Warning! For various reasons the following will probably upset you in one way or another, so continue to read at your own risk.
My foray into the Powers of Time has led my mind committee back to an ever favorite topic of debate:
How pervasive is the Fear of Death?
Now, for better or worse, I was raised in and currently inhabit a society where the majority of folks believe in some kind of continuation of the individual “spark” that makes them, well, Them. This ‘spark’ is referred to as Consciousness, Soul, Spirit, Divine Individuation, Energy… the list is long.
Although folks may disagree on how many trips we get in a mortal body, where exactly our spark starts and ends, what a spark must do in order to move through various levels of existence and how many actual levels of existence there are… for the most part, I’m surrounded by people who believe our ‘spark’ is immortal.
This is a very broad overview of the variety of beliefs that tout,
“Death is only the beginning”
In a somewhat contradictory fashion, however, the society I live in is fully focused on Life being the preferred level.
I’m bombarded daily with options to keep me young and sexy. The medical community pursues keeping the body alive long after the ‘spark’ has sputtered out.
I cannot legally commit suicide or help another to do so.
I’m encouraged to eat right, exercise and contribute to society as part of my patriotic duties, but no one is allowed to off me should I become a drain on the system or so messed up I can’t function without daily professional or medicinal intervention.
Pleas for the government to ensure safety from food poisoning, terrorists and economic collapse tell me that we all have a great investment in Life and just as surely, want to avoid Death for as long as possible.
I embarrassed some in my circle during a Christmas get together a few years ago, when I asked the local minister if folks believe in Heaven then why are they afraid to die?
He answered it was because of fear of the unknown.
But, I countered, it’s not unknown. We’ve been told for millenia how wonderful Heaven is. We’ve been given the rule book on how to get there.
Even non-christian beliefs often contain some kind of far off utopia which can only be reached once the physical body is done.
If we have faith in any of those versions, then how can we be fearful of dying?
He did offer to meet me for tea later to discuss in length. The hostess of the party quickly saved everyone from my non-pc musings by distracting them with food and punch.
The loss of my oldest son to bacterial meningitis has resulted in me looking at death very differently. Even what prior bouts of massive pain could not induce me to contemplate, immense grief has driven me too.
I have, on occasion the past two years, asked the Universe if I could please be done.
This is not due to any great faith that ‘being done’ will result in seeing Morgan again. It’s also not done with any great optimism that my pleas will be answered….
It’s simply because sometimes, even nothingness seems like a better option than current pain levels.
I’m not discounting the sanctity of Life. There are many pleasures I’ve received simply because I woke up and decided to breathe for just one more day.
I’m constantly inspired by the beauty of the human spirit in face of incredible odds and woes. I delight in the beauty of Mother Nature. And yes, there are often moments where I wonder how anything can be more perfect than Now.
One of my favorite authors wrote that at one dark period in his life, he drove out to the middle of nowhere and attempted to feed a hose from his car exhaust into the car…where he was sitting….with the windows rolled up….
Seems the hot exhaust kept melting the tape and the hose wouldn’t stay connected.
To dumb to live, to incompetent to die.
Sometimes I can empathize with his trials….
So I drift along, constantly changing my ‘order’ to the Universal Wish Fulfillment Center. It often goes something like this:
Long day of overdoing results in physical discomfort.
Physical discomfort leads to other pains, previously suppressed, but now yelling for attention.
I despair that life will every be perfect again.
I ask to please be done. I go to sleep chanting my ‘done, done, done’ mantra.
I awake to find I’m alive, for one more day.
Great! Okay, so what will I do today to keep myself entertained, not burn too many bridges and make some choices that have foundations in the possibility of a tomorrow, cuz, hey, history shows me there’s a very good chance I’m going to wake up tomorrow too.
I thank the Universe for the beauty and splendor around me. I appreciate the sparks that inhabit my life. I try to make the most of everything.
And I make plans and pursue pleasures like I’m never going to die…
If it’s true that our reality is created by our thought processes then I’m sure whoever is In Charge has placed all my orders on hold, stamped with a big Red
“Changes Order Constantly. To save on shipping and return costs, delay order fulfillment, indefinitely.”
Ah well, at least I’m safe from myself.