On some basic level, all humans experience such fear. It may be something simple (as a phobia) to more intricate, AND potentially dangerous concepts involving Religion, Faith, and “Morals”. But the Mother of ALL fears, the most Popular by default has got to be Death. WHY? Shall we take a moment to explore? We shall.
I must say that I agree with a few points made in the original posting “Death”. The first being that the idea of death is influenced by Religion (no matter how indirect or minute that influence might be … it exists). YES! Viewed from one side … Absolutely. Is the viewpoint skewed? Most definitely.
Now, allow me to digress momentarily.
People that sit around and indulge Boredom should more closely examine their existence. Seriously. And perpetual unhappiness is just … well, Sad.
But first things first. A majority of people were brought into this world and molded with principles which preach that there’s a Vengeful father figure that wags his finger and threatens his children with hellfire and eternal damnation for an offense committed against his Dogma. From a young age, children are held captive by fables, stories, and such that speak of the Bad things that befall children who don’t behave. There are two Opposing forces that dwell at opposing poles, one within the earth and one above. And both Forces are ALWAYS watching. Vying for one’s soul. From the outset, Fear works wonders …
As a kid, I had enough difficulty staying one step ahead of my fear of the Boogie Man … let alone a Winged Satan or a Omnipotent Yahweh. Essentially, I had two Immense fears growing up. The first: Losing my parents (death) and Second: snakes. Not sure how it is my mind settled on such a combination, but as I grew older I was awed by the Irony. The whole Snake temptation … ending any chance of immortality … blah, blah, blah. Y’know, the Sunday School stuff.
Despite my own fears, it became obvious to me that what people learn in their early years makes a profound impact, no matter how intentional or Unintentional. Profound … I know. More like, Duh! Anyway, Point Being, Anything out of the ordinary, distant from that which creates Cradling Boredom is something to fear … in the minds of Most.
Comfort of the familiar is what lulls us to slumber so peacefully. Familiar makes Adventure … Learning … and Alien assume the likeness of Uncertainty … Discomfort … Unnecessary. After all, if we are making it fine without It, why change? Takes much less effort to withdraw into our cavernous existences and look with wide, naive eyes at that which makes us tremble … from a safe distance. Religion has so molded our “existence” that it has made questioning … reasoning … rationalizing Unnecessary. The Playbook is written … the script well practiced … Bullshit.
So back to Death. Such an Eccentric ol’ Chap. Really. He gets such a bad wrap. And, yet, he is so good natured. Despite the imposition he seems to inflict, few understand his job. Religion has so ingrained fear into the hearts and minds of the masses via:
1. Commandments: Do as you are told. Do as I say, Not as I do. Don’t screw up. Your Soul … The Souls of your children depend on your good deeds! Screw around, screw others, but By Goodness, you’d best get your butt in the pew on Sunday and ask for forgiveness … Otherwise … well, enough threats … For now. Do not fail when you are tested … if you have to drag them kicking and screaming to the alter … then, do it … Oooops! Just kidding. Just wanted to see if you would. You did. You had better laugh, I made a joke!
2. Guilt: Mess up too bad here (Earth) and your chances for the Afterlife are yanked. [Enter Stage Right: Notions of Reincarnation, Eternal Damnation, Redemption, Eviction, Limbo and Prayer … Always have a Plan B.]
3. Temptation: Reject All Human notions, instincts, inclinations, and “Human-ness”. It is bad for you … bad for your soul … If you Give In, you are a SINNER. You are no longer of the Chosen. How many Hail Mary-s shall be uttered to forgive this week’s Bad Behaviors???? Thou shalt spit the apple out!
4. Punishment: Refer to #s 1-3.
5. Live not for Thy time on this Sinful planet … Live for the Next World. Save … Hoard Thy heavenly treasures … You’ll need them for the Afterlife. That’s right Boys and Girls, try not to get too attached to this Precious Gift of Life, here …. This is merely the thoroughfare that we travel to get to the Real Destination. YeeeHaw! Wait! … what do you mean there are multiple paths to the Promised Land? Huh?
6. My God vs. Your God: The age old notion that one’s religion is better than his neighbor’s. Damn. Every WAR has been fought over some Belief, Ideal, Notion, Image, Religion, Practice, Etc … and, yet, No One seems to get it. How many have died? No lessons learned from Inquisition, Crusades, the Burning Times, etc … Humans still suffer from complexes that impair their ability to rationalize, reason, and THINK.
… that they do not take time to consider the Big Picture.
Alright, enough with the rant.
DEATH is molded by the twisted notion …
ahem, DEATH is Influenced by the inane ideal …
ahem, [try this again] DEATH is tarnished by the f&*^ked up notion that This Life is something to fear … and Somehow, the final act … er, transition, suffers the brunt of Ignorance wielded by an Unassuming, Naive crowd.
Too busy Fearing for their Sins here on the Mortal Plane that they are completely caught up. Their brains are not Washed, but Dry Cleaned, Shrunken, and Bleached to the point of believing transition, no matter how mundane it may seem and regardless of the theatre in which it takes place, is something at which to tremble.
Why not explore another notion? What about Energy? Energy doesn’t simply Disappear … it just changes shape … dissipates and manifests in other ways. Requires one to Think. OUCH! Maybe. So, Instead of FEARING the Ol’ Chap in Black, why not explore other explanations? What about the Paranormal? (Boooga booooga) Well, it may not be something to Erect Altars to or pursue as a career, but it is a nifty notion that may provide some comfort and alleviate the stifling fear. Oh, wait. Can’t do that. Why? It violates the whole …. Religion thingie. Doesn’t it? Aren’t those things supposed to be BAD???? No such thing as Ghosties. No other Dimensions. Can’t be. Guy with Fancy Robe and little Black Book says those things are Evil … of the Devil … AAARGH! And More Fear is Spread. Like the f*&%Kin’ Plague!
