Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Romance of death versus death wish
Death is a subject most dear to those who are most in love with life. Not because they are afraid of death but because they are fascinated by it and regard it as a part of life. Those who fear death or wish for it to disappear will never drink at the sumptuous springs of life. And they are even unfair to life. There is a romance about death, a mystery, a wonderment that it inspires like nothing does, investing life with a glow it would otherwise never have.All the urgency about life, all the intensity it packs into each moment we experience, all the attachment to things we value-- all these draw their life from the presence of death at the end of it all. Life would really be such a drab, uninteresting and meaningless tale if death did not force us to treasure the beauty in each of the moments before it. There is no better way to understand this than the thought of what one would like to do if one knew that one had only, say, three days left to go. This is not an invitation to a life-long obsession with death or, worse, to its glorification. On the contrary.This is an open plea for more and more of life, and more value for that more of life. Never fall in love with death, but use it to challenge yourself to live more fully, more meaningfully and more joyfully. Never , never fall in love with death. The refusal to recognsie the beauty of life, the refusal to dream the dreams even knowing them to be dreams only, the tendency to wallow in chronic despair and cynicism --all these are the evidence of our love for death. The popularity of cynicism as an intellectual fashion is evidence not of our love for life but of our morbid and compulsive indulgence in a pathetic and sickly death-wish.