Fighting the Darkness: Fear of Death
As I noted and explained in my original “Fighting the Darkness” post, this whole ordeal has put my faith into a terrible period of testing and doubt.
I had seen so many signs that God wanted me to be friends with Richard, that God had brought us together so Richard could lead me into Orthodoxy and I could help his family.
But as I’ve already noted, I discovered that apparently God had brought me into friendship with a dangerous, violent narcissist and his malignant narcissist/borderline personality disordered wife.
I start thinking, “What if it’s all a lie and all religion is false and everyone who dies goes into nothingness, goes into darkness, vanishes forever?” I don’t want to vanish forever. I want my consciousness to live on.
Atheists don’t seem to realize that their message of “no Hell, no Heaven, this is all we get” is not the message of happiness and freedom they think it is. They don’t seem to understand why more people don’t pound down their door wanting this.
Even John Lennon didn’t get it, writing those lines in “Imagine”–imagine there’s no Heaven above us, no Hell below us–as if it would somehow free the human race from its woes.
On the contrary, such a message brings horror and fear of death to most. We want to leave this place and go to a better one, with no sickness or woe, where justice is meted out for the people who hurt others without regret and without punishment.
Where a poor little child whose last moments were of terror, molestation and murder, finds herself in a land of bliss, warmth, love and comfort.
Where we will once again see the smile of that long-lost mother, son, husband, friend, and not have them lost to us forever.
I want to live; I want to see what happens after I leave this earth. I don’t want to lose myself forever. I don’t want my consciousness to vanish into nothingness. I don’t want to fall asleep and never wake up, in a place where even dreams cease.
I don’t want my dreams and the stories I played out in my childhood, to be lost forever.
This morning I had another dream of death, of terror at the thought of going into darkness forever. I have these now and then. One vivid dream took place at a cemetery during a funeral.
I am comforted by the teaching of classical churches that this is not a sin, that it doesn’t mean I lose my salvation, that it’s not even a sign of weakness.
On the contrary, I was told it’s a sign of a mature faith, as long as you keep in the church, keep doing the things you’re supposed to do.
Mother Theresa went through this for most of her life, as has been documented. Other saints of the church have, as well.
I was even told that many priests have moments of wondering as they go through the service, “Is this all for nothing?” In fact, it has a name: The Long Dark Night of the Soul.
But there are churches which would drive you further into spiritual despair by telling you that you’re gravely sinning by questioning, by doubting. It’s yet another reason to run from those churches and into the arms of Orthodoxy.