On to the area of the mind – here of course I am referring to the brain. My focus, by necessity, is my brain since I am unable to and totally incapable of speaking with any real confidence about anyone else’s brain. At this stage of my existence, I have become painfully aware of the clutter that inhabits my gray matter and that has certainly hampered the efficiency of my neuronal pathways. It might be likened to a storage closet gone absolutely out of control.
It is time for a cleaning. It is time to evaluate all the misshapen items, all the insignificant relics, all the odd-ball stuff that is hopelessly gone well past their shelf-lives and especially the remnants of past that have far outlived their usefulness.
It is time to carefully examine the catalog and tiresome lists of my disappointments, discouragements, apparent failures, misguided viewpoints, prejudices – of all kinds -, missteps and the rest.
The collection of allegedly positive aspects of my past is not sacrosanct in this analysis. This includes all the apparent successes, triumphs, exalted ideas and the allegedly profound insights – all of it. These likewise contribute to the clutter to the extent that they distort the truth and bend reality to fashion an image of self that cannot stand up on its own.
It is time for a clearing out of all the debris. It is time to surrender – there goes that word again - to the inevitable truth that much of what occupies the mind is essentially trivial and often nonsensical.
It may sound morbid, but death is the secret companion of us all. We are all dying by the minute. To deny this essential reality, is to make a mockery of living. What I want most out of existence is clarity - the ability to truly see and appreciate existence; to live with my eyes wide opened so that when my turn comes, I can at least feel that I have really experienced living.
It is the grand illusion of our culture and many human societies that the individual is supreme. Christianity supports this notion and thrives upon its acceptance as a societal norm. This idea runs counter to all that nature teaches.
Collectively, we conveniently discard this concept once we shift our attention to other species especially those upon whom we depend for food and sustenance. We are all too willing to dispense with this belief when we happily ingest the essence of an individual cow, or pig or chicken for example.
Our primary function, from a strictly biological perspective is to produce progeny so that the species remains extant. Humans have done a brilliant job in this regard since we are now over seven billion strong. In this regard, we are of little use once we have successfully fulfilled our function.
We have the option to either embrace death’s reality and our actual role within the broader perspective or do whatever is required to distract ourselves from this truth even if this means to embed ourselves within a virtual matrix of an entirely delusional reality. It is the broader culture that feeds upon this fantastic universe within which the individual supersedes all else.
In this context, death becomes wholly unacceptable and personal immortality is viewed as not only possible but positively expected. To the rational mind, this belief makes no sense for it represents an absolute denial of the nature of the finite world upon which we live.
In defense of this perspective, I can only say that death is everywhere with us. As death comes closer, I cannot deny that I find the prospect of my own personal termination rather distasteful. But my wish is to accept its persistent presence and eventual arrival with calmness and grace.