Today the South Pole begins to point away from the sun and gradually hide itself in the shade of the girth of the Earth. This is my 200th post since June 14, 2006. In precisely five years the Mayan calendar will mark 13 Baktuns (184.108.40.206.0.0.0) or 5,125 years since the sun last crossed the galactic equator and will do so again from the other side of the galaxy. At the rate I am posting I will have added 666 more posts to this blog by December 21, 2012. If the predictions based on the Mayan calendar come to pass, I will have some very interesting events about which to opine and by which I may be prevented posting ever again. This possibility of leaving the living has always existed and I have made my peace with the reaper long ago.
I just watched a movie I would have avoided except for the name, Stranger than Fiction. It featured Will Farrel as, Harold Crick, a man who began hearing the narration of his life as being written by Emma Thompson’s character, an author who kills all her heroes. In this case, her hero finds her just as she clears her writer’s block on how to kill him and, although only hand written on legal paper, she has finished the book and his life. She gives him the whole manuscript and he reads it in one sitting on the bus. When he returns it to her he is resigned to his fate, its being such a perfect ending to a masterpiece. As Crick goes about his morning routine getting ready for work, the author is typing up the ending. Upshot is that he lives after being hit by his regular bus when he saves a boy on a bike from being run over. The author explains to Dustin Hoffman that she never minded killing her heroes because everyone dies, but she’d faltered with Harold because none of her characters had ever known they were to die and nor would they have bravely carried on with their lives. He was the kind of person she would never want to die.
As contrived as this plot was it scored big points in the loss of fear of death department with me. Don Juan told Castaneda that a warrior must live prepared to live forever or die at every and any moment. Fear of death so lowers our energy level that we attract those elements that would exploit it. Hypochondria and Xenophobia are extreme cases of a plethora of other fearfully self-fulfilling restrictions to realizing love, happiness and an open mind, within us all the while.
It is fear of the unknown that formulates religions as community fairy tale tellers to buffer against the finality of death. “Don’t worry your little head about it, if you behave yourself according to god’s will you will be playing a harp in heaven, singing a sutra in nirvana, winning wars in valhalla … yaddada, yaddada, yaddada. You won’t miss a thing, you’ll be looking down at life from a more understanding remove. If you sin, you are gonna roast in hell, ride the wheel of life forever, be reincarnated as a coward…unless, of course, you want to contribute to the church.”
There are many perversions of those supposedly comforting promises, both in the curbing of free thought by theocratic dictates and in realizing one could bribe ones way through a life of sin, if one were rich enough, which seems to be a mutually self-fulfilling requirement of its own.
The excuse I hear most from those nearing their life expectancy goes something like, “I just want to see the grandchildren grow up,” as if nothing had been missed up to then. With the world being in the diseased condition we have wrought upon it, a wish to witness the life they’ll suffer from it is a most macabre case of group hypnosis and hysterical historic denial.
There are deathbed confessions of top secrects by operatives who swapped their fear of the repercussions for violating their sworn silence for the fear of having no virtue to report to St. Peter, having feared the government more than god while healthy, but for exactly the same reason.
The notion that there exists a date upon which all life as we know it will cease to exist for every living creature puts a giant twist in an already shakey path mankind finds itself trodding. Whether it is the Mayan prophesy seeming to coincide with global extremities exacerbated by human treatment of our space ship as an unlimited resource, unsustainable depletion of biodiversity, stoppable explosion of population, the rise of one world corporate fascism, 6,000,000,000 people dependent on finite fossil fuels or not, if it makes folks reexamine their lifestyle in light of these things, it serves its purpose well. Will there be a race among individuals to accumulate the most of everything or will the proximity to finality finally show any justification for such self-aggrandizement to be as blatantly self-deluding to all who deny it as it has for many all along?