Let’s talk about death, bay-bee, let’s talk about you an’ me, let’s talk about all the good things and the weird things that we may see, let’s talk about DEATH!
How often have you heard people say, “Don’t put off the inevitable,” or “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”? How do these ideas weigh in on the topic of death? Right at the start, I’m going to remind you not to commit suicide. That’s never a good idea. Whether you are happy right now or abysmally miserable, you’re still here for a reason, so stick around and see how things turn out. Besides, this world is really just a big ol’ illusion, a collective hallucination, a simulation within something much bigger, and you are a key part of it, so why not kick it around for a while? If you do feel suicidal, you can seek help, but I find it’s better to just say “Fuck it” and kill yourself IN THE HYPOTHETICAL SENSE. Then, plan your next moves in life as if they don’t matter at all, because they really don’t. Try a new (out)look. Quit your job. Move to a new city. Or better yet, a new country. Figure out what cryptocurrency is and start stealing it. Life is a roller coaster, in that you may be at the bottom of a steep drop right now, but you will be high up on another crest soon enough if you just ride it out.
But STAY ALIVE as long as you can. And don’t hurt anyone else. That’s the game.
Having said that, death is still something we will all have to experience sooner or later. That is, until we reach a technological point at which death becomes evitable. But let’s be realistic: 200,000 years of development and look at us. I highly doubt we will reach the immortality singularity any time soon. We still have people running around loose who think voting for Trump is a good idea.
But we humans — especially those of us of a more ‘western’ mindset — have done ourselves the terrible disservice of turning the concept of death into something scary and sorrowful. I largely blame the Catholic Church for this. During the Dark Ages when the Church controlled Europe, they were downright draconian in their ruling practices. Torture was certainly not beyond their moral integrity, and they created terrifying visions of an afterlife world called Hell in order to scare people into total obedience. The Dark Ages were a time when scientific development was at a standstill, human suffering was widespread, and the average lifespan ended in the mid-thirties. This was the malignant mutation of Christianity in its heyday, and this is the world what modern-day Evangelicals are trying to recreate. Keep in mind, what we have today is NOT what the Christ was talking about at all. The Church perverted the teachings of the Christ Yeshua into a fear-based control mechanism to retain power at all costs. This is why I have a severe dislike for the so-called evangelical “Christian right.” As my dear Mommy used to say, “The Christian right are not the right Christians.” Indeed, the true Christ consciousness will give their kind no quarter.
Aside from the Catholic mindset, death has always been scary to humans because it represents the Great Unknown, and it is unknowable until you experience it. We see the animals that we hunt and kill for food, and they never seem very happy in the face of death themselves, and this may give us pause: Do they know something we don’t? Why does a tick on the back of a sewer rat still fight to stay alive? Wouldn’t death be preferable to such a disgusting and seemingly pointless existence? We are all, as incarnate beings occupying this false corporeal world, hard-wired to resist the sweet embrace of death simply because we are, as I mentioned before, key parts of this simulated program of a reality.
If you follow this blog, then I am shocked. But if you do follow this blog, you know that I believe we are all here to learn to think and act as one force, a universal consciousness that can come together to create the physical world we inhabit and thereby create a literal Heaven here on this plane. This is why we are here, and I often refer to this as “The Great Work.” And no one dies while contributing to the Great Work until it is their time to do so, when their work is done. All of us, from the mightiest kings to the smallest flea on the back of the most disgusting sewer rat, have a role to play before we can take our appointed leave. This is why enlightened Teachers like the Bodhisattvas insist on reincarnating back into this lower corporeal world to guide the rest of us to completing this Great Work, right down to the last blade of grass. They want this job finished so that we can all enjoy the world as we would create it.
Death itself is not inherently bad. In fact, it’s a release. I have a platitude that I fall back on a little too often when consoling others who have lost someone dear to the Great Unknown: Death is hardest on the living. And while that may seem weak, I do believe it wholeheartedly. I don’t fear my own death, but I do fear losing the people I love. My life would be lesser without them. As selfish as this may seem, my demanding that others remain alive so that I may continue to enjoy their company, it is simply out of genuine appreciation for their contributions to my existence.
