Sometimes I let my mind roam. When I do, I find myself pondering some issues. Well, now I am thinking of that cold inevitable destiny of all living flesh—Death. Yes, it is a topic that people shy away from for its transparently gloomy nature. But if we are to fully appreciate each breath, each waking moment then we must make time every now and then to ponder on death. Oh that man could fully understand what lies behind the grey curtains of Mortality! That great veil cast formidably over all living matter! Would that people could experience, even if only briefly the transition brought about by Death!
You see, you’ve been told that at death, you cease to exist. You’ve been told that once you breathe your last, and lay down your once proud head in submission to the cold grip of Death, everything about you comes to a final end. You have been told that your body decomposes quickly to nourish the plethora of soil-inhabiting devourers of carrion, and that that’s where the story ends. But of course, your intelligence rebels against this because you perceive yourself to also be something much more intangible than your material composition; something much more enduring; something much more profound. Your consciousness rebels because you find it difficult to accept that your rational incorporeal parts will simply get lost—thermodynamic laws or not! Why indeed should life exist—in a world of indescribable pain and suffering one may hasten to add—if Life’s teleological imperative is nothing more than Death? And how indeed can you explain to other equally immortal fellow travelers, though they be blissfully unaware or painfully unimaginative, the great realms you might have traveled to when you allowed yourself to be rid of your ideologically-driven, perception-limiting, earth-bound shackles? For indeed, you do realize that you can shut your eye for a moment and be totally and instantly transported to vistas grand and indescribable in beauty; and in like manner, you can also find yourself, complete with your rational and sensory attributes, away from your present physical state or from erstwhile scenes of glory into scenes of squalor. With a clarity unfettered by the strictures of contemporary science, you know within yourself that you are part of some undying—though changing—life stream.
Having convinced yourself on your own immortality—a conviction which persists in you despite the familiar taunting of Godless skeptics who would fain be addressed as scientists—you are once again left with the nagging question of why you are apprehensive and unsettled by the idea of death. Yes, that fearsome foe that has in time humbled all tenants of this house of clay! The truth is that no matter how much you try not to think about it, one thing is certain. It is the fact that with time, everything returns to dust; with time, the hair turns grey, and the breasts sag, and the powerful limbs grow weak, and the eyes grow dim. As Death approaches closer and blows his breath on you: your muscles atrophy, and the brain turns to mush and can hardly remember what it has always known. Yes, youthful beauty fades, adolescent vivacity disappears, and juvenescent strength is gone. Finally, when Death, like a punctual creditor, knocks at the door of this temporal tabernacle, to collect his due doubtlessly, the indwelling Man, without choice or resistance, links his arm with Death and trudges off into that deep dark unknown.
Your trepidation and unease is magnified when you remember that Death is erratic and indiscriminate in his methods—he may not allow you to draw the first breath, choosing to sling his hook in your nose and claim you right from your mother’s womb; he may allow you to emerge from your mother’s womb and begin the inevitable race towards your eventual cessation but then he cuts you down viciously when you are still young and ultimately helpless; he may allow you to bloom into youth and just when you are ready to indulge the carnal pleasures of youth, he stealthily creeps behind you and kisses you at the most inauspicious moment. Yes, a lie it is to assume that Death doth always gently draw souls to his frigid embrace!
But I say to you expressly that Death is your friend. Indeed, humanity is comparable to a self-consuming cancer. Mankind is akin to some destructive plague which after wreaking havoc on the body of its host (in this case it is this terrestrial ball), must itself likewise be purged. Death is therefore like a quiet friend who helps a drunk, violent and abusive actor exit the grand theater of Life—with nary a thought to the violent protestations of the actor! It is the great leveler! How horrid this Sorrowful and Suffering Rock would be if Death, like a strong but silent friend, had not acted, from time to time, to rid it of destructive and ultimately trumpery clods of kickable matter known as Life!
With this realization, your mind is mollified. You’ve finally come to the realization that your destiny from birth is death. Your destination in Life is, in a manner of speaking, to die regardless of what happens in between. Every other thing you happen to achieve in the interim is in the grand scheme of things immaterial and pointless; you will not glory in them when your eyes close in death. For what reason then should people fear this transition which would be ushered in by Death? Has it not occurred to you that the reason you cling to life so tenaciously is simply because you do not know what you would find at the other side of the great revolving doors? When Death comes, links his hand in yours, like a doting dad marching his chaste daughter down a church aisle, and ushers you into realms of light, does it not occur to you that you would even more tenaciously hold unto that hitherto uncharted Life? Here’s the shocker—even if Death ushers you into realms of squalor and gloom, you will equally hold unto that uncharted Life! Why? Because, in the final analysis, you are an immortal soul; your never-dying spirit cannot be extinguished. Death is therefore the uncelebrated harbinger of an inevitable transition as your carnal body, necessary solely for this frail, temporal reality, gives way to other planes of existence more profound than this vale of tears or conceivable by the human imagination. Transitional forms may be lost but your essence will be preserved as an eternal consciousness or transcendental life-stream.
So then, let this third rock from the Sun be dashed to innumerable pieces; let the moon be darkened; let plagues break forth and wipe out mankind; let the beasts of the field form an army and exterminate their human overlords; let the sun perish; let squalid humanity be consumed by the very cancerous nature of their existence; let a million galaxies collide in confused fury; let the universe implode or explode in blazing heat; let the universe spontaneously fragment into smaller universes; or let other universes spring forth together creating a vaster multiverse. Nevertheless, one constant remains: CHANGE or TRANSITION. And his other name is D-E-A-T-H!