Yes. I know what you’re thinking. Well probably thinking, I thought exactly the same thing, and why would I think my confabulations poured forth in this manner might be any more appealing or insightful than the millions of blogs already taking up cyber space? I’m not famous, I’m not a prostitute and I’m not an expert in anything that I can think of. I am passionate about things like music and art. Some days. On other days? Not so much.
The honest answer is I don’t know. Anything. And I certainly don’t know where the idea of a blog was conjured from. Maybe it’s the fact I’ve been stuck in doors with a terrible cold for the past few days. Who knows. I guess the truth is I need to write this down (or more accurately write it out) and if you, dear reader, get something from it or enjoy it for any reason (which I hope you do) then it will perhaps serve some higher purpose than just providing me with an outlet for my vanity and a forum for my less than cogent thinking and general musings on this wonderful, complex (that’s where I come in – life itself is pretty straightforward after all) thing we all call life. My aim, at least, is not to pollute the internet with more rubbish so I hope you’ll enjoy the experience in some way.
The title of the blog, by the way, is not meant to be dark or depressing. All great philosophers (not trying to suggest that I’m one of them) have emphasized the importance of contemplating death, how it gives meaning and value to life:
“Of all footprints
That of the elephant is supreme;
Of all mindfulness meditations
That on death is supreme.”
I think we could do with a bit more of this in the West. In the West death is largely seen as a full stop to the paragraphs of our lives. Life is to be extended at any cost and yet very little is said about the process of Death itself or what we feel may or may not happen after it. Whatever your beliefs happen to be, the fact is, that on this side of the planet* death is not public anymore, it’s become a dirty word – a hidden word and a hidden process largely tucked away inside hospitals. We are ashamed of death, because it completely refutes the illusion of everlasting life and youth that we seem hell bent on propagating in order to sell more stuff. I for one, think that’s pretty morbid; the refusal to acknowledge death. Death should be celebrated or at least accepted and contemplated. It’s important to remember that in the midst of life we are always in death, in fact they are two ends of the same pencil, not opposite even; one is the other and this is where any true evaluation of life must begin.
I really don’t think it matters what you believe in but it’s useful to contemplate death and the possibility of life after death at some point. Who hasn’t? And when you think about it (which is what I am suggesting here) it shifts your awareness and sense of identity from the idea of being a separate, isolated, limited individual to a far more timeless, settled sense of Self. This shift changes your energy, attitude and beliefs in relationship to your entire life and all that it contains, hence its value.
It helps tune you into the very value of life and that’s the important word. Value. Becoming aware that this is the last moment before your death is powerful and transformative. Tuning in to this energy has one other major benefit; helping to overcome the fear of death. Once life is perceived as part of something larger, something perhaps infinite then death is simply part of the process. The Ancient Egyptians didn’t even have a name for it, they simply called it ‘Westing’ as in heading West – like the setting of the Sun. The Egyptians were a very spiritual bunch (mostly) and of course the whole civilisation was based on spiritual grounds. The Sun as we all know is born again in the East, transforming darkness into light and marking another day (the time of light between one night and the next).
So with contemplation of death and what happens next, everything begins to change and it’s almost impossible to reap the full fruits of any decent and genuine teaching of Life, without getting to this understanding in some way shape or form.
So there we have it. Stayed tuned for other fun musings, abstract pictures and prizes. Okay so there won’t be any prizes – you can’t have it all. Just count your lucky stars. Really. Think about it…how extraordinary to be living- that we have a life? The odds are stacked against us. Think of all of those ancestors who had to kill with their bare hands, live off the land, survive wars, famine and plagues so that you can breath oxygen? Well worth contemplating the next time you’re getting angry in the queue at Tesco’s.
So thanks for joining me on this cosmic journey so far. As we travel together I hope we’ll find inspiring insights into time, consciousness and eternity shedding new light on the meaning of existence and our desire to make peace with Death. If not we’ll also hopefully have time to share some biscuits and a nice cup of tea (in a virtual way) as well.
*I have always had a problem with North/South East and West…earth is floating in infinite space and I just can’t get my head around a top or a bottom