Tagged: mortality

On Death

All attempts at rationalizing death are inevitably doomed from the start. This futile attempt to “abstract” death away from its organic relation to life is demonstrable of the sheer terror death inspires within us. Moreover, it demonstrates a stubborn unwillingness to confront death in its most bitter and concrete form.

The rationalization of death is nothing more than the objectification of death. As such, it is to treat death as if it is something transcendental and altogether separate or isolated from existence. For what is involved in rationalizing as such but anything other than the imposition of a generalized abstraction onto concrete existential phenomena?

The objectification of death into something “general,” (e.g., ‘one dies’), at the expense of coming to terms with death as our own concrete reality (e.g., I am dying), no matter how futile and vain, is nevertheless understandable in light of the sheer terror of confronting  the nothingness underlying existence.

There is no other way around it: death is terrifying. The very fact that the intellect can provide no explanation, justification or reason for it strikes us at the very core of our being. It is a paralyzing terror — usually perceptible only in the agonies of near-death or the blackest depression. How does one take responsibility for the fact that he will die (in the most concrete and personal sense)? How does one come to terms that, without death, there could be no life? 

For those obsessed with death (and especially their own), death is the ultimate paradox — the paradigmatic case of the absurdity of existence. For even when death becomes salvation from the endless sufferings of existence and the light at the end of the blackest melancholy — one will always be tempted to come to terms with death on intellectual, or rational grounds.

But the very fact that we are thrown into this world for a mere moment, under the most dreadful circumstances, only to be thrown again back into the darkness of non-existence, is the apotheosis of the irrationality of existence.

Advertisements