_“Your fear of death attracts such strange objects”
_ - Where are you? by Coil
God&Goddess theme party for an atheist is not much fun. But I found a god I believe in. Before you start thinking I am mad or have moved to a dark side, read the rest of this post.
I actually believe in death for obvious reasons. It’s the “god” that does not promise, it delivers. And I believe it is a good thing. Ever since my first “near-death experience” I understood the nice effects of death. I did not die and I am not thinking about taking my life at all. It’s just there, in the future. It reminds us to spend our time wisely. It means we should remain focused, we should do things we want to do and things we love today.
A few days ago I had a dream about being terminally ill. I spoke at a panel during a boring conference and I said what needed to be said. I thought that if I have a week or so to live, I may as well use that time wisely.
I was so happy that it was just a dream. I woke up, my brain synchronized with the reality and I was happy I am alive. And I still am. But the boring panel and the conference was real. I went there and said what needed to be said anyway. It was scary. But the fact that I did it was a result of this fear of death. (I heard that in most people, fear of public speaking is more paralysing than fear of death. So unfounded - our biases are weird, aren’t they?)
Everyone understands these things, these concepts. But internalizing and feeling it, having this emotion of beginning and the end makes us better - we feel more vulnerable and brave at the same time.
Next year, I am going to help people around me do what they want and love to do. Not now, not when they retire, not when they learn something, when they have enough money, now.
For that I want to thank the God of death, Mitch Altman and Jeff Marx who inspired me a lot in this.