Tuesday, July 30, 2013
The Meaning of Life
"I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m finding that ..." people are obsessively concerned that they are obsessively concerned about Death.
Why is that?
I'm concerned that people are obsessing over the wrong things, and are therefor living disordered lives. The sole end of your life, your entire 'reason' (your 'end') is your death.
And you're concerned you're concerned about that?
You celebrate the completion of something. "Completion." Guess what that means? To complete something is for you to 'kill' it and for it to 'die.'
That's why so many people never get anything done. They'd rather, obsessively, prolong, artificially, the life of something: their project at home, their dead-end job, than to complete it, naturally, 'kill' it, and move on with their lives, no longer attached to that thing.
But no, they keep feeding the external thing with their own lives so that this thing, this job, this doctor's thesis you've been working on for seven years now, this room you're going to tidy up 'when you get to it' but you never do, this just-this-one-more-level-in-this-video-game that never ends, this whatever-in-your-life-you're-attached-to that you keep feeding with your attention grows bigger and bigger in your life, until it is everything, it sucks up all your time and all your attention, it's the big, white elephant in the room, and the only thing that isn't there any more is you. Your husband can't talk with you, because he's talking to your job, not to you, any more.
Congratulations, you're not concerned about Death, you're concerned about doing a good job at your job, a perfect little cog in whatever wheel that feeds the beast ...
... by sucking out your soul.
You know when I know that I haven't reached down deep enough into me, and how I know that I really haven't opened up my heart, in my writing?
I look at my stats. If I don't see 'Death' there, I know I haven't done my work. I haven't tried hard enough. I didn't let go of this or that compulsion.
I haven't truly lived, if I don't truly die.
My daughter celebrates a birthday. Death.
I get promoted to 'Senior developer.' Death.
We have a new baby. Death.
I finish my taxes. Death.
I write a new chapter. Death. I publish that chapter. Death.
OMGosh, I finally, finally write 'The End' to "My Sister Rosalie."
Death. Death. Death. And that death, I'm scared (death), just might kill me.
Isn't that what you're afraid of? That if you actually do something, and face your fear, and walk right up to it, embrace it, and with it, move forward into that new chapter of your life ...
... aren't you actually afraid you'll die?
And, this time, the fear is justified: you actually will die. The old you will die, and the new you will be born, and you'll actually live, for goodness sake, unencumbered by that stupid, pointless thing that was tying you down to who-you-used-to-be, and because why, because you were so frikken attached to that something, that pointless thing, that nothing: that job, or that thesis, or that Mommy van and everything that it says about you (that is: everything that you think other people think about you, but nobody really cares about you, and if they did care about you, you know: really care about you, WOULDN'T IT BE LOVERLY?).
But no, you're too scared to think on your final end — you are dust, and everything you do is empty and meaningless — no, you'd rather care about your job, or about how you think other people think about you, than actually kill those things binding your life, constraining it into this tight little box that you can pretend to control, so that you can 'live' your 'life' on 'your' terms, worrying, obsessing, over everything, and accomplishing nothing.
When you accomplish something, you kill it in your life, so that it becomes free of you, and gets to live, and so that you become free of it, and you get to live.
But, oh, noes! That's too scary and unpredictable (Death), and We. Can't. Have. That.
The autocracy of 'oh, I'm not scared of death, I don't even think about it, because that so not cool!' has moved Death from ever before you, so now it's behind you, biting at your heels, the invisible monster under the bed you refuse to confront, so that, paradoxically, you nerve more and more about it: you're giving Death life, and killing yourself in the process. You're scared to die, but you won't admit that, not even to yourself, so you will never truly live.
I'd prefer to put Death front and center. And you know what? When I do: it is so liberating. I am going to die. I am going to die today; I am going to die tomorrow. I don't know when, precisely, but I do know that it will happen in my life.
So, is this thing, this little thing worthy of my time and effort? Yes? Then I will do it, and put my hand on the oar and pull with all my might and pull this ship into battle, for ... Today is a good day to die.
No? Then fuck it. This little thing is not worthy of my time nor of my attention? Fuck it, and fuck your petty fear of death, refusing to live, and refusing to let me live and revel and dance gleefully in this life I'm given. You can live your small, little, mousy life in your little, tiny box, scared of everything, but not concerned with death, because that's not P.C., but you're not going to drag me down into the sewer of your empty, grey, and only-existing-and-not-truly-living life.
I'd like to start a new trend here, standing against this wave of fear and conformity I see at present. I'd like to be the one to stand up, and to be proud of the fact that one of the things, and, most times, the primary thing, I'm concerned about is Death. I'd like to propose that when you, dear writer, check your stats to see how Buster and Kellianne, and Dr. James W. Pennebaker have to say about what you say to yourself in your writing, as opposed to how you truly think and feel about yourself (eh, you'll get there, ... or you won't), and how you see Death prominent, or even preeminent, that instead of being afraid or angry or perplexed, that ...
That you're proud.
"I'm thinking of the final things, the last things," you say to yourself, proudly.
I'm letting go of this, so that I can choose that. I'm dying, in my writing, and, projecting: I'm dying. Full Stop.
I am but dust, and to dust I shall return.
How then, shall I live?