5 Kleshas – 5. Abinivesha – Fear of Loss, Change and Death

The last of the Kleshas is Abinivesha, the fear of loss, change and death. The fear of change and death is a suffering deep within our instinctual subconscious, Fear is hardwired for self-preservation, reacting to avoid changing circumstances, being out of control, loosing something we are attached to and staying in denial of our unavoidable end at all cost. This deep-seated involvement with duality is imbedded within all of us, whether you are wise or naive. Step up to the cliff edge and we all will react the same to a gust of wind as we flinch, run away and avoid falling to our death. It is natural to want to stay alive, it is a part of the autonomic nervous system to notify us of any change or of harm that might occur. 

It is said that suffering arise when we live in ignorance of the only truth we know of, which is, to live is to die. Everything has a beginning, middle and end. This is the truth of impermanence. We will all be affected by it inevitably. So what is so bad with the concept of death, when it is a fact of life? Well…it’s the Ego that gets in our own way. Why would the ego want to be evicted from this home? Where it has a mind, opinions, beliefs, views, things to play with, a personality, family and friends, adoration and not to mention students and social media followers! As long as we are ignorant (Avidya) of the impermanence of things, there will be an ego (Asmita) which is fuelled by attachment (Raga) and aversion (Dvesa) this will perpetuate the fear of changing anything in our lives, loosing what we have and of dying. 

Yoga asks of us to explore not just who we think we are but to experience what we are. Yoga suggests what we truly are is SAT CIT ANANDA, joyful existence of consciousness having a human experience that is you and the same consciousness is having the experience of me. Science proves we are a part of everything and everything is a part of us. It is just our egotism that keeps us separate and invested in the story of ME, MINE and I. ‘I think therefore I am’ ‘I feel therefore I am’ ‘I do therefore I am.’ Are you your thoughts? Feelings? Actions? Or are you consciousness witnessing of having them? Without your them, your memories, life experiences, who are you? Who are you when you are not trying to be somebody? 

Yoga encourages you not to have blind faith, but experienced wisdom. That we awaken to what we truly are, what we have always been and will always be, that joyful existence of pure consciousness. We forget what we are and reduce ourselves to who we think we are. So contemplative practices that wake us up to experience not just what we are but to explore the inevitable transition into the next experience of what is after this. This is an interesting process to ponder.

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Published on August 7, 2023