Death should be met with humor. I have often joked that I would like my remains placed inside a spring-loaded box and delivered anonymously to someone I disliked in life. Imagine their surprise when they open the box and my lifeless meat puppet is tossed up onto their coffee table with a comedic “BOING!” sound effect, hopefully during an important dinner party to give it that classic sitcom touch. And again, if you follow this blog (and if you do, may I ask WHY?), then you know I have a penchant for penning my own epitaphs. I would also like mine to read simply, “He escaped.”
When you were a moody teenager, did you ever yell at your parents, “I didn’t ask to be born!”, thus putting the blame of your existence squarely on their unhip shoulders? Well, how do you know you never asked to be born? Do you remember what you were doing before you were spit out into this corporeal form in your little meat avatar? How do you know you weren’t champing at the bit to be assigned a physical form so that you, too, could enter into this bold new world and make your mark on a new, emerging reality? It must have been similar to the young explorers who were so eager to travel across the sea to the New World to seek their fortune on a new continent.
My point is, we need to rethink our concepts of death. It shouldn’t be scary. It should be seen as the clock on the wall at a tedious job, except you never know when the shift manager is going to come ’round and say, “OK, that’s it for you. Good work! Now head on home and await your pay.” You should greet death as you would the end of your shift at a shitty job. Sure, it sucks for your coworkers who have to keep laboring as they watch you stroll out the door, off to catch a movie or smoke some weed or whatever you do to relax, but for you it’s a terrific feeling. A lot better than if you sneak out before your shift is over and have to face the consequences of abandoning your post.
And also, your coworkers have to dispose of your uniform before it starts to stink up the workplace. You don’t even have to worry about that! You get to just dump everything and run. Take my advice: Run laughing.
There are already a few cultures in the world that do not welcome death as a feared enemy in their societies. They celebrate the arrival, happy to see their loved ones off to a higher realm, free of the toil and suffering inherent in this developing corporeal realm. In New Orleans, with its rich mixture of French and West African cultures, after the body is interned (the uniform disposed of), they party to hot jazz music in the streets. In Bali, the Buddhist ritual of Ngaben sees the deceased treated as though they are still living, and no one cries because they know the deceased will reincarnate or move on to the higher consciousness realms of joyous enlightenment. In Ghana, they put the body into incredibly elaborate and fun caskets to celebrate the journey of the dead. And in Mexico, they have Dia de Muertos, which we have all seen in films and we all know it looks like a good time to be in Mexico.
Death is not a bad fellow. (S)he should be greeted as one would greet an old friend because, as I choose to believe, that is precisely what Death is. I believe we have all met Death before and, after a brief rest or reprieve, reincarnated into whatever position we needed to be in to continue the development of this newly emerging “God” consciousness, as well as continue our own development as eternal individual consciousnesses. Outside of this realm, our existence is dependent on our soul’s integrity — our ability to remain a conscious entity, intact without need of the larval body, the meat avatar. But that’s another topic for another time (and one which I think I have addressed before).
When Dylan Thomas wrote, “Do not go gently into that good night,” I think he meant it. But I also think it should be taken to mean, ‘Work as hard as you can in your role in this world so that we can create the consciousness-driven Utopia that all living beings deserve.’ After all, a devoted worker is a rewarded worker. But eventually, all mortal things must die, and when our time comes, well, to borrow an old advert from back in the day, It’s Miller time! Put up your ethereal feet, sit back, pop a beer or a bottle of champagne, light up a joint, and sit back and enjoy the eternal show for a bit. Enjoy some time with loved ones from your life that have also passed on and play grab-ass with the greats of history. You’ve earned it. The pain of death is not yours but those that you leave behind, here in the factory.
I’ll see you when my shift is over. We’ll grab a drink and laugh at the living.