We as humans crave control, that fickle beast that haunts our every dream. We want to be our own boss. Make our own rules. Get the high ground within our own mind.
To some extent, we want to control how we die. We want to go in our sleep. Some of us want to go in a bang. Some of us even go so far as to end our life, one last desperate bid for control in a world that gives us none.
But life does not offer us that sweet control. Life throws curveballs. We grow old, we grow brittle. We break and we fall ill and we grow disfigured with time, our body and mind decaying as death approaches. For eons the concept of eternal youth has captivated us, enthralled us with its promises of beauty and health. But what would it mean? An eternal workforce, that would never need new hires? A stagnant society resistant to change? A constantly increasing population?
Does aging really mean a loss of control? Or would it be the lack thereof that truly leaves us helpless? For how do we ethically control a population when nobody dies? How can we provide jobs for the surplus of workers? How can we criticize groomers when they might look just like the children they prey upon? In our attempt to gain control, we would only lose ourselves in an endless spiral of chaos.
As for preserving life, what does that mean? Artificially stretching someone's mind and body farther than it should go? No, preserving life and accepting death go hand in hand, for preserving life is more about cherishing the memories left behind rather than pretending the empty seat at the table is full.
Death and aging scare us because we cannot control what happens to us. Religion and mythology are our attempts to control the uncontrollable. To give us a semblance of control when we have none. We cannot control how we die. We cannot control what if anything, happens after. And we cannot control what level of suffering we go through in our final years. Will we forget ourselves and our loved ones bit by bit? Will we go near comatose and let our families take on the burden of pulling the plug? Will we drain their life's savings in a futile attempt to prevent our body's collapse?
Maybe the idea of control is a myth itself, an intangible idea that doesn't exist. Our vague understanding of it is all that we have.
Because if there's one thing we can control, it's words. And we'll use them to argue, to agree, to protest and to celebrate. We'll use them for every situation that life throws at us. And that articulation of our emotions, our thoughts, that is what control means. We need no cure for aging to fix our problems. we have to do that ourself.
We are given this precious gift of life and like everything it has cycles. Death is part of our cycle. There is a beautiful beginning and an ending that transitions us home. There are always unexpected tragic losses - some journeys unfortunately end far too soon.
I can sympathize and have heartfelt pain for the parent who has lost a child to illness or some awful accident or tragedy but I won't ever truly fully know and live that heartbreak.
When I was in high school I remember my mom and her sister having a conversation. My mother stated, "I believe women should age gracefully" to which my aunt replied, "not me, I'm going kicking and screaming." My mother lost her life to Breast Cancer that metastasized to her brain at the age of 69. My aunt is 96 years old. We just never know how long one has to walk this earth. We all have different views on things...but again as in all things there is a beginning and an ending to our life span.
There are things that we can do to help ourselves and I am all for that - take your vitamins, eat right and exercise...but let's stay out of trying to control things that are not meant for us to control. The most brilliant of minds does not compare to that of the creator. We don't know how, when, where or the circumstances of our time coming to an end... we don't live dreading it because that is not living - we live giving thanks for each day, trusting what we cannot see and by believing and living by faith.
May your life be blessed, filled with joy and all good things. Enjoy each moment of your adventure...for as we know all good things must come to an end.
Or Not to Be?
May the ghost of Darwin curse you for considering the possibility. To sacrifice evolution to the ignorance of humanity’s elite is like stopping the world from spinning. Impending death provides purpose. It motivates the extraordinary to accomplish wonders and implants dreams within future generations. Humanity has not reached its pinnacle yet. To break the cycle of life and death is to fight against the will of the universe.
When there is no aging
How many silences ring after each shot of a gun? Shattered windshields and demolished bumpers are stared at on each freeway? Planes decaying from the saltwater? Wood drifting on the open tides of the ocean? Needles are found on gas station bathroom floors? Razors left in bathtubs?
Removing aging doesn’t mean death stops. Accepting death isn’t the question.
But then what happens when there are too many protruding ribs and rumbling stomachs? Too many naked bodies shiver from the cold? The rain and hail pelt those who own nothing but a backpack? The shelves of pharmacies lay bare? Hospital lines run out the door? Children and adults alike scavenge through the trash for a sliver of hope?
Overpopulation will occur.
What then? Who decides what happens next? Who is right? Who is wrong? What then?
Why cure death? (my disorganized thoughts)
My brother told me a year ago,
"What if death is an illness all along?"
And I asked him back, "If death is an illness, what would the cure be?"
He didn't replied back because he couldn't think of an appropriate answer and the mood would plummet if we go further.
We rarely engage in deep talks and if chance finds us a way, it would only end abruptly after.
I had my own answer however it was an answer that my self could also think of even now.
