children. So I think it is different. And I think that back to the expectation thing. I think that we've developed here in the modern world an expectation that medicine or Pharmaceuticals can save us, and so we're not as willing to let go as Dr. Kevin Haselhorst, who I mentioned in the book, said that he is in his hospital setting, has seen people, you know, just beg him, please do something for my mother, do something for my wife, my husband, my child, when there is nothing to be done and to get people to accept that ultimately not even the best of modern medicine or Pharmaceuticals can save us, that death is the ultimate end for all sentient beings, for all living things.

[00:30:05.940] - Clare Goldsberry

Death is the ultimate end for trees and flowers and everything. And so it's just a part of life. So I think we suffer more from the idea of death than we suffer from the actual dying process or from death itself. In the end, just before he died and he died here at home, just the two of us, although we did have Hospice, but they kind of left us alone. They go, you understand this so well, you really don't need us, but if you need us, call us. And just before he died, he said dying is so easy. He said, I thought it would be harder than this, but it's really so easy. And that's when I told him, I said that's because you're not afraid. I think that's true. I think dying is very difficult for people who are afraid, for people who are clinging to their material life or clinging to the life they want instead of allowing it to flow. Brent was a go with the flow kind of guy. You let it happen and you go with it because that's the best way to handle it. I think dying can be easy.

[00:31:28.710] - Clare Goldsberry

And I've often told people that if you remember one thing about this, dying is easy, but it's easy if you learn the fearlessness, if you learn to go with the flow, if you learn that it's just part of life, it's not from birth to death. It's actually from birth to rebirth, and that's the cycle, birth to rebirth. And I think that's important for people to remember. It takes practise when I say practise, a spiritual practise of some kind in a person's life to get to that point.

[00:32:06.100] - Helen Reynolds

Not a death practise.

[00:32:09.270] - Clare Goldsberry

In Buddhism, there is a death practise. Yes, where we meditate on our own death.

[00:32:14.750] - Helen Reynolds

Yeah, you're right about that picture.

[00:32:16.810] - Clare Goldsberry

How that is how our life energy moves upward through all the chakras and in and then out of the Crown of our heads, the way it entered the Crown of our heads when we were born. So I think a death practise, if you're a Buddhist, you do a death practise. It's not something we do all the time, but it was this idea of remember death, remember death, because if you remember death, your life is going to be a lot better. It's not morbid. People think it's morbid. And that's back to that. People don't like to talk about it. People don't want to know anything about it. They don't like to be around people who are dying. Brent made being around him so pleasurable and so funny. And I think that we just have to learn a death practise to make it easier to live and easier to die.

[00:33:18.030] - Helen Reynolds

One of the previous guests on the More Love Podcast was Catherine Anne Clement, and she brought forth some of the contributed to one of the Magdalen books. But there's two books. Anyway. The point is that the Magdalenes talked about ascending into death, and it was very much a practise for them. And they wrote about, I want to say, an active death. But when they felt that their time had come, they would participate, I guess it's the word participate in their death process. And they would be supported in their ascendence through the energy chakras and through the grounding channel, as you're talking about, by their loved ones. And although the remaining loved ones felt the sadness of the loss of the physicality of that person, they were extremely aware that that person hadn't actually left. They were just in a different form. They'd begun again in their spiritual form.

[00:34:27.130] - Clare Goldsberry

That's beautiful. That really is. And I think if we learn more about the dying process and not everybody goes through this process that's outlined in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying. I studied that section of the book quite closely. And in fact, these processes, especially the last few days, Brent was going through all these processes that it talked about in the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and what the process was, what was happening. You lose the body heat, then you begin losing the water. That was kind of difficult, and it's difficult for the person there. And yet when you realise what's happening, in fact, I told Brent.. oh, he says, "I think I'm dying". And I said, "well, I think you are, too". I said, "but it's a good thing you're dying by the book. So I know what's going on". He thought that was funny. He got a smile. He died by the book. But something like that is good for people to have because when, you know, when you kind of get this idea of, okay, this is happening. And this book obviously was written by people who have seen death close up time and time again and know this process, it's a good thing, especially for people who are dying more slowly.

