Hi everyone,

If I may share a short excerpt from my book. I created a system to explain the different levels of dying we experience in our everyday lives. I've defined death as, 'the breaking down of one reality in order to make space for another'. Within this definition we are going to different levels of dying all the time. Here's the excerpt copied straight from the book:

 

The Spectrum of Dying

The Spectrum of Dying is a model that I have created to show the different levels of death we can experience. It is by no means exhaustive or definitive. It is simply there to provide a reflection, to show how death is ever present in your life. There are nine levels, in which I’ve written some notes for your understanding and contemplation. By working with the lower levels, where dying is more frequently present in life but less intense, we can prepare ourselves better for the later stages when dying becomes a major factor in our lives.

Level 0 – The death of perceived time

This is the constant dying from moment to moment. We are no longer the same person as we were in the previous moment. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.”

Level 1 – Very minor pain, irritation, movement of thoughts.

When we become aware of minor pains, our bubble of comfort may pop for a few moments. If we are aware of the movement of thoughts, we will notice how quickly our states of consciousness change.

Level 2 – Disappointment, not meeting your own or other people’s expectations, entering into conflict with others

When our expectations aren’t met, we realize that our filter of the world may not be completely accurate. We all experience the world through our own filters. Usually, people will identify with their filters and therefore seek to justify these expectations in order to protect this identity. Entering into conflict has a similar effect. We experience a kind of death when we realize that our perception of the world is only ours, and therefore may not be the ultimate truth. Again, those who feel that this threatens their identity will seek to argue their point and even try to convince others that they are right. To embrace level 2, we have to work with our judgement of how a situation should be. Being spontaneous is a powerful antidote to this.

Level 3 – Moderate injuries, moderate physical/emotional pain, temporary setbacks

This level challenges our more integrated and permanent identity (body and emotion) but only with moderate intensity and not in a permanent way. Being attentive to how you react to things is the way to work with this. Are you becoming identified?

Level 4 – Choosing to change circumstances, for example leaving a job, ending a relationship or moving home

These are larger changes to our lives, which may take us out of our comfort zone. However, they are empowered choices and therefore some perception of control over the situation may remain. Some grief may happen. It will also be likely that many aspects of level 3 will intensify. It’s important to always be aware of how you feel to be and letting action guide you from there. Feel into where life is taking you, without getting attached to particular goals or outcomes.

Level 5 – Forced change of circumstances, for example redundancy, your partner unexpectedly ending the relationship, your children moving out of the home

This can turn our whole world upside down. The perceived reality that you had become comfortable with is no longer valid. Grief will likely be quite strong but will ease over time. Work to let go of the old paradigm. Then, feel into the pure potential of void that has been created. What aspect of being wants to come out of it? There are always tremendous opportunities for expansion in such situations.

Level 6 – Permanent loss, for example the death of a close friend or relative, permanently losing function of the body or mind, being diagnosed with a terminal illness

We know that our reality, as we’ve identified with, will never be the same again. Of all the levels, grief is most intense in this one. Give yourself time and space to process the grief. Seek support from others. If possible create a network of people in similar circumstances. Balance this with plenty of time by yourself so that you can feel who you are within this new paradigm.

Level 7 – Final moments of life, leading to actual physical death as we begin to merge with Source

At this stage, people will gradually dissociate with their body and mind, which are no longer functioning well enough to be able to interact with the outer environment.

Level 8 – Actual death of the bodily vehicle.

Death of the body, emotions and mind. No matter what your beliefs of what (if anything) comes after death, this is the moment where the vehicle associated with this life is permanently let go of.

Notes on the Spectrum

Generally, the intensity of the death increases from levels 1–8, requiring more and more levels of surrender. However, as the levels get higher, they will also occur less frequently in our lives. It must also be said that the final two stages (7–8) are processes that happen organically, with no interference from fixed identities. Therefore, there is no resistance. With this in mind, it can be said that the death of our identity occurs in stages 1–6. These are the stages which require work on ourselves, in order to let go of outdated identity patterns. Grief tends to happen between levels 4–6 increasing in intensity through them.

It can also be noted that there may be a combination of levels at play. In complex experiences, such as the ending of a relationship or a car crash, different aspects of the experience will likely be experienced on different levels. Therefore, it’s helpful to recognise which aspects are on which levels, and also when an aspect changes levels as can also happen. Applying this means we can see what we need to give priority to when moving on, how to work with it, and the progress we make in healing.

Level 0 (which I call the “Ace”) is separate as it doesn’t fit in with the general trend of the levels increasing in intensity but happening to us less often. Yes, it happens the most often (each and every moment in fact). However, it is also the hardest to master. It requires a complete letting go of any identity. Unlike levels 7– 8 where letting go of identity also happens, level 0 requires us to face all of our pain and darkness head on. It requires a baptism of fire. We need to liberate ourselves from all of our attachments and fears until we come to a stage where we are only coming from the place of purity where our essence resides (this will be fully explained in later chapters). Only then is level 0 possible.

This Spectrum of Dying provides a model to work with. It is only by working with this concept of death (i.e. letting go of identities and embracing the emptiness beyond it) that we are able to truly live in the moment. Only by confronting our death, is spontaneity really possible. By embracing the death of all that is not truly who we are, we open ourselves up to the full majesty, beauty and magic of life.

In order to work through these levels of dying, it’s foremost important to work with our fear of death. In my observation, fear of death manifests in our daily living in two ways:

  1. Fear of loss
  2. Fear of the unknown