The Challenge of Death

or
Happy Valentines Day

(thoughts from ‘The Other Side’ by ~burning woman~ )

I took a break from writing the novel tonight and watched a movie my friend left with me. It’s called “The Carer” and it is a good story.

Here are some quotes from that movie:

Quote: “Great Dramatists and great actors conspire to blow up complacency, corruption, pretension, all the vices of our rich, sordid, jaded world with humour, passion and a large dollop of sex.”

(And I would add, so do great writers.)

Quote: “How many of us here deny the human condition in one form or another? We get old, that’s the truth. And how can you tell true stories about the human condition if you deny it, choosing only the good bits: youth and beauty, passion and sex. There’s no truth in cosmetic enhancements, you know, no candour in collagen.”

(And here I would add: Nor in ostentatious adulation and riches.)

Quote: “Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once.”

(And here I would add that those who work so hard at denying the coming reality of death and what it may entail of the unknowns it hides, are as cowardly as those who quail when facing it on the battle field or in opposing tyrants.)

Quote: “Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear, seeing as death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.” {End of quotes}

Let’s engage the topic of “this or that” History Month. Let’s look at some big topics we could have official history months on and pretend, just for one moment, that a “History Month” means that we actually cared about what “month” is being recognized for or celebrating.

OK, big topics.

How about a “Love History Month”? I’m told that love is really, I mean, really important; that everybody wants love, needs love. Two days from “Valentine’s Day” and suddenly the subject of “love” is all the rage. Maybe they should have made February “Love History Month.” Ah but then I wonder what sort of “history” would emerge from such a topic. Who would mention that love is an absolute value; that there are no “degrees” of love? Imagine a whole month where, as celebration of love everybody does nothing else but love one-another.

I think not. Let’s just send each other little red hearts on cardboard or on digital screens and keep on pretending.

Do we have an official “Life History Month”? I don’t remember hearing about that either. Yet, is there a more important topic to discuss and engage? Shouldn’t we, once and for all, define life as an absolute value? How about celebrating a whole month without any killing, not in warfare, not in sports, not as a police activity, not as random street crime and not in the killing fields of meat packing. For one month, all life is sacred, at least to the very best of our ability to practice this.

I’m afraid we’re not touching that one with a ten foot pole.

Do we have a “Peace History Month”? OK, here goes, one whole month dedicated to doing peace. One whole month of total cease-fire, no warfare. One whole month no oppressing, no bullying, no extorting, no taking advantage, no competitive activity. Just peace.

Hm. Why can’t I see that happening either?

So,
can’t do love,
can’t do life,
can’t do peace.

Hey, I know. Let’s have a “Death History Month”! Focus on everything and everyone on this world that’s died, is dying, and will die, how and why. For an entire month all we do is study death, observe death, think and talk about our own guaranteed, certain death, then feel the feelings engendered by such a study.

Of course we would never do that; it would be considered morbid.

Yet does anyone realize that the more death is studied and focused upon, particularly one’s own death, the more one comes to understand the necessity of
loving unconditionally? Of
treating all of life as sacred? Of
personal and global peace as the only foundation for any civilization?

But we won’t have any of that because, well, we all know why, to the tune of about seven and a half billion reasons. We would never contemplate engaging love, life or peace in any meaningful context, it would upset the applecart and the applecart is what’s sacred!

I’m told that mankind is not brainwashed, is not manipulated, is not controlled. Therefore what I’m really being told is that mankind is autonomous, free to think, speak and act in every way.

If that is the case, then mankind, that is each and everyone of us, is fully responsible, and accountable, for all the misery, the horror, the killing, that takes place all over this world. There is no one else to blame! If you’re not the victim, then you are the perpetrator. Sure, there’s countless arguments against my black and white views of things, but they remain spurious.

As perpetrators of global injustice the reality we exist in is a reality we all want, desire, or feel the need for. As victims, the same reality is one we consider hell and would do practically anything, if we had the power, to get out from under. It’s just that the perpetrators, the consumers, the relatively content, the remaining “haves” won’t let their victims escape; they won’t even let them seek refuge from oppression and drone bombing in the box store, the fast-food drive-tru or multiplex theatre because that would spoil the game and the game must go on.

We of the west with our fake religions, fake economics, fake politics, have been masterful at vicariously spreading hell and death throughout the world through our Master we call the Military Industrial Complex. For several hundred years we’ve benefited from that exploitation and now, when it’s coming to a justly deserved end we’re not giving up in the face of certain collapse, we’re desperately attempting to shore up the crumbling edifice of militaristic imperial democracy and “Christian” values even if all we’re doing is pretending it isn’t collapsing.

