Tuesday, November 02, 2010

DOES DEATH SCARE THE LIFE OUT OF YOU?

Most of us are all too familiar with the Kübler-Rossian 5 F'n stages of dealing with Death, terminal illness, catastrophic personal loss, significant life events, and any other tragedy or disaster.


1) NO F*CKING WAY?
denial
"This can't be happening not to me Nuh-UH?
Talk to the hand."
 
2) F*CKKKKKK!
anger
"Son-of-a! Oh no YOU di'int!?"



3) HOLY F*CK!!!
bargaining 
"I'd make a deal with God, 
And I'd get him to swap our places"
Kate Bush Running Up That Hill


4 f*ck it  :(
depression
 "Think I'll just go and eat worms.
And when I'm gone you wait and see,
They'll all be sorry oh so sorry that they picked on me."


5) Ahhh f*ck
acceptance
"Yeah but what-are-ya-gonna-do?"
Homer J Simpson

 
What brought this on?
Last weekend I went to see BODIES the Exhibition and yes it did affect me.
 
 
The platicized people made me realise that we are, to quote The Fifth Element, meat popsicles. When sliced up and laid out on a table, we look like a platter of Ham, Turkey, Steaks and Ribs. I'll never carve a Christmas Dinner again without noticing how similar we are.
 
Which is fine. As an empiricist I accept the scientificky theory that it took 3 Billion Years of evolutionary tinkering to create us. From stiffly finned fish through to primates...
 

it makes perfect sense that our basic template has been modified to accomodate our progress.

We've come a long way from the primordial ooze to our own unique place in the grand scheme of things. No other creature can boast of having attained such a dysfunctional and near complete separation from the Natural World.
 
But it dawned on me that all of those other organs are just there to support the 3 pound glob of jello folded betwixt our ears. I don't know how electric-chemical connectors create a mind out of a brain, and I also understand, that I never will.

That being said, I honestly believe that we ARE our mind.
 
 
When I looked at the bodies in the exhibit I was fine, but once I glanced into the faces and saw those marble eyes in a real face, it freaked me out. Then I would suddenly be aware that at one point in time, this WAS A REAL PERSON.
 
A human being who experienced all of the same emotional trials and (hopefully) a few triumphs as the rest of us, and who no doubt wondered what would happen to "them" after they died...
especially ending up on display like this?
 
When my time comes, I hope that it's sudden, and that somehow Monica Bellucci was directly responsible.
 
 
Just kidding, no seriously, I can only dream of dying in my sleep like Grandpa, and not like the terrified screaming passengers in his car...
okay sorry, I love that old joke.
 
For the time being I'm not going to obssess aboot it. All the whatifs and shoulda-woulda-coulda's add up fast and take the fun out of being a cognizant being. Like these future Darwin Award recipients. 
 
 
NOW is a gift, that's why they call it The Present.
..go ahead and groan.
 
Personally, I don't see any point in trying to figure oot what's waiting on the other side, if anything, because nobody knows, and there is no way of finding out.
 
There have been plenty of theories dreamed up over the past several Millenia. Some of them are creative & comforting, the recycling ones are nice, but for the most part, most of these imaginings are just plucked out of thin air and burdened with laugh-oot-loud, perplexing, guilt-ridden, value-added rules which nobody can adhere to anyway? 
 
 
I just hope that researchers keep pluggin' away on how a physical brain creates a magical mind so that eventually Humans can stop worrying aboot it.

For now I'll just keep renewing my Lease On Life with the Reaper every Halloween. I guess that if I am being perfectly honest with myself, I'm stuck in the "bargaining" phase.
 
 
Aren't we all? 

19 comments:

  1. Speaking of Monica Bellucci, yesterday I saw this photo of her on the cover of Paris Match and thought of you.

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  2. An interesting question - how can the mind die? Or even dare I say that unquantifiable object, the human spirit?

    Following a breakdown at 16 obssessing about death (too much Dennis Wheatley at an impressionable age), I have reached the conclusion that plucking at a harp on a fluffy cloud and playing tricks on my friends left behind will sure beat the pants off working for a living when the time comes!

    I understand that some of the models in the Plastination exhibition bequeathed themselves in their wills for the project. But why? Too freaky for me. I wouldn't be able to forget they were once living breathing human beings for a moment. Am glad I do not eat meat either so would have no unpalatable comparisons to make.

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  3. I looks like you're making friends with Dr De'ath.

