“If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I’ll come back down and sit beside your
Wherever I am you’ll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive”
~Flogging Molly, If I Ever Leave this World Alive
by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
According to Benjamin Franklin, “The only things certain in life are death and taxes.”
He’s got a point.
Death is the great uniter. It is the one thing that we all have in common – and for many of us, it is the one thing that we have hanging over our heads. Fear of death has driven many to greatness, and many more to obscurity. It all depends on what you do with the fear, I guess.
I’d like to say that I am not afraid of death, and in some aspects, I’m not. I’m not afraid to die. That doesn’t mean that I’m perched on a ledge 50 stories up with the cops trying to talk me down, but I’ve sort of reasoned it all out in my mind. Worst case scenario there’s nothing. How bad can nothing be, really? Or it could be something – I could come back again. I could be freed from earthly worries and live on as pure consciousness. I could finally get the answers to the questions that I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Or there could be nothing. If there is nothing, and I merely cease to be, I won’t know it anyway.
On the other hand, I do have some fear about the death of loved ones. With those whose presence in my life is steady and strong, I’d like to keep it that way. I love having them around – not just in spirit, but in the flesh. And yet – if the worst happened, I would still be here, and I would have a choice to make. To live my life with deep sadness for my loss, or to live my life in a way that honored the strength, love and courage imparted to me by the very person I mourned. I’d like to think that in the end I would choose gratitude, strength and peace over pain and sadness.
Where do we go when we die? What do we become. German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “After your death you will be what you were before your birth.”
I love the Schopenahauer quote because it sort of demystifies the whole dying thing. How can we be frightened of something we already experienced and survived just fine? Wherever we were before – so will we be again.
While it is difficult to imagine a world without us, the truth is that the world was here long before we came, and barring death in a world-wide calamity that brings about the end of humanity and shatters the earth into a billion tiny pieces, the world will go on after we are gone. Actually – even in the case of the above scenario, the world will go on – it will just exist in a different form. Unless, of course, you embrace solipsism.
The law of conservation states that energy can never be created nor destroyed. Einstein proved that mass and energy are the same thing. Since at our very most basic level, we are energy, we can never be created nor destroyed. We merely change form.
Death, then, is transformation. We cease to be what we are – but we become something else. What that is is unknown. It is the question that religion and philosophy have been trying to answer since time immemorial.
And yet, the truth remains – we will still be here. Who and what will we be? I don’t know. I wish I did. But we will continue on – in some form. Knowing that, how scary is death, really?
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