Saturday, 14 May 2011

A time to die?

One day we're going to die. We have to make way for those who come after. Can you imagine a world where that didn't happen? Imagine the risk from motorized scooters every time you stepped out of the front door? In every sense we find the prospect of death abstract; we cannot conceive of our own end, and tremble at the concept of losing loved one's. Therefore we've learned to create elaborate myths about an afterlife, whilst others just cannot even mention the word death without being reduced to a cold sweat. It is scary. In so many ways it appears unacceptable. But consider this; what kind of a world would it be if we defeated this arch enemy? How would it change us? Well clearly there would be less religion, because historically that is the ultimate get out of jail free card. It would also change social rituals, goals, and mean that we really would have to throw ourselves out into the stars to seek new habitats. The last part is of course thrilling, a return to our real origins, but would that balance out what we would be giving up? Imagine a world where we could raise no children? Imagine walking past an empty primary school, or a play park with the swings creaking lazily back and forth? What would become of us as a species? Well I'm going to suggest it would rob us of our humanity rather than enhance it. What creatures would we become? Is it not life's transience that gives it value? That primal knowledge that we only have so many days under the sun? I believe that when I die nothing of me shall remain, yet I
take great comfort from the knowledge that my children will continue and perhaps also give the
gift of life. Birth and death are the bookends in which our lives are framed, whispering
persistently into our subconscious. The journey between these two realities is yours to plot
so use it wisely, use it well. And perhaps be grateful that you have it at all.

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