By Joe Kidd
Isaac Asimov wrote that perhaps the most powerful attribute that we employ as humans, the one that sets us apart from the rest of the animal world, is the fact that we are uniquely and consciously aware of our certain impending death. It is a mystery and a horror that each of us must face without exception and we must face it alone and single-handedly, unaware of how or when it will take place.
For over 5 million years of human existence, we have continued to find the thought of it paralyzing, devastating, and intolerable. Over the millennia, humans have found it necessary to create fables, myths, superstitions, esoteric rituals, philosophies, religions, secret societies, and sciences in order to address, explain, and cope with the notion of the end of personal existence.
Through centuries, fueled by languages, environments, and cultural activities, these practices have incorporated animal sacrifice, human sacrifice, self-mutilation, wars, even genocide, to ward off, hold back, deflect, and destroy what we identify as the harbingers of death.
The fear of death, the fear of annihilation, the fear of the unknown, has been a curse upon our species from the moment the first homo-sapien witnessed the first human death. It is a burden that accompanies the luxury of having a highly developed brain (comparatively).
In order to calm these fears, we rely on the mechanisms of emotions. Feelings of guilt, grief, regret, often tend to automatically fill our hearts and minds when fellow humans die. Even the emotion of love becomes a great burden and a source of sorrow for many who lose those with whom they have shared time, space, thoughts, and ideas.
With all of this in mind, let us seek and find possible solutions to the horror of death once and for all.
1. Let us confess that our lives will end.
2. Everyone we will ever encounter will die.
3. There is no reason or benefit to fear this inevitable truth.
4. In order to live a fearless, guilt-free life, it is necessary to accept that we are not perfect creatures.
5. This is possible if we do our best all the time.
Let us not give false and inaccurate personalities and powers to entities and other talismans (real or otherwise, animate or inanimate) that eventually become delusions of grandeur, oppressors of our free will, influences upon our vision of ourselves in the universe, and invaders of our ultimate good nature.
In the end, let us realize that we are semi-functional, mortal, organisms, alive in a reality that will never disclose its true purpose. And with that notion, let us allow ourselves and all creatures the right to live peacefully in full communion, until the moment of their own inevitable and unavoidable natural death.