Sunday, 26 April 2015

It Will Happen

Some time ago I was asked in one of the many online conversations I have had, "What do you think of dying?" The person who posed the question was attempting to start one of those religious conversion conversations, asking me to think about death, dying and the afterlife. His poor choice of wording left me with only one possible response, "Not much." I don't think he really understood the double entendre of my response, as he then went on to tell me I needed to spend more time in thought and contemplation as to what would happen to my soul after I died.

The two meanings of my response were both completely true, and valid. I don't think much of death, and I don't think much about death. Let's face it, we will all die. It is the last great adventure in our life. To live is to die, notwithstanding current and potential scientific advances in extending human existence. I wonder about the practicality of living for 200 years. Based on any sort of financial model, unless you were one of the truly wealthy, perhaps a 1%'er, a life of 200 years would mean a working life of at least 100 or more years If we can extend life with vibrancy, this might work. The problem is, of course, cost and efficacy. Fortunately it is something most of us will never have to worry over.

I will die; we all will die. There is no doubt about it. The problem is not whether or not we will die, but how we live in the interim. When you die is a completely random event, even in things like war or social violence. For most of us, the timing of our death is truly an unknown; this is true even for me. There is no reason for death, simply a cause of death. We don't die because we are bad or evil; we don't live longer because we are good or righteous. We are born, we live, we die; that's how it works. Why think about it beyond that? Instead, think about how to live until it happens.

The only real control I have over my death is that I might choose to end my life early, taking the cocktail of pills which regularly stares at me from my dresser top. I think of this often, almost every night before I go to bed. I wonder if this will be the night, then I tell myself "no" and move on. This is, simply put, because I don't think much of being dead. Being alive, so far, presents a far more interesting experience than that which I have seen of the dead. I will die, either in my own time or in God's time; this is a certainty. Until then, why not focus on living instead of dying?

I believe in God. I do not believe in the afterlife as presented by some mystic farmer thousands of years ago, or some new age faith healer of the modern era. Nobody knows; not you, not I, not the priest or preacher or imam or guru. Those who claim they do are charlatans and liars, ultimately revealing themselves not in their words, but in the fight to stay alive, to live regardless of how wonderful is their afterlife. Perhaps the only ones who truly put their beliefs into action are the suicide bombers; they believe and put their faith into action in the here and now. And look at what most of us think of them.

Death is boring. Dying is inevitable. The only real adventure is living, no matter how hard or painful. One day I will have had enough. You don't know that day. Neither do I. It will happen. That is all.

1 comment:

  1. Sooner or later death enters the picture. I hope it is later for both of us. love Mom