Sunday, July 22, 2012

Commentary: Why thoughts of death may be good for you

- by Nelson Abreu

In a study published online April 5, 2012, in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review, American and Dutch researchers posit that the conscious awareness of death can have positive effects.

This blog has discussed another study related to terror management theory, and how fear of death can lead to vulnerability to spurious influence by political, religious, marketing or other forces.  However, the team led by Kenneth Vail of the University of Missouri, Columbia suggests that there can be positive effects as well.

A more conscious awareness of death may lead to better care of their physical health, prioritization, financial planning – how many people avoid writing a will for fear of confronting the idea of death and leave their survivors in a bind after their death?  Unconscious awareness can, in many cases, lead to better behavior, relationships, community involvement, and richer lives.

Confronting the inevitability of death has motivated humans throughout the ages to seek meaning for life.  They may turn to beliefs or causes that give them a sense of purpose, of significance, and of identity and connection.

IAC is among the world’s foremost experts on the so-called “after life” and the Theta Phenomenon – the survival of consciousness after biological death. IAC scholars posit that experiences like the conscious projection (out-of-body experience) foster a conscious awareness of death while largely overcoming the fear of death – which abounds even among those who believe in an afterlife.  Overcoming this fear, which is the cause of several deleterious effects to one’s life, is not only liberating but also fosters the aforementioned quest for meaning, albeit with a more cosmic perspective.  

Nelson Abreu, B.S. Electrical Engineering, is a volunteer at International Academy of Consciousness - California Educational Center 

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