Monday, July 11, 2011

Let’s Embrace Death

Wikipedia tries to define death as the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism [1]. The definition of death is fuzzy, but defining death is not the purpose of this post. This post aims at killing the fear of death itself, because ‘daar ke age jeet hai’. Let us challenge the authority of Yamraj. Death brings fear, fear brings grief, and grief brings misery. Each and every moment we are struggling not to die, we are forgetting how to live. One day we will grow old and look back at the road traveled and repent all the opportunities missed.

We hail medical research in such high ground, only because it postpones death. It has helped increase the population of human beings in such enormous numbers that life itself is now struggling to cope with the anomaly it created. Market for illegal wildlife is around 20 billion US dollars [2]. Majority of these animals are killed for medical research. It is not only the forests that are reducing; the animals within them are reducing at a much faster rate. Numerous species have already gone extinct, and we have brought millions more to the verge of extinction. We are killing other species to test medicines that will in turn help us live longer. Yes, we are stealing life from other species! All this, because we are afraid of death! True happiness will always elude a soul that is afraid of death.

We witness death everywhere, everyday, there is no point denying it. Your cells are dying every second and are replaced by new ones. Your body itself is not the same one you were born with. Death, thus, is necessary as it keeps you healthy. You do not shed tears for your cells. Same holds true for humans. Death is nature’s way of maintaining the balance. Without it the whole framework of nature will come crushing down. Our grief for the death of our loved ones is a selfish emotion arising from the fact that we are going to miss him/her. That same selfish emotion wants us to be immortal. Both religion and science have wasted their precious moments in the quest for immortality. To me it is just a futile effort because death is obvious to things that have birth. Only that which had no beginning has no end.

Death is not the end, it is a transformation.  Atoms are long lived and durable. They were there at the beginning, and are going to be there till the end. As we die our atoms dissemble and gets recycled vigorously only to become part of something else. In fact the atoms that makes you was once part of a distant  star, ones it was the part of a dinosaur, and some of it may have belonged to Buddha, Genghis Khan and Shakespeare [3]. Part of you is the reincarnation of these great legends. Your avatar dies, but the energy that makes you is eternal.

There has been lots of report about near death experiences (NED) [4]. I have no evidence to say anything against or in favor of it. But people who claim to have NDE’s have reported to have lost the fear of death. If their claim is valid then death becomes a mere door that takes you from the physical to the spiritual world. If you believe in souls and past lives then your soul is also eternal. Neither your body, nor your soul dies. You are immortal, indestructible and eternal.

Death exists only when we hold on to the illusion of our individuality. The moment we break ourselves from that shackle of individuality and feel part of the eternal entity, death ceases to exist. The feeling of ‘I’ is a 20-watt fountain of energy operating in the brain. The illusion of time and space also exists in that same brain. According to Robert Lanza “Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether” [5]. In a timeless, spaceless, multiple parallel quantum world death is meaningless.

For a moment if we forget the multiple parallel worlds and take the world as we know it, even then death seems to be insignificant. If the 4.5 billion years of earth history was compressed in a single day, human beings will emerge only one minute seventeen seconds before midnight, our civilization only last few seconds, and the life of an individual just an instant. Death is insignificant as is our life as an individual. Let’s be happy in that insignificant instant when we are just us. Let go of your fear, let us age gracefully, let’s embrace life and let’s embrace death. Life just is, you are not going to get out of it alive anyway. 

[2] GEO, Indian Edition, July 2011
[3] A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson, 2005

This post is part of the series MIND OF GOD DECODED. Other articles from the series:
4] TIME 

You React:


  1. I am not afraid to die but certainly afraid of Death ( Close ones). I think it's my biggest fear. Don't know how to overcome that...

  2. we all are afraid of death...the real problem starts when we are afraid to die...that is when we try to be immortal and end up creating more problems for everyone....

  3. Whatever we do death would come embrace us one day even if we embrace it or not!!  the fear of death is a part of us right from the moment we are born! not just humans! to every living being! I am afraid to die too! one because I am afraid of "I dont know" and one because of the impact that creates on our loved ones!!

