All our lives the dominant cultural paradigm whispers in our ear that we ought to fear death. Not merely that reinforcing the propensity of fearing death is an instrument of control that creates indentured servants and empowers the ruling elite's insatiable quest for pernicious domination — but that it is exclusively the ruling faction itself that fears the death of their own perceived dominance. And so it will therefore do whatever it takes to preserve its temporal position of perceived power, even at the expense of self-annihilation and eventual collapse.
The whispers that incessantly tell us to praise life (especially human life) on one hand, but fear death on the other, is an inherent contradiction. Life and death is the balance of existence. The death of one creature creates the opportunity of life for another. In this context, the dominant cultural narrative interprets the notion of immortality through a fallaciously prejudiced lens. It sees immortality as an artificial longing to make the human body immortal. This perception of immortality is completely decoupled from the laws that foster life — laws that state that death is part of the cyclical renewal process of life. Immortality in this sense is the feeble attempt of avoiding death, which of course is the natural outgrowth of fearing death. After all, why would we not aspire to prolong our bodies in the attempt at foiling death, thus aggrandizing with infantile conviction the perception of immortality in this context?
Needless to say, we are mendaciously indoctrinated to see ourselves as the final form of creation. The fundamental flaw ignored by this ideological perception is that there is no finality or final frontier in a universe of multi-variant complexity and ever-expansive cosmological mystery. If we are to believe in the mythical premise that we are indeed the final form of creation — it is then implicit that the evolutionary processes of life has come to an end with us. In other words, in order to prove that we are at the final precipitous arbiter of creation, we must then live in a way as to make it come true. It would therefore seem compellingly self-evident that to make it come true we must live in a way that will literally put an end to creation itself. And, low and behold, if we look at the path towards which the dominant cultural narrative is taking us — it seems that we are indeed living in such a way that will in fact end the processes of creation on this planet.
There is an invisible assumption in our culture that when the body dies, nothingness transpires. Such an assumption is delicately procured by the institution of scientific reductionism. The truth is, no person or human-made institution can possibly claim to know without equivocation what happens — upon, or after death. It is an impenetrable mystery belonging to the realm of speculation and conjecture at best, and deservedly so. For, life and death are of an equally mysterious phenomena, and both are inextricably entangled with one another. Life and death cannot be separated. Credulously forcing the separation in the distinctions of life and death causes a deep-seated split in the human psyche. The utterly sanctimonious attempt of separating them — making one out to be bad, and the other good — is a ghastly, obnoxious, and nauseating endeavor.
The concept of evolution is not unprecedented; not something magically concocted by the institutions of Science and Newtonian Physics. It is hardly something new. Contrary to popular misconception, evolution has been understood by hundreds of thousands of human cultures throughout at least the last 200,000 years (approximate time-stamp of the biological crossing from Homo Erectus to Homo Sapien). Perhaps the grandest human delusion rests in the propagandized assumption that the fear of death is universal across the entire spectrum of humanity. The truth however is that hundreds of thousands of human cultures over hundreds of thousands of years have possessed many varying perceptions of, and approaches to, the meaning of death.
Another reason we fear death is that the conversation seldom emerges. The human mind tends to cower or express cognitive dissonance towards anything that may elicit feelings of vulnerability or discomfort. The result: few openly talk about it. Is it surprising then that a consensus culture that's fixed on resisting death refuses to openly invoke the subject in public discourse, let alone in private? We fear death because it is uncontrollable. A culture predicated on domination, subjugation and manipulation coupled with the sickening drive to glorify the pretense of superiority over the natural world, dictates that all natural processes (including death/re-birth) must be imprinted concretely upon the human psyche — as to be something that ought to be conquerable, and therefore controllable. A dominant culture that blindly accepts control as a dominant ethic is a culture exemplified by insanity. So we attempt to fulfill the delusion of controlling the uncontrollable (life), in tandem with the delusional intention of defeating the undefeatable (death) — an attempt rooted in dismal failure from the very beginning.
Evolution does not exclusively reside in the domain of biology. Perhaps the most discerning form of evolution is the evolution of language; the residual development of how an organism communicates with its environment, and hence itself. A question then arises: Is human language in its current form adequate to meet the needs of our evolutionary stability as a whole? Furthermore, Is the unquestioned model of human language in its current form the final frontier of communication and information exchange? What if the entire edifice of human enterprise rests upon the evolution of language itself; the ever-developing refinement and betterment of communicative technology? Human language today evidently falls short in its purpose; is grossly outdated to meet the needs of our adaptive requirements. But I digress... Death is part of the wonder of existence. It is the existential element of death of which we've been trained to be terrified. But death, as explored here, appears to be nothing more than a human-made construct propagated by the medium of human-made language.
The secret in understanding the function of death is being openly cognizant to it — in the sense of recognizing it as an opportunity to both earnestly grieve and joyously celebrate renewal. One cannot exist without the other. And unfortunately, both of these elements, which are deeply associated to the subject of death, are ignorantly discarded by our cultural operating system — possibly acting as a concealed detriment to the human condition itself.
Death is not an end... It is the birthing of the new. Maybe we need to totally rethink, reexamine, and drastically revolutionize our individual and collective attitudes towards death — through inviting a deep immersion into the experience of grief, and into the wholesome celebration of renewal — thereby altering the perception of death upon the forefront of human consciousness. Maybe it's time we begin to give ourselves a chance to genuinely heal; to begin to understand that only in respecting death, are we able to truly celebrate life.
Death is coming for us all. To trust in death is to cultivate trust in life. May we all begin to live again, before it's too late.