The Psycho- spiritual Stages of Dying
Every transformation has almost the same elements:
Chaos, Surrender, and Transcendence.
Chaos involves the turbulence we experience in our psyche as we try to come to terms with inevitable death.
Surrender is a turning point — letting go of the controlling fearful grasp on the known and an entrance into Transcendence.
Whether weeks or days, hours, or even in the last moments before death, in the Nearing Death Experience our awareness moves into the grace of dissolving into the ocean of consciousness.
Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in the 1960s listened to what dying people had to say about their experiences. From that perspective, we can take a closer look at some of the deeper and more inner passages people travel as they journey toward death.
Almost everyone is familiar with the Kubler-Ross stages of dying:
denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
These stages are basically psychological. They deal with the content of the mind, with human thoughts and feelings that relate to death, especially our own individual death.
But the changes we see occurring in people in the Nearing Death Experience transcend the psychological. They appear to be real psycho-spiritual transformations.
When it is our time to die, dying typically finds us lost in our separate, fearful personal sense of self.
In some sense, it can be understood that the difference between the psychological and the spiritual stages of the dying process is this:
The spiritual aspects relate not only to the contents of awareness but to the space, the very awareness itself, in which these contents are unfolding. Imagine a cloud suddenly identifying itself as sky.