The costs? More deaths of innocents, but as long as it’s not my death, or the death of “my” innocents, it’s normal and fair collateral damage. If a dozen Kurd children need slaughtering today so I can fill my SUV gas tank or buy a bigger screen smart TV, that’s the price the Third World or developing world has always had to pay to the Empire so why should that be a problem today, particularly?

Happy Valentines day…

12 thoughts on “The Challenge of Death

  1. Pingback: The Challenge of Death – The Militant Negro™

  2. Lisa R. Palmer

    The title drew me in, and the text did not disappoint. Truth, ranting, reality… keywords that come to mind. I’m reading it and nodding along, agreeing with the words and sentiments expressed… And then the questions begin to form…

    Why, for example, am I still here? I cannot fathom why I choose to continue bearing witness to such destructive, life-denying times. Perhaps I had a mission or a purpose in doing so at one time, but it eludes me now. The more I see, the less I care what happens, believing that these “end” times are necessary and helpful in the end. So why stick around?

    I don’t expect an answer, Sha’Tara; I just felt a desire to share the question. Lol! Another thought-provoking post from the Other Side, I guess… 😀

    Reply
    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I know you don’t expect an answer Lisa, but these questions, and [quote]: “Why, for example, am I still here? I cannot fathom why I choose to continue bearing witness to such destructive, life-denying times. Perhaps I had a mission or a purpose in doing so at one time, but it eludes me now. The more I see, the less I care what happens, believing that these “end” times are necessary and helpful in the end. So why stick around?”[unquote] are very much the same questions I carry in my mind day after day. Then comes a neighbour with a need she can’t meet, or can’t pay for, or a phone call for help on something or other, and then, just like that, it all makes sense, even if it is only for a day. So that day is taken care of. Beyond that, it’s as if I didn’t exist and who knows. I chose long ago to “transform” myself into a compassionate person/being, knowing full well that such a purpose would push me to become the very thing: compassion. So I need to think of this as a transitional phase, passing from being just another human being to becoming “pure” (?) compassion, no longer human. Does compassion need a body to function? I suppose I’ll find out. And you? Stick around, you’ll find out also and some day, looking back, it’s going to feel really, and I mean, really GOOD.

      Reply
    1. Phil Huston

      Next you’ll jump on the Frank Zappa all pop love songs are dishonest wagon. Then how are we supposed kill time while time kills us? YouTube vanishing species documentaries? CNN talking heads speculating? Ancient Astronaut Theorists?

      Reply
      1. Sha'Tara Post author

        Hah, hah, hah!!! Not sayin’ you can’t have all the romance and sex, especially sex, you can get! Just don’t build a life on it. Take a lesson from the butterfly and the bee and the flowers. Call it pollination, not love.

  3. stolzyblog

    Month? That’s too big a bite, but Day of Death might fly. Like the Mexicans do. In 1998 I spent half a year working down there and had the day explained to me as “basically, we make fun of death”. That’s an interesting attitude compared to the U.S. where the prevailing attitude is more or less: death don’t exist until it does. I remember the cathedrals there in some of the tinier cities in the center of the country. Christ taken off the cross, blood-stained, gory, misery-racked, and dead. Life-sized figure in a glass case. Lying prone. At eye level so even children could peer in. It was visceral there — no effort to smooth things over. I liked it.

    Reply
  4. Sha'Tara Post author

    Thanks Robert. Imagine then giving it a month, a whole month. If we thought about death, or entered its domain (according to our own beliefs) and wandered around “between worlds” for a month we would see, not only how ephemeral this life is, but all that we could do with it as our thinking took on cosmic proportions. That’s what “they” don’t want us to clue in on. We must remain in our fear and ignorance, believing for the most part there is no future, no real point to anything but eat, drink and be merry(say what?) for tomorrow we die, the best slogan for consumerism I’ve ever seen. I began doing the “death trip” when I was in my mid-thirties and still “dating” my lover, living in “sudden death overtime” and walking between the worlds. Someone long ago said that if we would understand life we should spend our best times in graveyards.

    Reply
  5. franklparker

    Another perceptive post, Sha’Tara. You seem to be at the peak of your powers just now – poems, a novel, and all these thought provoking blog posts. Thank you for having me.

    Reply

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