by  —  February 15, 2008

I am one of those people who rarely remembers my dreams but jet lag has thrown me the keys to Pandora’s flat for the time being. The other night I dreamt that I died. It wasn’t anything dramatic, no fiery plane crash, no end of the world scenario. It just occurred to me that it was happening and was irreversible. I believe I was in the middle of designing something. Again, nothing special, but i was really enjoying the moment. Someone close to me was nearby and started freaking out and in my dream I spent my last moments doing three things.
Firstly I tried to calm the person down. Not only for their well being but also because I really didn’t want someone around wigging out during the BIG moment. Secondly I started thinking about all the people in my life that I love and who are part of the fabric of who I perceive myself to be. Lastly, I just kept doing what I was doing.

If I were to interpret this dream, something which I don’t spend a lot of time doing, I would say that I was projecting my ideal state of mind in the context of the situation. That is to say that if I were dying, it’s kind of the way I’d like to deal with it. The really interesting thing about the dream was that I simply wasn’t afraid. All I wanted to do was finish up what I was working on quietly before I died. Had I been sweeping the floor I would have wanted to simply empty the dust bin first.
This is Mecca for me. It’s what I strive for above all things in my life. To embrace death, rather than to avoid it. As I get older I find that I look at people and try to understand them by knowing what it is that they love, and fear. I generally end up being close to the ones who embrace both. Fear is the proverbial elephant in the room but its ubiquitous nature makes it semi transparent. Just the way most people like it. I think that’s too bad because it is the great leveler. Doesn’t matter how rich, smart, beautiful or strong you are. If I walk into the room holding the thing that you fear the most you will quickly revert to your base self and in most cases be rendered powerless. That’s why it’s the great tool of the oppressor.

So I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you, yes YOU, that you are going to die. Nothing is going to stop it and science, although it may buy you a bit more time, is not going to save you. At least not in the near future. You might drop dead of an aneurysm or die slowly of a really horrible disease (which seems to be one of the major fears people hold) or you might die peacefully in your sleep. Whatever, it’s happening and I would say that there is a very good chance that NOTHING is waiting for you on the other side. Now, if you take this grim news and post it on your fridge, or get it tattooed on the inside of your eyelids where you cannot avoid it well, something interesting might happen. You might, just might slowly come to the realization that you really don’t have anything to lose (in the big picture sense).
That’s pretty liberating and it puts your fears in a different light.
When I was a kid I was scared shitless of amusement park rides. I got over it one day by getting on the Zipper (still a freaky ride) alone. It was one of the great defining moments of my life, lost I’m sure, on the carnie operating the ride. So now when i am cresting the first hill of some ginormous roller coaster (or about to face some big fear in my life) I don’t close my eyes even though I still feel fear. I put my arms up in the air and scream my guts out. I always find that on the other side of that rush of fear is a heightened sense of clarity and confidence.

Marked as: Introspection  —  3 comments   (RSS)

3 Comments so far
  1. FatalTwilight February 16, 2008 7:10 pm

    Thank you for the reminder…You also reminded me of a funny statistic that I have read from a book entitled ‘The Monster is Real’ by Yehuda Berg:

    40% of the worries never materialized.

    30% of the worries were about the past, were absolutely nothing could be done about them.

    12% of the worries were about other peoples buisiness.

    10% of the worries were spent on real or imaginary illness.

    ONLY 8% of the worries were justified.

    There can be healthy fears, or more so anxiety that can motivate people.

    It is only when these fears are repetetive and control the person that they become unproductive.

  2. Thomas Stacey April 20, 2008 2:53 pm

    I am afraid of what happens after death. I think about it a lot. I think an individual’s answer to that question defines how they live their lives. I am struggling to explore this fear through art.

  3. christina April 30, 2008 10:34 am

    People in various positions in our lives can turn a profit using our fear against us. And not just a monetary profit, they use us[our response to fear] for their own ends. Reading the recountings of a former soldier, he described how having fear always gave him that extra edge . Fear has been a huge enemy in my life. I have let it take so much of my time and energy. Be a friend to yourself, I say. There is no pain like your own…

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