[00:35:56.030] - Clare Goldsberry

Obviously, people get killed instantly and accidents and so forth. But I think it's good to learn what the process is, because when you learn what the process is before you're confronted with it, it's not as fearful, because now you know, it's this process. Just like life is a process. Death is a process as well.

[00:36:16.730] - Helen Reynolds

Which comes back to the point about people die in hospitals and hospices now instead of at home. I had the privilege that when my grandmother died, we nursed her at home and she was surrounded by her children at the moment she passed, and it was in the middle of the night and I wasn't there when she passed, but I was there the evening before. And the days and weeks and so on. So you do you sort of feel and experience the dying process, and so it becomes part of life, isn't it? Yeah, but not many people experience that anymore.

[00:37:01.430] - Clare Goldsberry

And I think in a way, it kind of does a disservice to us because we don't see death for the benefits that it offers, and it also offers benefits to the loved ones who are there. But again, I think it takes knowing what's going on, if we've avoided this topic our whole lives and then all of a sudden we're confronted with death, it's like it's such a shock, and it shouldn't be because we're born. We know about death always. Oh, yeah, I know I'm going to die. People are flipant - "well you gotta die of something, I might as well die of cigarettes or whatever". And people are very flippant about it. Yeah. They know they're going to die, but do they really know in this deep realisation that I'm going to die? And there's a big difference in that something that we have to work on.

[00:38:04.250] - Helen Reynolds

And I think on the spiritual journey, it really helps to know that there is far more than the physical body that makes us us. And that part is eternal and immortal and will forever be. So then it helps us to really view the time that we've got with not a specialist. That's not the right word, but I guess there's an opportunity. And then knowing that that opportunity will end naturally at some point, it's not a total ending. Then it's more the new beginning.

[00:38:47.670] - Clare Goldsberry

That's right. It's a new beginning, really. I think it's more difficult. And I think I pointed it out in the book. I think it's more difficult for people of the Christian religion because for so many years, centuries, 2000 years, we've been taught that you're born at this moment and you die at this moment, and there's nothing in between. If you're good, you go to heaven. If you're not good, you go to hell. And so you have people like a good friend of mine who says, I don't believe in anything. When you live, you live and when you die, you're dead, and that's the end of it. And I think that it's that lack of having learned about reincarnation, having learned about what our past lives, that there has been a past life, that there will be a future life, that this body isn't all there is, that we will have a new body, we will get new opportunities, new experiences. And that the life you're living today is the groundwork for the life that has to come as our past life was the groundwork for the current life we're living. I've heard there's a Buddhist saying, if you want to know what your past life was like, look at your life now.  If you want to know what your future life will be like, look at your life now. And so that continuum keeps on going. That mental continuum, the mind and the heart Chakra that keeps on going and is never ending.

[00:40:31.530] - Helen Reynolds

Previous podcast guests, particularly Judy Carroll for the listeners who listened to the episodes, might remember. She was very specific in talking about the concept of reincarnation being removed from the Christian literature, from the Bible. And I think much has been removed that's my personal understanding. What remains, I guess what remains in the Bible keeps us really focused in this physicality of being and therefore limits us and causes suffering.

[00:41:06.970] - Clare Goldsberry

Yes. In fact, there's only one reference to reincarnation in the New Testament, and that is when the disciples were asking Jesus. Jesus actually asked his disciples, who do men say that I am? And the disciples replied, well, some say you're Elijah or Elisha or one of the prophets, which indicated that they believed that somehow Jesus was the reincarnation of a previous Prophet, an Old Testament Prophet. And not a lot of people catch that when they're studying New Testament. But that's just one indication and probably the only one that I've been able to find anyway, that indicates that there was once a belief in reincarnation.