    I would've loved to see that exhibit, I like to look scary things in the eye (When I'm wearing my rubber pants)

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  4. Poet Laur-eate
    I still have to work at restraining the guilt demons from my pentechostile era. I don't know if I'll ever be able to sweep all of them out. What a great job they did of searing my mind with all of that misinformation, guilt, and false hope.

    LuLu,
    Don't get me wrong it was fascinating in a taxonomical way..I mean it becomes painfully obvious to everyone that we're not mystical beings from the great beyond. We're just like all of the other animals, only less predictable and much more dangerous.

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  5. It's the time of year for these thoughts.

    I suppose, at the end of the day no one really knows what's waiting when we close our eyes for the final time.

    I've been witness to three of my parents dying and there's definitely a spirit/soul that animates our bodies.

    As for the rest...we'll have to see.

    I for one do not want to be Judged to have wasted my life.

    Good post by the way, your jelly still shakin' duuude.

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  6. Here is the byproduct of my guilt-ridden programming;
    When you die, they set up a big screen and play an out-take reel of all the horrible things you did, complete with a soundtrack of what you were thinking.
    I sure as hell ain't goin' there!

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  7. Fantastic post, Donn...

    I don't like viewing Egyptian mummies...or any type of mummy in museums, because I think it's kind of disrespectful to dig somebody up from their resting place and then put them on display. I wonder how museum curators would feel if it were their loved ones propped up for display like sale items at the local dept store windows.

    Still, I suppose it's different when people actually agree to donate their bodies to science for purposes like this Bodies Show. I wouldn't mind seeing that...then have lunch with some chianti and fava beans afterwards...

    *makes slurping sounds*

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  8. thoughtful post, sugar, but for me, i know only one thing: the world will end when i die.




    for me anyway. xoxoxox

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  9. Alex (the species turn-coat) Pendragon3:05 PM

    Now that I've accepted total resignation, I feel like I have a great weight taken off my shoulders. Simply not giving a shit about any of it anymore takes the wind right out of my angst. Yes, I am still annoyed at those who had the intelligence and actual power/capital to make a difference, but my experience has shown me that as a species, we simply can't help ourselves, so why get all worked up about it anymore? We are a failed experiment in sentience, and soon enough we will follow the dinosaurs into meaninglessness and the next great evolutionary idea will get IT's turn to try and make it off this rock.

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  10. You mean we were not made from clay? Outrageous!

    When Bodies visited Copenhagen I almost went to see it but I didn't go because it was real dead people and I'm sure I'd freak out if I ever made it past the ick phase.

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  11. Monica!!! Sorry Donn, i kinda got lost after her.

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  12. Death doesn't scare me. Maybe because I am quite certain within myself that it will simply be an end, followed by nothing. Decomposition, the distribution of my atoms to other things that need them more. There's nothing scary about non-existence; only BEING holds things of terror!

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  13. Very recently I had my very first 'fear of death' experience, and I do mean my VERY FIRST. Cherry POPPED. I have never experienced any form of fear quite that purely in my life. It occurred to me later, after I'd changed my drawers, that what I'd experienced was directly inverse to the enormous investment I have in the ongoing narrative of my current life. Also, that what I specifically feared was the sudden blowing out of the candle.
    My fear, then, amounted to the loss of control over my life, not the life itself. Being denied, by chance, the opportunity to tie a bow on it all.
    Maybe thats what fear of death is all about. Maybe it all comes down to a fear of having the reins snatched out of your hands. At least, thats what it amounts to for me. the punchline there is that nobody has control over anything, right? Control is a carefully crafted illusion designed by a mind that needs to categorize and organize things into patterns.
    To drag this out into further ridiculousness....It's been posited that 'pattern' is the only law of the universe and that randomity is the greater explaination for what we perceive as life. If thats the case, we are all manifestations of the DODECAHEDERON, Fibonacci is God and we are just stray butthairs. This stray butthair is going to go have breakfast now. Pi, y'all!

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  14. I am no fucking manifastation of a twelver whatever.
    In my opinion this exhibition is absolutely beyond any border, limit, how you may call it and I do not go there. Is it vonHagens? A disturbing person.

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  15. Oh waiter, I just found a stray butthair in my soup.

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  16. You eat soup because you are afraid to die.

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  17. Don't know what comes after - but done right, done in an at ease in bed kind of way, death does leave a look of peace on their faces.

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  18. A Blog post like those of old! Yeah!
    I liked your jokes...yep I've heard them before, but they are the kind you like to forget and get to hear again, new all over again. :)
    Death? Seen too much of the bugger around here...and he'll be back, braced but certainly not ready.

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