the noble lie

What is death? It is an exile, an extinguishing of the self ad infinitum, perhaps. There is no afterlife, no Heavenly Kingdom where the fortunate to have entered this heavenly paradise offer obeissance ad nauseam. Such is the reward offered by Christianity and Islam to the faithful. In their Holy Scriptures, they masterfully perform piruettes on air in order to establish a god that is both merciful and disciplinarian. I say masterfully because their attempt is noble, but not because I believe this attempt at equilibrium is ultimately successful. Reason is something left for philosophy; logic has no place in religion.

In the end, what is the difference between the paradise of the Christians and the Moslems? The latter allows for human frailities, i.e., human sexuality. The Qur’an bends over backwards to predicate in the human mind how paradise is fed by two streams; surely this would seem wondrous and fantastic to the Oriental, this fantastic character that from the confines of the Arabic desert arose now to play a key role in the development (or devolution?) of Western society. And to each man it promises a train of pale virgins. One is left to suspect heaven is only meant for men! But then after all, is not religion a tool of man to subjugate that being that sprung forth from one of his ribs? At least the negative view of women is more honest, more succinct with the Greeks. To them, woman was sent by Zeus as a punishment. Ah such honesty is beyond our Abrahamic faiths!

But yes, death has preoccupied me lately. It has robbed me of joyous sleep. To think that someone with whom on multiple occasions I laid on the ground so as to have a better view of the celestial stage and its putative eternal play, is no longer with us; it is a tad overwhelming.

I know of the vicissitudes of human life. To wit, one moment you are here and the next you are not. I am not afraid of death. I praise death. Have I any other choice? It is that fantastic mystery into which we are all ultimately initiated. Most are draggged to it, afraid of this Nirvana, this eternal exintinguishing of the self. Yes death is this and much more. The self is extinguished but the substance continues albeit tessellated, a sort of cosmic recycling of our atoms. How delicious!

The fact that man is so vulnerable to such morbid oscillations scares me not nor does it make me regard life as something tragic; I would categorize tragic not having lived (I am biased for I am alive)! The advice of Silenus though raw and overpowering to the gentle, is spot on. Yes it is better to not have been born but because we are, the next best thing is to die soon. Ah such foul wretchedness! How do we bear such horrible, pessimistic truth? We either assimilate such profound truth or we obfuscate it with lies. But are they really lies or more of a shifting of attention. Perhaps something quite noble?

I choose to believe Silenus is correct in his assumption; after all he is the best-friend of Dionysis who causes people to lose themselves, to abandon their individuality and melt into the group unconsciousness. Perhaps this is escapism? “Ah I cannot bear this horrible truth! I must lose myself in intoxication and revelry! Ah decadence is my opiate!” But I do not see this reality as being horrible; is is the truth. Such values are not applicable to it. Our world is not a just or unjust world. It is our world. Again, such values are not applicable.

But as for those that choose escapism? What of them, these cowards? They are the fantastic idealists. They rationalize the world, create a world ruled by rationality; it provides hope and a reason to be cheerful. There is hope! But it is a brutal lie, noble perhaps but a lie is a lie always. Yet in the end, these lunatics that shroud themselves in irreality, ultimately have to face death.

Perhaps I ought to have died back on the 26th of December of 2004 (Tsunami). I suspect this is the first as well as the last I admit to having been there. Last because I no longer wish to recall anything of what occurred, the tsunami being something of a whimsical footnote adding to the absurdity of the whole absurd affair that took me to Asia. But then again, I ought to have died several months before that when the plane I was on seemed to scuttle in midair. I did not flinch; I am too much of a stoic or rather one with a healthy curiosity with the hereafter. When death knocks at my door, standing their in her dark attire, I shall raise my body from wherever I am sitting and walk towards her as if she were my dearest friend. She shall take me by the hand and we will exit.

Caption: Death comes from the abyss, from the darkness and beckons one to return whence we sprung forth.

But my life has been marked by many such events. How many times did my body wrestle with the ocean? And what about that single instance when man’s science saved me from the firm embrance of death? Oh to have died so young would have been fantastic! A Dionysian tragedy! What a wonderful affair.

Yet, I do not see myelf as being special nor fortunate. Encounters with death are part of life; they are a reminder that sooner or later, we must face this. The sooner we accept this, the better.

Now the question must surely rise: why must we die? Darwanism never answers the why, does anything ever, honestly? Perhaps it might be said that Nature seeks to maximize on her wonderful creation and that death is optimum to it. The lifespans of individual species vary according to the impact they have on the environment – of course human beings prove to be the exception. Is this not always so?

Whatever death is, it surely is nothing of what we’ve been told by religion. It is wishful thinking of selfish human beings that are much-too-scared of ceasing to be. They wish to continue. They are possessed by an excessive clinging to life! But if Achilleus was reduced to preferring to be a mean slave if it meant he could live again, are we mere mortals any better? If such mighty men desire slavery over death, if they desire to will nothing than not to will at all, why should we be exempt? Hah!

I shudder to think that men would choose to live, even the most absurd and mean life, for sake of living. I rather live no live at all if I cannot live a meaningful life!