(Also on scriptogr.am)
The text below might not be well-written, but I think it successfully does its job. I must emphasize that the text is solely the materialization of my thoughts, and I’m in no way depressed, despondent, or pessimistic.
You’re very welcome to share your thoughts by sending me an e-mail or commenting below (if comments are enabled/available). I’d be more than happy to receive any responses.
Below is just a random thought that struck me while writing this:
Praise me and I shall be motivated. Criticize me and I shall improve.
I might not know anything about you. I might not know anything about your life. But one thing I know for sure is that the probability of you dying before finishing this piece of text is finite - it is not zero. And depending upon the present states of the multitude of atoms and molecules in the universe, this probability varies unpredictably between naught and unity.
I might sound morbid, but you cannot deny the truth in this fact.
Speaking of truth, it usually comes in two forms, one which is bitter, and the other which is trite and banal. The realization of mortality and the texts and talks of this ilk belong to these forms of truth, respectively. Everyone experiences the banal truth multiple times, but the onset of realization is often too late. This realization, if untimely, can result in an unprecedented level of inactivity or frenzy. I think, it is for this reason, that a healthy human being finds it difficult to be cognizant of the impending death.
What really matters?
Death is the end of your life. Your life is you. Death is your end. There’s nothing that matters after death. You strive for fame, wealth, and power throughout your life, but does it really matter? Can the wealth you accumulate defy death?
Wealth is materialistic. Fame and respect are not. It’s the conscience, not the material body that governs what you achieve in your life. Ideas are respected, individuals are forgotten. The only reason the names, Einstein, Newton, or Gandhi are cited often, is not because they, as physical entities, were worth worshiping, but because their ideas are applicable even today, and are applicable in the areas which are significant and anything new directly or indirectly depends on them.
Everything you own or are related to would have no meaning to you after you die. This needs to be understood. You might commit an act of valor and become a hero, or you might write some fine text and become a famous writer, but once you’re dead, these things have no meaning to you. They might affect the future generations, but with each new generation, comes a new hero and a new writer, and you’d be forgotten eventually.
The weight of history increases as the time passes by. Each moment of the present would be a part of the history the next moment. With the wheels of time rolling, the history would become so burdened by influential and significant people that their value would be nullified. But the ideas would still remain. The aim of history is not to introduce you to the people who are long dead, but to their ideas which are immortal.
Sleep has an inherent and peculiar guarantee. If you wake up after sleep, the guarantee is fulfilled. And if you do not, the guarantee doesn’t hold; it’s still valid. Think of death as sleeping, just with the quirk that you never get to wake up again and of course, you don’t get to dream.
Temporally, your life is just an infinitesimal time frame on the time axis of the universe. Spatially, your sphere of influence amounts to nothing. Engaging in bickering and dishonesty over petty issues does no good. Think of your life as the games you play. Do you want to enjoy the game or fight for something completely irrelevant and mess up all the fun? Just as the earth is nothing when compared to the Milky Way, and the Milky Way is nothing when compared to the whole universe, our lives are just an enlargement, though still insignificant, of the games we play.
What can you really achieve?
All our life, from our childhood, we are preached by our parents and teachers to work hard and make our lives successful. We are told to study, learn, and work, so that we make something out of our lives. But do we really have to do it? Does this slogging actually do any good?
The simple answer is no. Whatever we do, we do it for others. Let me explain. What did Newton gain by proposing numerous theories and laws? Sure, he gained fame and wealth, but now that he’s dead, he can’t be wealthy and it doesn’t matter if he is famous or not. However, his theories have enabled others to build new theories upon them. He helped others much more than he could benefit himself. This applies to all the professions. The work of an accountant or a clerk can help him earn some money, but is hardly helpful in anything else. The work itself, however, is crucial. For a wall to be complete, all the bricks need to be in place.
YOLO or You Only Live Once
The usage of this phrase is actually interesting. While all the scientific knowledge accumulated hitherto, supports this fact, and we might, for the moment, consider it to be true, the phrase is commonly used as an excuse to do something which a normal and sane person wouldn’t think of doing in normal conditions and which would be classified as utterly stupid and half-witted by the so called intellectual and/or mature folks.
Most often, the veracity of the phrase is ignored and the meaning, neglected. This ignorance is beyond my comprehension.
How would you feel if someone very close to you is lying on his deathbed? You know he is not going to be physically near you after sometime. The most difficult part is how to act. Do you embrace exuberance and vitality to make the final step of the journey the best one? Or do you let the grief and fear take upon you?
I’ve no answer.
How would you feel if you were lying on your deathbed? You’d realize that you have to die alone. Death, being an experience that can never be shared, seems pretty scary. And after you’re dead, what would you leave for the future travelers who take your path to make them aware of your presence? Can you actually leave anything?
One needs to think about it - death is inevitable. What happens in the world after death doesn’t matter, the dead can’t feel it or experience it. You’re gone forever. If everyone has to die eventually, what is it that we’re supposed to do in life. Why are we here? It is well known what happens to the body when someone’s dead, but what happens to the mind, the consciousness?
Religion might have answers to few or all of the questions, but I have none.
I find people so engrossed in materialism and their superficial lives, I often wonder how can anyone not think of matters like this? And if someone tries to introduce the subject in a conversation, they try their best to dodge it and don’t hesitate for a moment to label him/her as a maniac.
This ignorance is beyond my comprehension.