The ultimate robbery?

sheffield chesterfield hare 590It was going to be one of those conversations…

“… So what do you think happens then?”

“Nothing… non-existence.”

“So what is there to fear in that?”

“Well, I’ll stop existing!” he said, as if that should explain it.

“But if you don’t exist… you won’t exist to know about it. So why be afraid?” I watched the wheels turn, yet even in acceptance of the logic, there was a kickback of ‘yeah, but’. Myself, I am convinced of the survival of the spark of being… not necessarily the ‘me’ I know… perhaps more of ‘me’ than I know, yet not the ‘me’ who walks through life daily and looks out through brown eyes. Not the personality.

I have the best of both worlds, so to speak. If I am right, then there cannot be a reason to fear. If I am wrong, ‘I’ won’t exist to know about it… so there can be no reason to fear.

Dying, that’s a different kettle of fish altogether. Like most people, I worry about the manner in which the Reaper comes calling, even though, when he does, whatever means he imposes will,by definition, be finite.

In an ideal world I would die like my great-grandmother… in her own bed, surrounded by her family and fully aware of what was happening and how. But the world seldom delivers ideal situations and like most people the manner of transit sort of matters. Death itself, though, holds no terror…. no more than birth and just as inevitable, once the process of life incarnate has begun.

“It is dissolution you are afraid of?”

“Yep.” Now, you see, for me there is a subsuming into something greater than our individuality, a loss of the personal self, perhaps, but that personality is only a fragmentary reflection of what we are.

“Ego death.” My interlocutor bristled at that… the connotation of the word ‘ego’ raises spectres of selfishness, yet it should only raise the idea of self centred being. No, he wasn’t going to like that either. Let’s say, ‘a being who looks out at the world from its own central point of focus’ then.

He growled a disclaimer. Dissolution. The loss of who we see ourselves as being now… the only aspect of self we really feel we know. This is what most of us fear when we think of death rather than dying… and probably why we avoid the issue so much in our modern, egocentric society. We view death almost as the ultimate robbery, a violation of who we are.

It wasn’t always thus; once the dead were honoured and their transition seen as just another rite of passage. The bones of the ancestors were kept and venerated, the presence of their spirit welcomed at the hearth; their wisdom, gleaned over a lifetime and beyond, revered.

It is hard to get our heads around the concept of our own ‘not being’; the dissolution of our personality is quite literally unthinkable… how to imagine a state where thought, emotion… we…are not? There are many who attribute the belief in some kind of survival after death as simply a fear-reaction to that unimaginable oblivion. Yet for many of us there is a simple, inner certainty that there is more to it than that.

Yet does it truly matter? Whatever we believe… unless we believe in all the tortures of the various hells… there should be no need to fear. And regardless of what lies beyond the gates of life, we still have to live each day in the world as best we can. Perhaps it doesn’t matter what we will meet then, so much as it matters whether we have lived our lives as if they matter… because every single life does; in our uniqueness we shape the face of the world with every breath and we owe it to ourselves and to each other to make each breath count.

24 thoughts on “The ultimate robbery?

  1. A persons viewpoint of this subject depends on how old they are, I think. Young people will regard it differently to a far older person.
    Personally, as someone who constantly strives to find peace in this world, I hope to find the ultimate peace when I run out of time…

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  2. In the lottery of life, I see must with very short expiring periods… Death leaving them to become dark matter drift in the emptiness, while others live a little longer… There are very few whom, are doing their damnedest to bring the human-race back in line within the tick of time, as we move throughout the harsh cold darkness of space…

    Please rethink your religion?

    Are rock, this planet at the moment is the only place we can call home… Please open your eyes and mind….

    🌎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Chris, This is not really a religion at all. And we are not here to convince others that any single way is the ONLY way or the RIGHT way. The world is full of possibilities for all of us and each of us. What would it mean to you to bring the human race back in line with the tick of time? There are all sorts of possibilities for us all and I don’t think any of us know fully at this point which ones will work and which ones will not work, but it is definitely something to think about. Thank you kindly.

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      1. I think we are here to experience fully all realms of life and perhaps even things like playing Solitaire on the computer offers something nourishing for the mind. Sometimes I look back on life over the centuries I have now lived, and things I thought were wasted turned out to be very educational and valuable lessons much later in life. That is the thing about thinking about things and feeling we are wasting our time. Things may not come to pass when and as we think they should, but something eventually comes from every thought, every action we take, even if it is much, much later. Just living and accepting life as a great experiment that has been placed in front of us is good enough for me. Whether we believe it was a success or not, we have learned something we perhaps did not know before, whether it is what we consider good, bad, or just plain ugly. It still goes into our memory bank, and eventually we may draw on it for some useful purpose. I don’t think thought is wasted ever.

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          1. This is so true. It is a miracle every moment we live. I often tell people when they ask me if I am having a good day, “If you wake up in the morning, and you know who you are and where you are, and then you can get yourself up out of bed, it is indeed a wonderful day. Even if you can’t get up and move about, if you still have your faculties, there are miracles awaiting you. I often think of my paraplegic friend, Barbara, who was shot point blank some 30+ years ago, suffered breast cancer, is blind in one eye and has had more than 40+ surgeries since that first injury, and has many other physical challenges she deals with every single day and how she gets herself up and going and is a great artist and now working on her own how-to book about an aspect of art quilts. She and her caregiver lost everything in the Northern California Paradise fire that burned up the whole town, and she has had to go through loops to finally get a home (the fire took place Nov. 8), this past week. But she never let go of her dreams and goals, and every day she is alive is a wonderful miracle. It is good that I have so many friends with physical, mental and emotional challenges who are so creative and excited about living fully from moment to moment. It is something to guide my own life every single day. Thank you kindly.

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  3. I liked this, Sue. Very interesting, indeed. You idea that modern people see death as the ultimate violation is true and it probably stems from the fact that death is not common in our lives any more. Many people live well into their 80s and even 90s now. Children don’t die any more because of modern medicine. Death is alien to modern people whereas it was a normal part of live before antibiotics.

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