There is a way that unexamined views can only really be put on trial once a situation arises where they obviously, blatantly don’t hold up to reality. And even then, only when exposed to those conditions for an extent of time.
So it is with the fact that I’m going to die. The unexamined view here is that I don’t see my death as an actual event. It’s been hidden from a deeper knowing, the kind of knowledge that resides in my bones. It’s always just been a concept. A hypothetical.
It’s funny to me how such insights eventually rise to the surface of my consciousness as I languish on this raft in the middle of the ocean. Death has come so very close. It’s my constant companion. My only companion, besides the gallery of thoughts that rattle in my mind.
It’s no surprise really that my own death had seemed a distant hypothesis, rather than the actual experience that it will be for me some day. It’s quite obvious now why that would be after a closer examination. Our culture hides death away, makes it a special event, something tragic removed from daily life. Death is hidden away by hospitals and ritual. We are inundated with an understanding of death as a mostly abstract concept, warned about on safety labels or presented to us in tales of extraordinary heroism so far removed from actual life that they just become entertainments. All this is what lead me to believe, while not really knowing that I believe, that my own death is a distant thing. A statistic.
Leading causes of death for my age group: unintentional injury. Malignant Neoplasms. Heart Disease. Suicide. Homicide. Our brains are engines anciently designed to make risk mitigation from the fuel of experience. We adapt to our environment, and we grasp instinctively at any risk factors around us. We can’t help but do so. But with the lack of a hearty paleolithic diet of often traumatic and very real experiences of death, our brains make do by digesting the thin soup of words, images and concepts fed to us through stickers on window screens or news headlines or fictions of alien robot invasions.
But being stuck alone on a tiny piece of flotsam in the middle of a gigantic body of water that cares nothing for whether I live or die, the engine in my head gets something real to work with. I might make it back to land. Or I might very well die out here whenever the ocean decides that it’s hurricane time, or that I’m not to have any more fish, or I any other unintentional injuries might occur or my heart stops or I decide to take death into my own hands. At least I don’t need to worry about homicide. @SilverRose @disco4robot