Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Death: Stop It Already!

I'm sick and tierd of people who speak of death as if they'll know when they die.  They won't.  We won't.  We'll be dead!  There is no "When I die, I hope that I lived my life according to xyz . . ." - No.  I'm sorry, but we won't die and then somehow still be alive to be able to have a meta-view of our own lives once we're dead.  Dead means that our consciousness will be cease to exist.   It isn't pretty.  What's less pretty is that life is all we've got.  What's simultaneously pretty is that life is all we've got.  This is it.  Here, now, in front of us.  And it is neither universally good or bad or good or evil, and almost nobody can be sliced into these labels with complete accuracy, because these labels exist to justify our emotional responses to situations, to judge risk, and to justify our behavior, largely, rather than to descriptively link to objective reality in a way that can aid our navigation of it. 

Now, here's something really scary.  We're so convicned that we, individually, won't die, that it is really difficult to dislodge the notion that we'll be able to evaluate our lives from some state beyond the purview of our lives....from the grave.  If we accept that we'll die in a rational way, we'll likely be much more accurate about our chances for certain goals, and we'll also be more depressed.  I'm not justifying depression.  I'm not even sure what the best way to live is.  We struggle and struggle and struggle, and we would hate to know that our struggling is not for anything in particular, except to continue living as long as possible.  We've got a strong biological imperative to ignore death, on par with our sex drive.

No comments: