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Monday, 3 October 2016

Melancholy Mondays: Hatred of life is the love of death

I used to believe that the elderly had some greater knowledge of death, or else, a certain wisdom that allowed them to face their own deaths with an inner strength. As this, the fear of death, is something I continue to struggle with, I found this thought comforting. That is, at some point in my future I will also find this wisdom and learn to face my own death without fear. However, as I stumble into middle age, I begin to learn that this earlier idea might not be correct. I start to consider that it is not an acceptance or wisdom of death, but a disconnection or disregard for life instead. When all your dreams have failed, all your loved ones died before you, the world has collapsed into chaos, all that might have been good has finally been destroyed or corrupted, then we can say "bring on death, there is nothing more for me here."

'Riding with Death' by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1982


Claude said...

It certainly couldn't be worse. Actually, more like a relief! But then, there are people of faith. As crazy as they might sound, they live with the vision of an eternal, much better world awaiting them.

"Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

At 87, call it my old age wisdom, or fallacy. I totally agree with Henry!

god-free morals said...

& I agree with you both!

Yes, perhaps relief is a better word for it.

Excuse the melancholia, it comes and goes, like lumbago.

Sean Jeating said...

Hm, it's not the death I fear, but that the dying could take too long, with permanent pain.
Well, although physically not really on my peak, I'd be a bit grumpy, came death before I am finished. :)
Nice to meet again, here. If I remember correctly, last time we enjoyed a tiny party here, we were talking about whether Finnegan's Wake is a novel, or not. Eight years ago, eh? :)

god-free morals said...

Sean, good to 'see' you as always.

Curiously your retort is one I often hear when I mention my fear of death, but I don't fear pain only the non-possibility of any experience every again.

I remember that party, which I've sadly lost, because in another period of melancholy I briefly deleted my blog and all it's previous contents. However, I remember it as a very enjoyable discussion.

Wishing you both many more experiences

Claude said...

I was so proud, but also very bold, to enter that discussion. Was there wine on the table? I'm somehow relieved that the words have been deleted. The older I get, the less I understand Joyce. And, somehow, it's not very important. If I could only finish War and Peace in the near future!

Thank you for the pleasure of your company,then and now. Best wishes to you both!

Sean Jeating said...

@ Chris
'the non-possibility of any experience every again.'
Exactly this I meant when writing 'I'd be a bit grumpy, came death before I am finished.'
@ Claude
If I remember correctly we had amongst other nice fluids a fine red wine, just for you.
As for your wish: One ought always to aim high. Good luck then. Sláinte :)