Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Ruminations on Death

William Shatner puts it plain and simple on his “Has Been” CD released last year: “Live life, like you’re gonna die… because you’re gonna”. Death is an interesting topic on so many levels. Let’s face it, aside from birth (and arguably taxes), death is the only certainty in life. In spite of that, in Western society, we haven’t really come to grips with this notion.

Is death the end? In many religions, they’ll tell you “no” and speak of reincarnations and afterlife’s. Religion aside, I think that the balance of life and death can be clearly portrayed in terms of energy – and before you roll your eyes and think that I am getting all New Agey on you here, I am speaking of scientific energy here!

Brain activity is the result of electronic synapses. That electricity is due largely in part to the body utilising energy through nutrition and interaction with atmospheric elements. Energy exists in all things at certain levels, though often dependent on a reaction with something to cause an effect. We store energy in our muscles and we gain energy from nourishing ourselves. So, overall, imagine energy as an ocean. The ocean is broken down into little droplets of water (which is actually H20 if you want to go to the basics of each water particle – just work with the metaphor here…). These droplets combine to create anything ranging from clouds to fog to ripples to waves to steam, etc. Each creation has its moment, builds and falls, resuming to the source (ocean) and then becoming something else.

Now transfer this to one’s self. Our bodies are considerably different when comparing the 7 lb newborn to the 200 lb 30 year old to the 175 lb old man. Our body is in a constant state of life and death as cells are created and die – hair grows, nails are trimmed, teeth fall out, etc. What remains constant is the conscious mind and our memory in the minds of others. We defecate, a product of our nourishment and spending of that nutritious energy, other animals assist in the process of decay whether we’re talking flaked skin cells or eating peanuts from our poop, thus gaining and expending energy from these sources, continuing the cycle. When we finally do the “big death”, our bodies are returned to the earth and that energy is not lost, but rather broken down and re-dispersed.

So why do we fear death as it is a natural part of who and what we are? I think, in becoming abstract thinking conscious beings, that we have fallen victim to a distorted perspective that rationalises mortality. Certainly animals in the wild know fear and can sense immediate dangers. I believe that their awareness is, for example: deer smells hunter – thinks: “this bad” and goes into flight mode. Bambi doesn’t sit there and rationalise why the hunter wants to shoot him/her, feel victim or try to talk his/her way out by suggesting the Hunter check out the meat section at his local Safeway. In fact, I don’t think any critter ruminates about being dead, but, more so, the fear of the act of dying. I must concur. I honestly can say that I am totally okay with being dead. It’s the journey from where I am at to the end (point of being dead) that I fear, like being tortured by inmates in the prison where I work.

I am not trying to belittle mourning here, I must point out. Death is certainly hardest on those who are left behind in the conscious state of living. This mourning is more or less a more permanent incantation of when you met the girl of your dreams when you were 10 years old on summer vacation, never to see her again. But, and here’s where I get Buddhist/New Age on y’all, if you could just open that third eye, in spite of the sorrow, you can see that person as they are, as stated earlier, a part of that massive metaphorical ocean of which we will also (and have been all along) giving to and taking from.

To close with the words of Phillip Massinger: “Death has a thousand doors to let out life/ I shall find one”, or, better yet – “Live life like you’re gonna die – cos you’re gonna…”


  • At 7:47 a.m. , Blogger auntiegrav said...

    William Shatner? Geez, you guys up nort' need to get some entertainment, eh?
    From a physics/practicality sense, I'll get a little New-agey here. If our synapses are actually firing in the (so we were told)'nonexistent' aether background, and when we die, we somehow find the proper ritual which allows us to transfer our pattern coherently into the Field, there is one thing that bothers me: ANYONE could learn how to do it. Religions tend to focus on 'living the good life', etc., and 'getting into heaven'. What they really are doing is telling you that once you get done putting up with abuse here on Earth, the magic SkyBuddy will filter out the Bad People and let you into the club.
    BUT.. if ANYONE can figure out the process, then the most important teaching of religion becomes "Learn to Get Along With Everybody Here", because you won't be able to avoid the jerks once you die.
    Add this to arguments against the electric chair. Why should we send off the jerks with an energetic head start on us?

  • At 6:42 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    Hey, my first girlfriend's dad went to McGill University with Billy Shatner!

    I think the afterlife concept is, to put it bluntly, a dream. Good and evil are human categories. Really, what does anything matter? If an asteroid were to decimate our planet, causing it to be nothing but space dust, what really matters in regards to what preceeds this event? I think that we have invented these categories in an attempt to live harmoniuosly and to, perhaps, justify some of life's suffering. It's life following a strict physical fitness regime: it allows you to perform at a better level while in this present incantation, but, in the end, we are still fertelizer and nourishment for the maggots. This sounds negative, but only if we decide to perceive it as such. Is to say we will all die to be pessimistic? No. It is a statement of fact.

    ... and the electric chair isn't very energy efficent - I think beheading is the environmentally friendly way to go in regards to capital punishment...

  • At 2:21 a.m. , Blogger firedawg said...

    You get pie in the sky when you die.

  • At 9:46 a.m. , Blogger auntiegrav said...

    Beheading: hmmm. Somewhat efficient with chickens, but does two things at once. (bleeding and killing). I think the best I've seen was the Ice Floe ritual: freezing simply puts them to sleep. It just takes a little while. In a cold ocean, about 10 minutes.
    Have you read Neal Stephenson's "Snowcrash"?
    Another book that works well in audio version. Also, Walter Mosely's "Futureworld". Not pretty versions of where we're going when we think about our children, but I found them both enlightening.
    Maybe we are already in the afterlife.
    I have a theory that the crop circles showing up around the world (not the hoax ones) are being produced by the souls of the protohumans that were frozen in the glaciers (their souls were trapped in the ice matrix) when the last Ice Age started. Global warming trends release them.

  • At 6:00 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    ...What kind of pie????

    Think about beheading - you can do it anywhere and it's totally organic - no lead, no nasty chemicals, no waste of electricity.... The iceflow is a seasonal punishment.

  • At 11:45 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Tired of livin', but scared o' dyin'", I saw 25 years ago that there is no end in sight. The absence of being would erase that which knows itself and all the "good" or "evil" it (or I) had done. This would be really unfair, putting the child-molester on equal terms with the loving parents of five of their own children who adopt five more and raise 10 happy people. The mathematical probability that my life on this side will not equal "Nothing" on the other supports my hope, that an insight which reveals love outweighs a natural dread of unknown things. This cockroach goes back in the walls of the prison tomorrow with five hours sleep and much Horton's coffee, to reach a Nirvana that Einstein could never have wanted to bother to chase with Salvador Dali's butterfly net made of peach juice. nodroggout and happy to the Max.


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