Friday, 5 August 2011

Die, v.: To stop sinning suddenly.

There are only two things in life are certain, death and taxes or so the saying goes. Hey, don’t look at me like that, I spent ages thinking up an almost cheery way to start up a post about death and as with so much of life, I have failed miserably. Can you really blame me though? Death is a topic that most seem to avoid like the plague. Dare to bring it up in a social situation and you will be given pariah status faster than the average teen drops their ability to write coherently before a facebook post. Now, I’m not saying that death should be the go to topic upon meeting the average blithering idiot, unless it is your wish to make that weirdness you are hiding so deep to become apparent to said idiot. All I’m looking for is a state in which we are comfortable discussing the inevitable fate of each and every one of us unlucky sacks of consciousness. Is that too much to ask for?

As with every post, I have had recent experiences with the topic at hand. Thankfully it has all been theoretical discussion rather than actual firsthand experience. I doubt a blog that gets fewer hits than a no-armed cricketer would be the best place to announce it in all honesty.  No, instead my curiosity was piqued by the often odd reactions I would have upon venturing a discourse with another concerning the subject. The reactions have ranged from people quickly changing the subject, to point-blank refusal to continue the discussion, all the way to a very interesting American stranger who discussed it with me in length into the early hours of the morn. It seems that the reactions are polarised to a great degree depending on the person in question, however there is one common theme that can be seen; they all seem to fear it, as some form of imminent spectre.

The great distinction between us and the animal kingdom is that we are afforded the knowledge of our own mortality; no other creature is blessed, or cursed depending on your view, with this time limit. All others are allowed to continue in a state of blissful ignorance, whereas we are forced to come to terms with our inevitable failure at the great game of life. Yet, unlike what many would have you believe, we aren’t more capable than a beaver or a whale at dealing with said information; it terrifies us. Therefore great deals of us are prone to wild theories, in the form of religions and life philosophies, which are supposed to help us cope. It is quite amazing just how imaginative the average shmoe can be in their attempts to rationalise such an immense concept.

I won’t sit here and claim to know what happens after death, I am not as simple minded as to try and baby you in a similar way to a religious leader. Instead I shall tell you my own personal view on the matter, one that is undoubtedly shared by a vast many of others; this is all there is, nothing more. The idea of ceasing to exist may scare some but it doesn’t fear me in the slightest. Why? You ask, it’s simple; even if there is an afterlife, by the time I reach death, I will either have bigger problems to deal with in said afterlife or I will no longer have the capacity to be fearful as I will cease to be. It’s as simple as that.

Without the ever presence of death, you could not contrast the life and beauty of the world around you, therefore it should be embraced. Be thankful that you and your loved ones will someday leave this godforsaken rock in search of pastures new or at the very least, they will be blissfully non-existent.

Death joke because nothing says funny like the death sentence

A murderer, sitting in the electric chair, was about to be executed.
"Have you any last requests? asked the chaplain.
"Yes," replied the murderer. "Will you hold my hand?"

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