In all honesty, I was more rotten, more eager for death, a more self degrading fool— last year and even the year before that than how I am currently.
But such thoughts wouldn't simply change over time.
"If death itself was an illness then life was the reason in its existence. There wouldn't be any cure since that would mean going against life itself. Remove life then there wouldn't be any more illness called 'death'."
In short, don't exist. Remove the root cause of death, then there wouldn't be any problem.
A simple answer isn't?
If you ignore my blasphemous words, that is.
It would also be the same as aging. Finding a cure for aging is going against life itself. Since the ultimate destination of our being is death...or maybe beyond that.
There wouldn't be anymore meaning if finding a way to battle against life, is there?
How come we always forgot that aging was a natural thing, a natural way to death?
How come we always forget that death has always been there.
In a world of constant change, death never did.
Like the relations of many others, to refute aging does not stop death. We must also consider whether it is aging of the appearance of beauty, aging of the physical body or aging as in never dying.
If we were to combat the aging of appearance, the body will still deteriorate physically and mentally, leading to death. If it were aging of the physical body, your mind will still be reduced to that of a child as you continue to age. If it is about living forever, I can ascertain that you do not want certain people in high places to live forever.
Why live forever though? The earth is already in peril, but, knowing humans, we would most likely take this eternity for granted and destroy the earth even more so. There will be no future generations to overcome the challenges and, knowing that their lives will not end, the producers of the earth's assassinators would not stop but only be more engaged in fads and trends and become wastrels.
Death, an old friend
Immortality is often portrayed as a desirable good. Whether it is the search for the philosopher’s stone, a magical panacea to kill age’s mortal wounds, or a mad scientist’s quest for biomedical immortality gone awry, we are all accustomed to movies, TV shows, books, games and other media that show us the follies and benefits of a pursuit for, ironically, putting an end to death itself.
I will not lie in that the concept of death does scare me. The thought of my beating heart slowly ceasing sends chills up my spine. The thought of all that about things fading to black and entering the last great unknown (other than space) is something that I would prefer to leave as a secret for many years to come; however; despite all the fears that death brings up, death serves an important role for me.
Death is an equalizer for all of humankind. It is an equalizer for all living creatures. To die is, in many ways, tied to being human as, currently, it is an experience that everyone must eventually go through alone. To remove it, seems to me, to remove something that relates all of us together. If we were to simply cure all ailments in life and to defeat death, we would be removing one of two things that connects us all. It might seem strange to want to know what grief and loss and suffering feels like and to fully embrace its raw power over us, but I do think that feeling these emotions are viscerally human. They are reminders of the value of human life and the pressing need to stay present with the moment. These emotions are reminders that bind people together in shared suffering. To know death is to know what drives your life. When all physical and material wealth disappears, where does your heart wish to sit?
For me, death and reminders of death, are reminders to be confronted and fully experienced. They help me remember that the most important parts of my life lie in my relationships. If all of life is suffering, then at least it should be suffering in solidarity with others. All the wealth in the world cannot buy relationships that resonate and compels us to grow. Just as the artist sees limitations as a source of great frustrations but also the source of ultimate creativity, so is death the muse and the compass of my life.
Death Should Be Accepted
Death should be accepted as our worldly
Already animalistic, indestructible feature a cure for aging would be
For more harm than good to be
Done in our society
Make me greedy and ignorant eternally
Because there is more time for me, you see?
Yes, but so irresponsibly
We ask for the wrong solutions
Don't pause my age
Enjoy my gauge
Watch me remember that life is
With the pros and cons
Experience as teacher
We're students enough without an indestructible feature
Let's test the limit to see how it may expire
A human so flaw full need not go higher
the art of saying goodbye
the impermanence of life
is what keeps us striving
to better ourselves
and our world.
there is no song
in the heart of an immortal
the world becomes
a backdrop to boredom
and nothing has meaning
i do not wish
to have a listless being
covering a corpse long dead.
aging is painful
and its important to embrace
the art of saying goodbye.
We are here:
There is no forever even if we manage to live indefinitely life as we know it will eventually come to an end. The finality of death and the cycle that is life revolves around an intricate dance of here and gone and there's a certain beauty that comes with it. We're able to enjoy the sweet taste of ice cream on a hot summer day and cherish the time spent with loved ones because we know it's not forever. We're here for a moment and gone the next; it's an open invitation to explore and wonder and love fully and wholeheartedly because the moments are fleeting and as finite as they are hold deep and precious meaning, the little inklings of time and space they take up in our memories and in our being. What a pleasure it is to be alive and a privilege to experience its woes and its delight and afterwards we say goodbye one last time. Aging is not a curse nor is death cruel; they are markers to show that we were once here, that we lived and felt the earth beneath our feet and the sun on our skin.