In our lives, we are propelled with various emotions that rule our sanity. Putting emphasis on our instincts driving our mind besides happiness, sadness and anger there is the one which chills our spine and raises our heartbeats with panic. Yes, we call it fear. The everlasting nemesis to our valour. Fear can arise from many internal and external factors combined. Most customary are the fear of being in crowds or of high skyscrapers which enlists in different phobias but what about the fear of death?
Death is inevitable and how we feel about it has probably been shaped by our beliefs in whether or not there is an afterlife. An average man cannot reconcile himself to death and therefore makes innumerable philosophies regarding the ideas of death. The prevalence of a belief in immortality, afterlife, reserving a place in heaven for good deeds and avoiding damnation are the tokens of awful fear of death. But if that makes us feel better, there are plenty of philosophers who act as the non conformists to the fears, labelling them as irrational. The fear of death can be intercepted to a reduction by the acknowledgment of our eventual nonexistence and the acceptance of death’s inevitability. Ceasing to exist mortality of course has a hard sentiment to all but if it makes us any better; many philosophers have believed and still believe that “Death is nothing to be afraid of!”
Indian philosopher Jiddu krishnamurti commented that, “In order to meet death in such a way, all belief, all hope, all fear about it must come to an end, otherwise you are meeting this extraordinary thing with a conclusion, an image, with a premeditated anxiety, and therefore you are meeting it with time..... to discover that nothing is permanent is of tremendous importance for only then is the mind free, then you can look, and in that is great joy”. He was staunch believer backing the “Art of Impermanence” or “Nothing is permanent”. According to him, human fears associated with death are caused by our separation of life and death into two distinct states and by considering life and death as integrated aspects of our entire human experience we can overcome our fears. If we go further than this, we will encounter the ideas of the great Greek philosopher Epicurus who said ‘Death to be the cessation of sensation’. Sensation is a part of mortal experience which deduces the distinction of good and bad ostensibly but death eliminates sensation which means, it also eliminates good or bad distinction, therefore sending at a vague state. It is us who are convinced that things are only good or bad; if we feel bad it doesn’t rely to only physical feelings. Anyone who is having a broken heart will tell you that it is lot more painful and harder to heal than a broken bone. But a broken heart is still a sensation, it requires a body to command the pain and experience the wreck and so it is futile to fear the nonexistence of ourselves when we die. Not only is it hooey but taming the fear of death gets in the way of enjoying life to the fullest. The threats of these false alarms that did not materialize encourage the illusion of invulnerability to one’s psychological aspects of mental security and well being. For a normal being the nature and implication of death are esoteric to the person’s mind that it remains to be an unknown, undefined process. The person’s expectations and suppositions about the world are not adequate to explain this event. Having an unknown contradiction of death also isn’t a matter to miff, afterall once it arrives, we are gone! Whenever we think about it, we and death can never be present at the same time and when there is no us when death ushers, there is also not a plenty of time to think death as something malign or undeserving. So as we are equipped with perfect slices of reason to restore our eternal threats to death, we can see people still unable the associate the logic. They simply dread death because they will miss out things that they wanted to experience in their life. If we are dead right now, we will never be able to keep our promises we made to oneself or other or go to places we wanted to or even see human settlements on other planets. This is truly a tragedy for the most part for people out there but if we lament upon the things we are going to miss in future, there are also countless events we missed before we were born. I will envoy incidents based on our age here, we can say, we weren’t celebrating the grand fest of the world entering second millennium or listening to the live concert of ‘The Beatles’ or missed the Nation’s freedom struggle finally ended in the year 1947.
It is here that demands question as, if we don’t feel some deep sort of loss at what we missed before we were alive then why should we feel loss about something we are going to miss after we die? But yes we can assert the point that if we believe that our life is essentially good then there is certainly something to grieve if it is cut short. Since human lifespan is estimated to 80 years on average, someone dying at 25 is a grave affliction as he is going to miss out his 55 possible years of good times. At this period we should adjourn here to see about what we truly value about life because that will also have an impact on what we think about death in general or about the death of a particular person. If we say that life is always inherently good then we place a higher stake on the moral premise of ‘Sanctity of life’. It doesn’t matter what the content of that life looks. The fact that being alive and breathing is good and losing it would not be good. But if we think the quality of life is what is more quintessential, then we are reflecting on the distinction between lives that are full of good experiences and lives that are full of miseries. If we value the quality of life, we don’t think that there is something inherently valuable about merely being alive. So in these terms, some deaths might actually escalate jubilation and be positive; like if they bring about an end to a terrible, painful existence. Now, ofcourse it can make sense and the fear of death can be normalised because the process of slowly dying can be extremely painful and drawn out and it involves a whole lot of difficult good-byes.
To this point, we still stumble upon the gravels of fear encompassing death and it is our evolutionary instinct to protect ourselves from situation which threatens our lives. No matter how we envisage death with arguments or suppress it with illusions of denial. Deep to our cognitive state we all reckon death as the ultimatum of all bad happenings of existence. Keeping aside the death of oneself there is also an instantaneous reaction to the death of another person and what we fear isn’t the death itself but we are afraid to be left behind when a loved one dies. The answer here simply sounds a bit self-centric because we only cry about the condition of ourselves when another person dies and that the impact of not existing of them inadvertently affects us who are still alive. We will miss them every day and wished if they could
be still here with us. This is the time when emotion takes over our rational acquaintances and we submit to this humanity’s deepest sorrows of losing someone we endeared the most. In this stream of understanding death we can turn to the classical Daoist thought to venerate death. The process of dying is located among the other operations of nature familiar in everyday lives. The sun rises in the east and sets in the distant western reaches and all of the myriad things take their bearings from it. We never know when we will die. Life and death are correlative categories which depend upon each other for explanation yet always unanswered. To my respect, I would place reliance on the Chinese Daoist philosopher Zhuangzi who stated that we do know that death is a part of our life cycle and it happens to everyone. If we don’t see any other part of the cycle as being abysmal, then why we see death as one. For him it is equally ludicrous to mourn for death to the mourn we never do when we lose a baby when he transforms to a toddler or from a child to a teen. He conceptualized death as transition of state of a person. We celebrate every other life milestones with birthday parties, anniversaries or graduations to mark the passage of time and the changes that have come. We may see our parents shed a tear when they pack us off to study further, away from them but they also knew that the day will arrive sooner or later. So death, according Zhuangzi is one more change that we shouldn’t treat indifferently. Instead we should celebrate the death of a loved one just as we celebrated every other life change they experienced. We should think of their death as a going away for a grand journey. In his point of view, mourning actually resonates a tune of selfishness. When it is time for the people we love to move on, the one last thing we should do is to pull them closer, he said.
Life could not be what it is if it were not for the anticipation of death. To some, without the occurrence of death, life would be static and transparent. Death does not inhibit life but stimulates and drives it, making it more intense and poignant. On the other hand, Death is a setback we can never retrieve, perhaps we don’t think we are supposed to know what happens at death but we know the anticipation is the worst part of anything we perceive as scary. So fearing death is probably way worse than death itself. In the regards, the following statements are hereby placed not to be seldom emotional about the time we see someone’s life is on the brink of end. Critical judgement over this sporadically talked topic was given more preference of discussing life's another greatest force. With this discussions of death we must try to minimize pain in order to cultivate harmony when someone is gone. We should not only let grievance and loss be heavier than gratitude. By placing flowers over a tombstone doesn’t mark changes of how we loved them but be always steady and prepare that the journey will come to an end one day and until that day comes, we must let each other feel every smidgen of love when they are still alive.
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