By Ogbonna Iheanyichukwu
Imagine if riches and money could bribe the spirit of death? Or if any man could be an immortal? As Munia Khan quoted “Death is every mortal’s life to be alive”. It becomes evident that death can’t be payed off, but it’s rather an ultimate reality and equality which visits both the rich and the poor.
Back in the days as our forefathers evolved, their vocabulary improved likewise. We humans became rational beings gaining the ability to look into unborn future and gain control over our environment. But with this good came a bad that has caused us endless pain i.e. we became conscious of mortality. This brings us to the definition of what mortality is? According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, Mortality is the state or quality of being mortal (archaic: death). This consciouness bore intense suffering and separation, that is detrimental to us. Death becomes a question mark on why pleausres, money and power are important. We excogitated two solutions to this awareness. The most primitive was the creation of the after life helping alleviate our fears and hoplessness via the aid of religion and secondly by dominating our thoughts to forget mortality and bury ourselves in the moment. To aid the latter, we divert our thoughts with routines but as good as it may sound this repression wasn’t so effective because when someone close to us die, we are hit by the darkness, pain and confusion this fear brings. Associated with both physical and mental pain, we indulge in fantasies and delusions, jobs, associations all to elude the feeling of separation. But in the end the fear of death doesn’t go away but merely returns in smaller anxieties and habits which limits and curtails our enjoyment of life.
In the words of Curtis Jackson (50cent)an american rapper who cheated death by surviving a 9 bullet gunshot he quoted,“People talk about my getting shot like it represented something special, they act like they are not facing the same thing, but someday everybody has to face and bullet with his or her name on it,”. It becomes crystal clear that from the moment we are born, our amount of time becomes limited and so to say unique to us as our only true possession. Running away from this fact, entails running away from ourselves. But accepting that you have only so much time to live, embracing life itself we confront mortality and everything changes. What matters is to live your days well and as fully as possible. By attaining certain goals which gives us purpose and direction we don’t fall into the archaic thinking about the uselessness of it all because it is a supreme waste of the brief time we have been given. As simple as it is, it entails realizing that death is something you carry within, a part of you that can not be repressed but a continous awareness of reality you must embrace. In Fredrick Douglass words,“I have reached the point at which I was not afraid to die. This spirit made me a free man in fact, while I remained a slave in form”. It becomes obvious that this terrified and unaccepted relationship to death can be changed to something active and positive though meditating over your mortality, you become strong, self reliant and unafraid to be alone. You laugh at what others take seriously and finally when your time comes, as it will some day, you will not shrink and weep because you have lived well.
“If man were never to fade away like the dews of Adashino, never to vanish like the smoke over Toribeyama but hingered forever in the world, how things would lose the power to move us! The most precious thing in life is it uncertanity,”-Kenko. In the face of our inevitable mortality we can do one of two things which are we can attempt to avoid the thought at all costs, cleaving to the illusion that we have all the time in the world or we confront this reality, accept and even embrace it. In so doing we gain a sense of proportion and knowing what’s truly important. Knowing our days to be numbered we can appreciate life all the more for its transiency. It is a miracle to be alive even one more day. Adiós.