The fantasies about the end of the world are so prevalent throughout human history that they should be taken seriously. Not their literal truth, but as expressions of our consciousness. Among other things, awareness of the “end,” (of our death) motivates individuals, civilizations and religious traditions alike. It often helps us appreciate how precious life is or that there is something better waiting for us in the “next life.” But why are these fantasies usually so cataclysmic? Why are they usually fantasies of physical dying?
I am reminded of a line from my book Waking: A Memoir of Trauma and Transcendence, “There are many death short of physical dying….How about the day you realized that you were not going to be an astronaut or the Queen of Sheba?….the loss of innocence is a most serious death and yet necessary for the onset of maturity.”
I plan on having a death this month. I have decided to take myself more seriously. This means all sorts of things, for example, resting enough, eating better, and saying no when I need to. My strategy is not to assert my will onto my life and thus onto the world. Rather, my plan is to let DIE the voice in my head that does NOT take seriously my needs.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
it takes death for there to be birth
Waking is his ideas about death as a continuous part of life. So I was really pleased to see him quote himself on this the other day in his Tumblr blog, musing about the end of the world fantasies that flourished around 12/12/12 and now again leading up to 12/21/12: