Death is mysterious, strange and fascinating. However – it’s incredibly contradictorily ubiquitous and therefore ordinary. No matter where you are in life there is a tremendous amount of death occurring; internally and externally. Therefore, why is it that we cannot completely comprehend what it is to die and understand the very essence of what haunts the living? I am inclined to think it’s a blatant ignorance towards our environment which is inflicting immense perplexity in the psyche of the general public. We are detaching ourselves from what is central to every human; the nature of life. The evidence of this can be found in our shared interests, practices, common conversations and consequently our linguistics – most of which do not entail feeling in touch with the natural world nor philosophising about the fundamentals of life such as death. As a result, the notion becomes ambiguous which is in favour of the deluded control-freaks – hence the survival of religion.
Another reason why we may not be able to understand death completely is because of we, the living, simply cannot.
What Happens When We Die?
No one knows. Or no one knows that we secretly know but do not know for it is hidden as unknown but deep down known. Any individual or group of people claiming they can inform you of the truth of what proceeds for an organism who no longer operates in their usual fashion is lying. For logically, that is explaining what it’s like to be conscious while you’re unconscious and vice-versa. It is not possible. You need to be alive to know of life, and you need to be dead to know of death. Otherwise, graveyards would be singing of stories without a functional tongue. However, that is what my rational mind delivers at best when philosophising of death – meaning; I may very well be wrong. But my acceptance of being wrong and remaining open to the possibility of understanding the experience of the afterlife while alive takes me back to my first point which is that ignorance is of no part in such a search. So anyone who precludes themselves by wholeheartedly believing in an answer will remain how modern humans are today; confused. Confused with religions, ideologies, traditions and practices – so funerals in one culture mean something entirely different from some other culture yet what is happening is the same. The happening of change, of an organism becoming non-existent. So we say.
For when someone is dead in the modern age, are they indeed no more?
There is a strange phenomenon invented by the human race that implies our obvious attempt to grasp and cling onto the dead – or to cling onto life. We have always felt such a need by cementing oneself in time. From our early efforts with mummification to paintings, photographs, videos and now cyberspace; the liveliness of someone’s mind still exists in the online world and can communicate with us to a certain extent. You can still connect your mind and feel a bond to someone else’s mind that is no longer alive in the physical domain. It’s the work of ‘Gods.’
When I really invest my cognition into this area of the subject – I acquire a strange feeling born out of the idea that there is an entire world lost in time existing within the internet. That when we go online to research, entertain ourselves or observe the social media profile of a person who is now deceased – it seems like we are taking the early steps into time-travel. For two of our senses are captivated and absorbed by cyberspace, which consequently we simultaneously have put one leg into the reality of being able to time-travel. Until all senses are absorbed by the internet, we will always acquire the strange feeling that is a reaction from not utterly understanding something, or not totally being somewhere.
It is this feeling that leaves me in tears and bewildered when I watch a video, read a post, or observe a photo of someone who is dead. Not because I am sad, but it’s rather due to not being able to explain what is happening. I feel torn in a peculiar way. Like I am here in the present moment but existing elsewhere.
The Pain of Death
The pain associated (more than less) with dying is interesting. Why does death have to be painful? Whether you are the one moving on from this side of the grave or witnessing an organism you love dearly – it tends to hurt physically and mentally. Watching, experiencing, or becoming aware of a being breaking down on a level unseen by the human eye but usually portrayed with some sort of physical abnormality causes a depressive wonder. Because we don’t see to the full extent of what is truthfully happening and we’re able to intellectually recognise that this process looms for us all. That one day we will cease to exist. So, therefore, is the pain subjective? Or, is there a more mysterious influence hinting an anomalistic reason for the need to experience agony with the concept of death? Maybe it is all mental. That we cling too intensely, indirectly and directly to nothing that can substantially be held and obtained – causing us to psychologically feel the effect of losing – which we find ‘bad.’
Do we all die the Same?
I am curious to know whether there is a difference between a star undergoing the transition out of life and into the unknown and a human doing the same. And all species for that matter. For what is questionable is whether the extremity of dying is dependent upon the amount of life one has. And the amount of life one has from a perspective of a human, (which is astonishingly minute in comparison to the universe) is how consciously aware and explorable they are. For being a human implies living not just within a rotting uniform of flesh to wear, but also within dimensions untouched by anything in the material world such as the imagination. However, still, mortality has a way from what we understand to kill the human imagination once the being dies. Therefore, I wonder if our relatively advanced mental births such as mathematics, science, art, philosophy, dreaming, the human imagination and so on – will affect death. Because if we consider an entire species dying, such as the human race, then a whole world dies too. So with our knowledge of how intense the effects are of a star dying in comparison to just a single human being, then the death of the human race must entail catastrophic, magical, weird and novelty like consequences. For we embody surreal complexity and all arts live and exist only because we do, and if we die, so do they. Imagine the death of the human imagination.
To some degree, in specific aspects, we become nothing. Physically, the way we are right now at this very moment will no longer be the case in the next moment. We and the world are always changing; never clinging onto anything. To transition from one extreme to the next is what the core law of the known universe is. At one moment you are a caveman discovering the creation of fire, the next moment you’re leaving the planet to journey through space. Knowing this, what the wisest and most mature response would be to make in relation to assimilating in such knowledge is to let go. To not worry about death, or change for that matter. Because in worrying, you somewhat take on (fight) the heart of the universe; what makes it continue. And that can only cause pain. Don’t worry.