Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Glamour of Death


Death is like the moment before you were born.
Since we are still alive, talking about death always comes from a biased point of view. That's one of the greatest mysteries. We really like talking about things we don't have any experience at all. Like death. We can only make unending one-sided assumptions about it. But since we can agree that death is the ceasing of the moment and never to come back again we can manage to have the joy of discussing it in this term.

"I am afraid to die" is an honest statement; it is as noble as it could be if spoken with utmost reverence to the truth of this ultimate end-game.

Death is humbling. Death is always lurking. It comes always on a single blow and everything disappears. Death comes without convincing. Death arrives in the helpless face of withdrawal. Death takes everyone without warning.

This is the truth: that all that has ever lived has died and all that's living will going to die. Yes, we don't hear a lot of people talking about it like when they do talking about that disgusting neighbor of them. Nor we hear people taking this subject as a worthy pass-time as opposed to lively chat taking place in a night over a flood of wine. Oh, that dress is awesome. The gourmet tastes so good. And during these moments, when mind indulges so much of what it has been desiring for, the moment of ecstatic living runs in the veins like a fire that never runs out of good flame. But soon the flame dies. And when it does, the mind runs to every place and to every corner to look for the burning flame of living again and again all the while refusing to carry all along what lies beneath.

Or maybe, Death is extremely serious stuff you don't talk about in a party. In fact, this is the exact reason why people avoided engaging about it. Or at least subconsciously they do avoid to deal with it. The fact is enormously compelling that death itself is overwhelmingly convincing the mind to reject it outright most of the time.

There is something beyond death (or at least it is imagined to be so). But what's beyond is a complete mystery; a bizarrely unknown realm the mind can't comprehend. And that is why humans are afraid of death. There might be a blood-sucking monster out there. Or a fiery place of unending flesh grilling or a whole new world made-up of oven and toaster.

It happens that society is aimed at cultivating a culture, a mentality, trying to avoid death. Living as long as anyone can is the norm. And the norm is so naturally so for almost everyone that bringing out the topic of death comes like a rain in the Sahara Desert. Vanity, power, money or social status is what occupies human mind most of the time. The cultivation is veered towards keeping and seeking what is taught and thought to be important.

Of course everything comes to end. All end in the box with feet leveled for those who are quite lucky. But understanding that Death is not as horribly murky as it is registered in the mind is a good start. It is the better-half of Living. This is a critical acceptance. Well-being starts here. Can never start anywhere else. The late British Philosopher Allan Watts famously said that death is like a manure. As a manure fertilizes plants, the contemplation on death brings a fruitful  living.

We struggle to keep everything intact. We go out to our daily lives always looking for something to complete our senses. We look for everything except death (naturally it is so). But this is the paradox we refuse to accept. That no matter what, at the end of the day, the most we could end up to is the thing we always run away from. However, either we refuse or not, doesn't really matter. It will not change the end-game.

Oh boy, when the sun set down...a whole new life begins. Death is like the moment before you were born.