It all comes down to Control. You lose control, you don’t have the Masses hanging on your every action, word, glance, finger wag, plate-passing collection ritual, blah, blah, blah. Embracing one’s fears, Accepting one’s fears is Empowering. Liberating.
And out there … when you become Emancipated from the ever watchful eye of Dogmatic Faith … the guy in the fancy-dancy robe … you become something to BE feared. No longer huddled with the submissive masses, taking control of your life, destiny, soul is very Frightening. People cannot handle that kind of power … liberation. (What was it one once said about Power, Corruption, and Absolute Power????) It is easier to hand over the reigns, allow the Chosen to drive, and pray your soul gets There on time.
It goes against all they have been taught. It goes against the Authority Figure (AKA the Church). And it goes against all they have embraced. The explanations of things … the belief system on which their dreams are forged would crumble. Cannot have that. There must be someone else there to feed them. Having never learned how to hold a spoon makes feeding oneself a bit difficult … and messy … For a time, Eventually they get the knack of it and do just fine. Kind of like Puberty. A bit awkward … for a while. Then, POW! you grow UP.
This isn’t to advocate turning one’s back on Faith. Faith is beautiful. Faith is powerful. But use one’s power for Good not Evil … and Certainly NOT Fear.
Nor do any of my Ravings qualify to ease the suffering we feel during our times of mourning when we’ve experienced the death of a loved one. Or even not-so-loved one. Hell, I have mourned and cried for people I have never even met. But that is beside the point. YES, we feel pain, we grieve, we are at a complete loss … for a while. But we all find our way through the darkness. Call it Faith, Strength, whatever. We make it through.
Humans, well … MOST humans are unable to overcome their Fear of DEATH b/c they do not understand the purpose. The reason we are here. I do not claim to know the meaning of life. I figure once you figure that out you get Promoted before being able to spread the Wealth … I mean, Knowledge.
Individuals who realize the bigger picture … embrace the notion of learning all they can while on this ride scoff at the notion of taking an early exit … of shuffling loose the mortal coil at the tender age of 25 or 30. You stop learning, you stop living. But why stop if it is what you were put here to do? I don’t understand someone saying why go beyond that point when all that is left is abject discomfort, disappointment and unhappiness.
You can’t look at life through cracked glass. C’mon! Why assign value to experiences … especially when one’s remembrance of such times may alter with time? What happened to that sense of Awe and Amusement one feels when they’re young? It doesn’t die. It is allowed to slip from one’s grasp.
People become so Overwhelmed, so Consumed, so Jaded by the hustle and bustle of life, the bad behaviors of others, etc… that they lose sight of LIFE. Good times DO NOT outweigh the Bad. It is the pleasant times we embrace and name Good. Soon as you name something you become attached to it. Period. Regardless of Good or Bad, each experience possesses BOTH aspects. Look closely.
Every moment offers some lesson. For example:
Don’t stick a fork in an outlet.
Always hug the one’s you love before parting.
Don’t go to bed laughing … you’ll pee the bed.
Don’t superglue your teeth together … it’s a bitch to get them apart again.
Never flush a condom down the toilet.
Don’t add powdered Mr. Bubbles to a Hot Tub.
Never flush a tampon down the toilet.
When relieving yourself in the woods, pay close attention to spot you are marking.
There is a reason (IE: a Someone) why warning labels are placed on the most mundane items, like curling irons and bubblewrap.
Live each moment as if it were your last.
If it itches, it isn’t always safe to scratch.
You don’t have to lie with dogs to get fleas … just frequent the same kennels.
We shouldn’t be Drones. It’s a waste of energy. Waste of time.
We aren’t meant to look on our time here as some sort of drudgery accentuated by momentary experiences of bliss, happiness, and ecstasy.
Yes, Most DO “appreciate the comforts of everyday routine or the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition”. It is security … Necessity. I know this b/c I do it too. HOWEVER, There is no relief. Relief would imply that people Know what is out there … that they willingly relinquish responsibility to having to Deal with what is out there. I’m not sure that they would if given the Informed Choice free of Dogmatic Guilt and Pressure. It’s amazing how much a Communion Wafer may weigh when it is placed to Silence the tongue of one who has Much Truth to speak but is unable b/c of Pressure and Fear.
For most people, the Bad (booga booga) things that happen, the little Glitches in the system are merely Incidents … Tests … Quizes … something to test their Faith. Yes, it does become overwhelming when it seems a dark cloud is always hovering … but that is when you need to get innovative … get creative. Do something Daring like ask “Why?”, Mean it, and then make an effort to find a Real Answer and not some con-job like:
“The Devil made it happen … ”
“I didn’t give enough to the collection plate …”
“If only I hadn’t visited that graveyard on the full Moon …”
“I knew I shouldn’t have walked under that ladder when the Black cat walked in front of me in order to block the sidewalk where the broken mirror lay as it reflected the image of the Black Hooded Ol’ Chap with the Scythe.”
Hell, Maybe I am WAY off base with this whole lil’ diversion. This entire piece may be nothing more than a moment’s amusement … a convenience for argument’s sake … a revelation into the hideous abyss of uncertainty and speculation … er, my mind. Not sure. Couldn’t tell ya … and wouldn’t want to. Take from it what you will.
Until we meet again …