Those people who escaped

26 05 2010

Yesterday I had a strange thought. I was watching a film about a ship that got struck by a giant wave. I watched it without sound, or rather with my headphones on and some music.

The thoughts that came to my mind were that, even though there were people struggling to get out of this ship that was sinking, similar in some respects to a Joseph Conrad novel, and even though, these people in the end were “saved” by helicopters, I realised something.

Those people who escaped were still going to die. “whew we’re saved!” was the conclusion of this film. In my thoughts, I said, ” you will still die”. And in the long view of things, a few decades of life “extra” in comparison to those on the boat who drowned tragically is in reality nothing, it’s peanuts. The underlying statement is that death is there, and in our childhood state of reality, always filling our time with work, or pleasure, or with simple thoughts about the future and the past, that childhood state of mind that life is interminable or infinite, is a giant illusion.

Our deaths are here, as we speak. The individual personal end for each of us may be in forty years or twenty years, or “when you’re so old, it barely deserves a thought”. This seeming timelessness of life is something that is very deceptive. Thinking about how time creeps up on us in life sometimes, this is the real situation in life. The reality is that death is here for us all, only a few short footsteps away.

Why was this thought so provoking to me. It neutralises everything. It puts your life and its seeming important needs into perspective, real perspective. My death is here just like that cheerful homeless man in the street.

When this realisation is made. When things are in a clear light, then we can make a judgement. The judgement is about what you want your short, miniscule life to consist of.

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