Death: The Truth Of Life.
I am aware this is such a morbid topic and how death is treated as a grievous event in many peoples lives and causes a lot of pain and grief but I want to express it and open it up for anyone who seeks awareness. Religions and cultures have their rituals, spins and even interpretations of death - my favourite being the grim reaper. They have many ways to look after death, a Hearse, prayers, events and aims to appease them even prayers after they have died, if not days, but months and years after they have passed away. Some even want us to worship those who are already dead and we have never met, can you imagine how death has played upon the human spirit then even thousands of years later we hold dead individuals we have never met as part of our lives and in high esteem instead of living our lives? It cannot be washed over, death is such a powerful force ingrained in human conciseness that it hinders the mind to life. It is double-sided, if you think about death then you don’t live, and if you live then death has no hold on you and you can accept you are going to expire at some point.
The funniest aspect of death is how people get honoured after they die which is useless, you should have made an effort when they were alive but what use is your compliments and kind words now, what use are your empty words now, why didn’t you see them when you could, why didn’t you mend your relationship with them when they were alive. The emphasis after they have gone is just a losing battle and frankly, I have no affinity to it. However, once you realise that anyone you have ever met including your parents, siblings and friends will one day not exist and this universal truth should be like a splinter in your eye. Death is Imminent and the only thing guaranteed in this life along with change is death but that’s for another topic.
You can observe this in nature if you ever spend time in the garden or parks, in summer everything is living and bearing fruits but when the winter months come in a blanket of death is present. Nature hints out the cycles of life and death every year yet as human beings loss create such an impact on us, we only see the loss but rather it is a balancing act between life and death, a constant cycle in constant motion every single day. Waking up and sleeping is also like life and death, when we wake up we come to life and when we go to sleep it is like we are going to die, Can you not see that even in our daily routine we are being hinted about life and death.
The first question that seems to bubble up in my mind is not what is death but rather the method of death, for example, being hit by a bus, heart failures, cancers and in worst cases murder. One sees the agent of death manifesting in many forms which makes one see that death is inevitable but the methods are diverse and it is constantly around us, What exactly are you fearing about it when it shows you hints of it day in and day out my brothers and sisters.
The second question the seem to bubble n up in my mind is when it is always lurking around the corner say today, tomorrow, in 10 years, in 20 years, it's open-ended. So why fear death, it should be a source of relief to one's mind if they get over the truth that one day you will not exist just like others before you are no longer here and others won’t be either. So why would you not take this opportunity to be the best version of yourself you can be before all this is over and our bodies are deep in the ground. Why would you not consider being kind to those around you?
I have already passed 30 years of my life on earth and I see life and death everywhere I go, and once you get past the notion of the method of death and how it's a certain aspect of life then you come to a simple conclusion of how you can love deeply or hate deeply anyone in this life and one day they will not exist and if not thousands but millions of people before you are dead and thousands after you will die too. I have also even made scenarios of how I would die and the best one so far I have made in my mind is that I hope I go sleep and never wake up but if I was to ever lose the plot and feel adventurous I would want to disappear into a forest or a mountain and never come back.
As my favourite philosopher Marcus Aurelius stated in Meditations ( yes I am aware he is dead ), “Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what's left and live it properly. If you fully understand this concept, you will want to spend your precious time on this earth with the full essence of living rather than wasting time fearing death because before you know it, it will be all gone and you to will be part of the dead.
Another quote by him is “Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.” I shall not explain the ones above but leave it to you to see how it permeates into your mind.
Sometimes I get this eerie feeling that everyone wants you to forget that you are going to die so that they can convince you to waste your time doing what they want you to do, it is almost like they gloss over the fact to keep you in the bondage of doing things they want like slaves to their desires when you can have your desires once you realise you are limited too. Would you want to hang around with anybody who does not offer anything, would you respect people who waste time and offer nothing, would you want to waste your energy on deaf ears. Do you want to waste away at a job you hate or do things that bring you no joy when you know it’s all going to be over? do you not value your life a tiny bit more after realising it's limited and it's going to end?
Lastly, everyone born is going to die, death does not discriminate, status, colour, caste, education or religion, it kills everyone and none is immune to the agent of death. Hence I leave you with something that gives me great peace and acceptance when I first realised I was going to die too.
“I am at peace knowing death is seeking me and I welcome it and embrace it with open arms for I have understood for I was born and I shall die too. So I am going to live before I die and I hope you do too as well.”
Afzal: Servant of God