[00:41:56.560] - Helen Reynolds

And really the crucifixion was an experience to show us that we exist beyond the physical form. That was one of the really intended messages of it. I think that there is a beingness afterwards that is quite substantial and very real.

[00:42:14.880] - Clare Goldsberry

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:42:17.730] - Helen Reynolds

We've skirted around all sorts of conversation loopholes that we didn't anticipate, which has been such a wonderful thing. Maybe we could finish with how your experience and you've really deep dived into this understanding of death in relation to life. And in the book, you talk about how you've been there for other people as they've come to that period in their life. There's a couple of anecdotes about the lady who thought that God had forgotten her because her body was no longer active, but she was very much still there, but ready to go. So you've been there for a lot of people and you address also addressing we probably won't have time to talk about it now, but just so that the listeners know, you address the topic of suicide in the book as well in a really beautiful way. I just wanted people to know that you tackled all the tricky topics.

[00:43:26.990] - Clare Goldsberry

All the tricky topics. That's exactly right. And there's so much suicide, it seems like suicides have really increased. You read studies about them. I felt like it was an important plus. It's a topic very close to me of suicides in my own family. So I think it needs to be addressed. I think the stigma of someone killing themselves needs to be removed. And I think we have a lot to learn in that respect.

[00:43:58.410] - Helen Reynolds

Oh, it's so tempting to dive into that. But we would talk for another hour. Maybe we should one day we'll see what maybe we should listen to, ask us to. It might be nice to end with how has this study that you've obviously dedicated a large number of years, too, because the book really exposes how much study and how much reading and how much contemplation you've put into this. So how has it made your life lighter? Because as we said in the beginning, to know how to die helps us know how to live. And I really felt that in your book, I felt it was a support in living well. How has it helped you live?

[00:44:50.030] - Clare Goldsberry

Well, I think it has taken a lot of the mystery and the fear out of it. I think that a lot of times people fear what they do not know. But I also believe it was also my Buddhist studies that I was into at the time. And I think it all kind of came together. And maybe intellectually I could talk about death and dying, meditate on my own death and so forth. But then when Brent got sick, it was like now I was confronted with it face to face in real time, in real life. And it was like the universe saying, now what are you going to do, Clare? You think, you know, here's the reality. It gave me a lot of understanding, and it really helped me understand why my life, why I'm here, my purpose. And it just has made life a lot lighter. And I just hope that the book helps people understand death and dying as well as living and what is life and how we create the life we have with our thoughts. So I think it's important. It's been important to me personally, and I hope it becomes important for others as well.

[00:46:22.050] - Helen Reynolds

Yeah, I definitely appreciated it. And just so listeners know, you've covered the philosophy of Eastern traditions. You've covered the religious beliefs or philosophy of Christianity. You've covered the sort of physical experience. I really loved that part of the book where you covered water leaves the body and then heat and then sight, I think then heat, then air and plus all these beautiful anecdotes that Brent left or left, I guess, to make it all so much lighter. Plus you've covered Karma and suicide. And I loved the chapter on near death experiences. That's a beautiful chapter. Anyway, oh, my gosh. We better wrap this up.

[00:47:23.050] - Clare Goldsberry

Yes, we better.

[00:47:24.910] - Helen Reynolds

So thank you for such a beautiful contribution.

[00:47:29.170] - Clare Goldsberry

Oh, thank you, Helen. I appreciate talking with you. It's been a great experience. I'm glad to share it with you and all your listeners.

[00:47:38.290] - Helen Reynolds

Well, thank you very much, Clare, for joining me on the More Love podcast. I'll have all the links to your book and to the website, your website in the show notes page for this episode, which can be found at Live True To You dot com. And it's been a really fabulous conversation that we've wound up like a fishing line. But I think we'll have to talk more again at some of the other little rabbit holes. But I hope for those listening in that's this episode has revealed more of the power truth and reality of love and given you greater confidence that your sensitivity to love is, in fact, a superpower worth loving.