November 28, 2010

  • Our Sojourn

    1) “Today is a good day to die!” daily morning prayer of Crazy Horse, 19th century warrior.

    2) Rumi, a 16th –17th century Sufi (Persian) poet observed: “No one knows your real name until your very last breath.”

    3) Schwelgien, a 21st century American (nofor)poet has further observed: “The process of your birth finds no surcease until your very last breath.”

    4) Furthermore, the process of your death commenced with your very first breath.

    5) There is only birth and death. The common perception that birth and death are discrete entry/exit terminals with a segment of life (lifespan) “in between” is misleading. Birth shades into death as death shades into birth. Any segregative distinctions are superfluous.

    6) If one views life as something sandwiched “in between” discrete dichotomies of birth and death, then one is apt to consider as the foremost practical issues: “What do I do with my life?”, “What am I to make of myself?”, and “How am I to make a living?” In other words, one encounters the difficulty of what to do with the “intervening” segment of time. If death is seen as something inevitably awaiting us, the issue is: "What can (should) we do while we wait?"

    7) If, however, one understands life as the ever-developing and interacting processes of both birth and death, then no “intervening” undefined state arises. One is always being born to some degree (a logically fuzzy birth) and is always dying to some degree (a logically fuzzy death). And naught else.

    8) Hence, life is never the matter of fill-in-the-blank. Destiny is always occurring. “Life is much too busy being everything to seem anything--catastrophic included,” 20th century, e.e. cummings.

    9) Death in the common perception is merely a spectator sport. Everyone watches “the event.” Even the person dying, if conscious, is sometimes inclined to observe “the event.” “I don’t want to die!” is then the lament. As if there were another choice! As if one hasn’t been dying from one’s first breath!

    10) Death is truly experienced as a unique process--no fingerprint, no snowflake is as individual as each and every one of our deaths. Yet we never die alone. Which amounts to saying that no one lives your life but you, yet you never live alone. "No man is an island," 17th century, John Donne.

    11) Gossip assumes the pretense of knowing someone’s real name before their last breath. In this light, gossip is seen as a form of societal hyperventilation.

    12) Death always shames those who gossip. People who gossip live in secret shame because death makes gossip infamous. Who dare gossips about the dead without dread of recrimination?

    13) Hence, gossip is the deathcast in the spectator sport of life. Woe on he or she who lives watching death and dies watching life--by proxy through gossip--without ever fully living and dying themselves. As Merton, 20th century mystic-monk, made out: there are “those who hide in the shadow of an answer to a question they are afraid to ask.”

    14) Kerouac, a 20th century American poet/writer observed: “There is only the Golden Eternity.”

    15) There is only our Golden Eternity.



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