Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Overcoming the Fear of Death

I've been reading (slowly as I read now a days...) Ishtar Rising by Robert Anton Wilson, and have been exploring each mysterious facet, quote, book, author, unknown word or phrase; not to "gain knowledge", as I feel it seems impossible to do so... and when knowledge is most visibly "gained" it seems to occur at the beginning of life during our imprint stages and when we were most susceptible to being conditioned in early childhood ("All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" - Robert Fulghum... I haven't read it yet). It takes a type of meek courage to not know anything again and become vulnerable in order to "reprogram", I can't say if the programmer exists within or without, or both.
Anyway, Ishtar Rising mentioned a book called "Self Love" by David Cole Gordon where he explores the search for adult "oceanic experiences" (losing ones self to something... RAW is relating it to the "oceanic experience" of oneness with the universe while the infant is at the breast) the excrement generated by this adult pining "...includes such diverse behaviours as all forms of sex, gambling, watching football games, certain kinds of crime, religious mysticism, mountain climbing and even stud poker." pg 28 Ishtar Rising.

So, being interested in checking out Self Love, I looked for a copy at a local library... to no avail, but I did find Overcoming the Fear of Death by the same author. I am currently on page 29 and found this to be quite a wake up call (transcribed from David Gordon's Overcoming the Fear of Death):
Man works for many reasons not the least of which is to live. But would he work so hard to live if he were fully conscious of the fact that he must die? Man frequently works to the degree that he does, not so much because he has to, but because he does not know what else to do. Work becomes to him ultimate meaning and reality. But does not man really work because he feels he is forced to, rather than because he wants to? Would he not rather play? And, once he finds himself working, does he not convince himself that his work is very meaningful and all-important? We see the case of the man who works to the exclusion of everything else, including all human relationships. He convinces himself that he has found ultimate meaning ; he works night and day and perhaps forgets that he must die and that he and his work may be completely meaningless. This is the man who has completely forgotten his mortality, and in his headlong flight to escape it, is really rushing to embrace it. This is the man who kills himself, finally, after first killing everything in himself that is human. This is the man who suddenly dies in his middle years after having achieved, or being on the verge of achieving, great material success. This is also the "success" who one find day puts a bullet through his head, the day he suddenly remembers what he has been so desperately trying to forget, the fact that his is a man and mortal. This is at the exit point of his life, when he realizes that he has been alienated from an authentic existence by pursuing false and inhuman goals, and in their pursuit , has has sacrificed his life, alienated his family and friends, and lost his opportunity for happiness.

This is a paragraph that one so desperately wants to communicate to him(her)self/others, but fears that the results of reading such an arrangement of words may trigger some sort of "breakdown" in the subject (whoever that is).


No comments:

Post a Comment