Monday, December 20, 2010

The Next Great Adventure

Death. I hadn't really thought about it. We all know what it is, and we all try to postpone it as long as possible, but we never really think about it. We try not to, avoiding its creeping presence in our minds. There are those who fear it, wishing that they could outrun it and live forever. There are those who are not given a chance to think of it, snatched while they are still in the womb, never seeing the light of day. There are those who are taken prematurely, unfortunate circumstances pulling them from this world into the next. And of course, there are those who see life through to its promised end, who are graced by white hair and wrinkled skin, and they fall gently into Death's embrace.

Perhaps we place too much importance on Death. Perhaps it is merely a matter of the wrong attitude. If we sit an think about it, we realise nothing more than it is as though we are lights who are blown out, the length of our candlestick representative of our years, indicating how long we burned. We wonder what it is like, what happens next. Whether it is peaceful, or whether we are thrown into another world, another life, hell, heaven, white light or eternal flames. Or maybe there is nothing. Maybe there is everything.

It's simple, and yet complicated. We simply cease to be, or rather, our body stops functioning as it should, and there is something of ourselves left behind, but the question remains, were we just some biological anomaly, just some electrical impulse generated by the neurons in the brain; that's what generates our thoughts, yes, but our personality, our conscience? Is it the same? Death is something a bit beyond the simple fact that our body stops functioning, for many of us inherently believe, or rather, intuitively feel that we merely occupy our bodies, that while we live there, they are ours, but they do not play an essential part in our growth. It's what they call spirituality.

Maybe it's time to rethink our attitudes. Maybe it's time to do more than just accept Death, though many people have difficulty with that alone. Maybe we ought to stop thinking of it as our loss, and think of it as their gain. Our attitude stems from selfishness, because we do not like losing what is most dear to us, especially to the unknown, because we fear, for the deceased, and for ourselves; we feel that if someone close to us dies, then we ourselves are closer to the death we hope to avoid. However, I think the time is upon us where we ought to think of Death as a doorway, and rejoice for the deceased because they have attained something beyond us, taking the next step of their journey, not mourn because they are no longer with us. We all die at precisely the moment the universe intended for us to die; we will have learnt everything we needed to learn, and we will have taught others everything we will have needed to teach. With our roles so perfectly fulfilled, why on earth should we not move on? Death, after all, is the next great adventure.


  1. what an amazing perspective on death you have here. death is continually a fascinating concept but its hard not to be afraid. it truly is human nature to be selfish, we never want to lose anything especially the things we love. but one day, it will all be over. and soon, we'll become stardust once more....

  2. I was listening to someone talking about the imminent death of one of their relatives, and all I could think of was "why is this such a sad thing?" this post kind of just came from there, because it made me sit down and really think about death. In essence, all that it is is that someone stops living, but at the same time, we can't help but think that maybe there's something else after that. For me, death just kind of represents the next part of the spiritual journey, whatever the hell that actually means.

    But are you ok? There seems to be a bit of a sad undercurrent in your comment :(

  3. mm. death may as well be a new stage in life...maybe we're reborn to another world! who knows? we'll never know until we's kinda of exciting as well you know.
    i think i am fine...i think. it must be one of my mood swings...i've suddenly felt rather down for no apparent reason. but i think i'll pull through.
    but...just the last comment about stardust was written with regard to my fascination with everything cosmic. i'm in love with the skies! one day, i think I will endeavour to learn all the constellations above.

  4. Yeah, in a strange, and kind of morbid way, death is exciting.
    Mm I know that feeling. It'll pass, like it always does, but just think, you're on holiday, and you have time to do whatever it is you want to do. Go out, have fun, or start learning those constellations :)

    There's this great quote about being stardust:
    "Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust."
    - Lawrence M. Krauss
    But if you love the stars so much, maybe you should think about going into a field related to that. It's better to do something you love, you know?

  5. Yep! It certainly has passed...watched movies and had an exceptionally lazy day at home. Twas so relaxing :)

    That is one of my favourite quotes ever because it captures the wonders of the world. stardust, isn't that such an amazing word? i actually have contemplated doing physics in university...but gosh, physics is actually really afraid my brain won't be able to comprehend it. but so is everything else but you know...physics is known to be ...crazy on an intellectual level. but i guess i will dwell upon the sciences nevertheless...there's too much to discover in this world of ours.
    anyhow, what about you? what are your plans now?

  6. Ooh, that sounds like such a good day!

    Everything about that quote is poetic. And yes, stardust is an amazing word.
    Fair enough that you don't want to do it because it's hard. I guess you need a certain pattern of thinking to actually be able to understand physics.
    I think most people contemplate science to some degree...we must because it's where most people look for answers to a lot of things. Even the religious will look to science sometimes.

    My plans right now involve looking for a course I actually have a chance of getting into. Something art based. I kind of want to do photography at UTS but think it might limit me a lot in terms of getting a job later. In the end, I may just do an arts degree.
    And you? Have you chosen a course you want to do?