Sunday, September 15, 2013
At least this is true for all that has come to live, as far as we know. Exactly when each living thing dies is a different matter, but eventually, all that now flourishes with life, will wither into nonexistence. I've probably mentioned this in an earlier entry as well, if I recall correctly. But since the thought still seems to linger in my mind, I might as well write it off properly once and for all.
For some of us, thinking about the eventual death of living things can be quite depressing, for others it seems more casual; some people fear death, others accept it as a part of life, which sounds a bit ironic when you think about it.
In death, what is there to fear? Why are so many afraid of dying? The list of reasons can be endless...
For many, however, I believe that the dread is born from the unknown, as with many other things. Although you may have a general idea, do you really know what's going to happen when you die? It can be difficult to know for sure, and even if you think you do, there's always at least a small fragment of a possibility that you might be wrong.
And even worse, what if you stay alive but the ones you love die? Not a pleasant thought. But would you rather die with them?
All these things together, are some of the core reasons (I believe), as to why many choose to be religious. There is a multitude of other reasons as well of course, but I think the fear of death has had a huge impact on the prevalence of beliefs.
I understand that there is a certain comfort in believing that when the people you care about die, they are off to a better place, not to speak of what will happen to yourself after you've lived out on this life.
On the counterpart, there's the belief in hell as well... This one, I don't understand as much. I guess that mankind has simply generally thought that punishment equals great justice. I don't know... To me it seems like religions often are filled with loads upon loads of different stuff that is directed to different kinds of people, in order to motivate as many people as possible to believe what they say (which makes sense if you think about how few extreme fundamentalists there are, compared to the groups that nitpick only the parts that they like). It's almost as if they were huge self-marketing campaigns.
Back to topic, death, or more accurately, being susceptible to it.
Why do creatures live and die in the first place?
People tend to ask, what is the meaning of life? But maybe the question we should ask ourselves is "what is the meaning of death?"
I don't think there are all too many good answers out there. Might be that death is just one of those things that coincidentally happen to be there whether you like it or not. Maybe, the question doesn't need an answer, but pondering upon it shouldn't hurt you all that much.
As with everything, death comes with both good and bad sides, although many often focus more on the bad ones. Parents don't always know how to explain the death of for instance a pet or so to their small children. "They don't yet understand death," they might say. But I wonder if anyone really understands it. Alike several other phenomena, I think that what lies after life is beyond human comprehension.
The way we see the world is just an inaccurate reflection created by our senses. Logic is just a fallible tool, used for trying to explain things, which means that there must be multiple things that the human mind simply cannot wrap itself around. Many claim that humankind will never be able to fully comprehend such things as infinity, or a real "nothing". If this is really the case, I don't think humans could be said to fully comprehend death either.
I'm still young, so at least to me death still feels unrealistically distant, but I know that it's there waiting, lurking somewhere, with an astounding patience. Still, I don't even know if I fear death, myself. I think I would have to be put into a situation where getting a realistic answer was forced out of my core, in order to really know; "you never really know until you experience it," I've heard some people say.
But instead of thinking about how one should face death, how should you deal with life? Especially since you know that it'll end with death.
There are billions of approaches to this, as there are billions of lives. At this point, I don't think there is really a 'correct' way. I want to quote a character from a manga though. "You should live your life so that you don't regret it when it comes to a close". Well, I strongly doubt that that manga was the first place where a similar thing was said, but I don't think that makes the quote lose any ground.
It's probably not all that uncommon that people realize what a waste their life has been, only when it's too late. Or at least they might feel that way. It's rare that any single individual's life would make such a big impact on the universe anyway, if you don't count with the potential butterfly effect.
But what I was trying to say was, most people are bound by these untold rules, created by culture, social lives, and many other things. Now, there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. But as a man dependent on creativity, productivity and variation in general, if I'm not to go crazy, it's dangerous to bind myself to too many patterns. Still, I tend to forget this when it's important not to. It's not as dramatic as I may be making it sound though. What I mean is, as superficial as these untold rules might be, it can be difficult to break them, depending on the circumstances.
