Since looking for material to read by the brilliant writer Christopher Hitchens I ran across a book called “Mortality”. It’s a book about Hitchens’ experience with cancer. However long he experienced it. He wrote it and so I expected a book that not only gave me a fly on the wall look into the mind of a man surely dying but also a piece of material that challenged something and criticized something. Hitch critiqued till his dying breath if not with his voice at least with his hands. So I came to find that a dying man was just as alive as a living one. One was just more realistic with his assessment of things.
I now, since reading that special book have undertaken the task of contemplating my death each morning as I wake up and get ready for each day. Because today may be my last. I may truly cease to exist today. It compels me now to say that because of this my attraction to triviality seems so much more like bullshit. It tells me that my body is made up of stuff that is dependent on everything surrounding me and that my mind is moving even now and it is doing things that I am not aware of and that there are millions of microorganisms that attack me – my “me” or the tiny little “stuffs” that compose me not including the things “outside me” like air that i nevertheless depend on as if it were me- every waking moment of my life. This in turn tells me that what I hold dear had better be dear. That what I consider important is something that I can die for tonight having stood for today.
This helps me put into perspective the unknown of death. In the decomposition of my body’s vitality what truly goes and what truly stays? If I had a soul what would it be like not having a body? Which leads me to turn to Alan Watts and just say that this is a misconception of reality. That there is no “self” that lives “in” a body. A sojourner in the world so to speak. No, the world is you. The you is the world. To which I think I concede. Those who care deepest and most intensely for me would worry and may worry about my consent to that belief and think that my “self” will be in danger in the future but I mustn’t let people’s opinions and conjecture alter what I consider reason and fact.
Contemplate and run towards the fact that you may die and watch what happens to your psyche. You’ll be amazed at how not ready you may be for your death. But the beauty of thinking about this intentionally is that you will run into that problem every single time and it is a strong compelling agent in getting you to live a life that’s not complete horse shit because it screams out this issue every time you seriously think about it. As Jacob wrestled with God I will wrestle with everything because I know that in instigation I find the most important things. With the right amount of pressure a diamond can be made. With the right amount of pressure the greatest work in the world can be made.
Thinking about my death applies compelling pressure to me and relieves me of the pressure that knots me in triviality.
“You are going to die. I am going to die. We are all going to die.” -Sigi, “What About Bob?”