  4. Superb post. Right from the Disclaimer to the very last line.
    Death is an inevitable part of life. As pointed out by Saru, afraid of death and not afraid to die. 
    I would go one more step ahead and say that death, like birth should be a celebration; both, after all are transformations.

    Take care.

  5. true...death will embrace us...fear of death is natures way of helping
    specied survive. unfortunate dodos did not fear humans resulting in the
    humans killing all of them for the fun of might also know
    about those male spiders who know that they will be killed by their femal
    counterparts but still embrace death while mating......

    but there is one difference between human beings and the other forms of
    life...animals accept death much easier than human beings...they stay within
    the balance of nature...we, on the other hand keep destroying the balance
    for selfish want of immortality...we are causing the fastest ever extinction
    in the history of life...and also , if we keep fearing death and try to
    survive tomorrow, when are we going to enjoy 'now'?

  6. thanks Janhvi...yes...death, like birth should be a celebration...and so
    should be life in between...

  7. Fear of loosing someone and loosing oneself...... It looks so selfish.
    Death has been a constant question/fear in everyone's mind. Consciously or sub-consciously this reside in our brain.
    I think more research and money should be done and spent on finding cure for disability and mental illnesses.

    Immortality... plz give this to my enemies :D
    Short, healthy life is way better than living like zombies, vampires( they are immortals).

    Insightful read.... enjoyed it as always.

  8. That is true SUB! animals seem to be taking it easier!! they stay within the balance of nature.. But still!! Would that realization help us conquer our fear of death?

    Lets at least try to keep the fear far apart by keeping the thoughts about death away, so that we could enjoy 'now' :)

  9. thanks are right, I totally agree with you...

  10. Thanks for saying that cindrellaaa...Sure, why long as you are

  11. Humans are marked with stature of endless fetish, but when
    it comes to leave their biological form a melancholy warps around their heart
    and grief in mind.  

    Medical science has successfully reduced death rate and
    humans have increased the birth rate; life cycle is being disturbed. 

  12. True Prateek...thanks for your comments...

  13. Such profound yet amazing  facts about the inevitable.....The 20 watt energy about the feeling of I was interesting.

  14. Thouroughly insightful! ans well documented.
    keep it up:)

  15. Thanks Stuti....glad you liked it...

  16. This post kinda reminds me a book read "God's Debris." Well, a good post and food for thought!

  17. Thanks for your comments Gargi....

    "God's Debris"? the name kinda attracts me...what's it about? u recommend it?

  18. Well, Just check in Google Gods debris by Scott Adams and that should be it. It's a good book to read though you may not agree with all the points. 

    P.S. - I'm in your followers list and so are you.

  19. i did gave me the whole e-book which i do not want to
    download...thanks for recommending...i think it will be worth trying this

  20. Interesting...the fear of the unknown makes death a big industry. Assume that science establishes that post-death there is no Heaven or Hell sort of black-and-white dispensation but that the 'soul' migrates to one of the other 'million' universes, in a boring transition from one existence to another, the fear of the unknown would still remain, as woulds the 'death' industry...

  21. yea...the industry will remain...few individuals might change :)

    thanks satish

  22. I don't fear Death, never ever did, but it hurts a bit when you have to leave the people who were with you a so long, and suddenly you come to know that you might never ever have them (physically)....
    Ne-ways, it was a very good experience while reading it.

    " Numerous
    species have already gone extinct, and we have brought millions more at
    the verge of extinction. We are killing other species to test medicines
    that will in turn help us live longer. Isn’t that selfish? Isn’t that
    stealing life from other species? "
    What i actually liked in this post was mainly the above sentence...

  23. well it hurts for sure :)...thanks for your comments 

  24. We are all made of stardust πŸ˜€ as you rightly said if seen in the perspective of a timeless universe, death is just a physiological phenomenon but as we humans have evolved over the years we've given innumerable dimensions to the theory of death. And that spectrum ranges from the spiritual to the emotional directives of our existence. I like your post :)



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