But you've probably heard stories of people that have been diagnosed with terminal diseases, and that they've only then realized how silly everything around them really is. The perspective has been changed. You could always watch Breaking Bad or something if you don't understand what I'm trying to say.
There are also the people that want to accomplish a certain list of stuff before they die, and they sometimes do.
The real reason as to why I'm writing a post like doesn't really have all that much to do with death, more with being in a standstill in my life, I'd guess. I need to make something happen, before I miss the chance.
I really wish that I had more time...
I'll get more time when I'm old (although the age of retirement will probably be around 135 years at the time I've grown elderly), but I don't want it then, I want it now! I want the extra spare time to really get enough out of life as long as I still can! Sadly, things seldom work that way.
I don't even think that my usual laziness would get the best of me if I just had enough time. I usually need a lot of time to get started, but when I have begun I usually really get things done.
But as I said, I've been doing nothing for too long now, in my opinion. The summer feel hasn't really left me yet, even if I've already been in school for more than a month (It's funny, but if you read a post I made just at the start of summer I was pretty much complaining about the same stuff).
And although I have played as much piano as usual, I haven't really gotten all that much done music wise, sadly. Same goes for writing on my book, which I haven't done in ages now! There's so much I want to do (a list would be longer than all my blog posts together), but I tend not to even get started!
I should really get a grip on myself.
How does this relate to the subject of mortality? It has more to do with time. The time that is left.
I really only have two main goals in life. One is to have as much fun as possible, since that's about the most you can get out of life. And the other is to be very productive, in various ways, since that's about the most you can make out of life.
I don't really know why, but I really feel like I should be productive, especially if this includes some kind of art form. I might have only played the piano for a bit more than four and a half years, but my quest for productivity didn't start there. It has always been a calling of mine. Most people don't know this, but for a very long time of my childhood, I wanted to become either a professional football player (soccer for you Americans out there), or an artist (at that time, a painter). I didn't really have any skills in any of those two areas, but you know, childhood dreams and all. If I really tried though, I think I might still make a mediocre artist, what I lack is practice, most of all.
But what I would really want to work with is of course music. That would be my dream job right now. Either that or I could become an author. Both career choices are much dependant on luck though, and they require both risk and determination. And time.
One last thing about dying.
It's not unusual to hear people say that you never really die, until you are completely forgotten. And in many ways, I think that hits just the spot. Your consciousness might not be part of this world any longer after the death of your body, but the difference it makes is only a difference to you, really. Other peoples perceptions of you is, and has always been a profile portrayed in their minds, and it will continue to be so even after your death, until eventually, you are completely forgotten. Not the least depressing, right? ...
But hey! The more productive you are, the more you affect your surroundings, the more you leave behind after you're gone, the longer you will live, according to that definition. And no matter how small it might seem to be, the impact each individual has on the universe is still significant, in many ways.
Speaking of leaving things behind, I don't have any music for this post. I don't have any remotely good art piece either, but I have a weird thing called an Ex Libris that I made during art class in school.
It's a kind of a thing that you usually print in a book that you own, to indicate just that; that it's indeed your book. An Ex Libris is supposed to have some personal symbolic relation to your life, to yourself. But being me, I didn't take that task all that seriously. Still, here it is.
As usually, perfectly optimized ;) (without a single trace of sarcasm...).
I don't really understand this one myself either. I have no idea what those numbers or those line illusions are, I just put them there to fill out space.
Well, I see that this turned out to be one of those really random and messy blog posts of mine. I hope that you were able to get something out of it still though.
Well, speaking about one's core, and about symbolics. In my next entry, I will write about dreaming. I seriously have to make an official announcement about that, or I would never get it done. I happen to know quite an amount about dreaming, and even if you find the subject boring and superficial, I plead you to reconsider. Dreaming might have a lot more to it than you think.