Death is Peaceful

Death is peaceful.

Us who are alive will join you soon.

It is our fate, our eternal human fate.

Never say “goodbye” my friend.

If you must, depart in my arms.

In my memories you’re immortal.

Death gives us the greatest peace.

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Visitor

1.

And when death knocks on their door

Then do they run to the poet whom they despiseth

And say, trembling: “Poet, we have a visitor!

Death knocketh on our doors with his handcuffs

And as yet have we not enjoyed life enough,

2.

Will thou allow him to drag our souls away? 

Will thou allow him to drag us into the underworld?”

Then will poet sit on a rock and speak thus:

“I cometh and speaketh to you about death everyday.

How it sneaketh in the night and enters thy room

3.

And draggeth thee to the underworld.

But thou despiseth me and mocketh me.

Thou did not listen. Neither did thou say, yes!

Poet, we have heard thy sermon and we shall put our

Modest houses in order before death comes.” None

4.

Paid any attention and now must the poet fight death

For thee? Poet is mortal too. Poet wrestleth death but

He winneth not. For this reason does poet admonish

Thee to prepare thyselves for death’s unannounced visit.

For death’s entrance and life’s exit are but same door.

The Ethical Flaw in Euthanasia

Those who may not know, euthanasia means mercy killing – to ask to be put to death either because of deteriorating health, abuse, misery or simply despair. Euthanasia is legal in some European countries but not yet in Africa, where there is so much gregariousness. It will be absurd to even speak of such a thing to the most ordinary African.

I must convey a very important observation here. Many people confuse moral laws with legal codes or rather they superimpose legal instruments over moral ones. If something is legal it doesn’t necessarily make it moral. Immoral laws are sometimes passed because there is so much pressure on the judiciary to help solve certain perceived problems. Suppose that a friend feels so much pain as a result of disease or personal misfortune and asks to be put to death, I can never be the one to do it. My solution will be to give him as much help as I can and send him to social welfare or public care home.

My deep mistrust of medical doctors was confirmed recently when they put a woman (alleged to have been sexually abused for over 15 years) to death because she had asked to be killed. I can tell you assuredly that they are murderers though they did it legally. There are serious ethical problems right there especially the fact that every physician swears an oath to try his best to save human lives. The average underprivileged person has had suicidal thoughts at least once in his or her lifetime but those moments are only transitory. The storm soon disappears and life resumes to normality. Therefore, as a society we should not be quick to grant people their wishes. Nobody likes death. When people choose death it’s because they feel rejected, empty and abandoned by humanity and it’s a shame. This is why I think everyone needs to cultivate spirituality because it acts as a ‘shock absorber.’ Spirituality is an attitude and a valuable survival skill. I may not be religious but I don’t joke with my personal spiritual life.

Concerning euthanasia, it speaks worse of the society where it’s accepted than the people who request for it. At many levels, I think life is a gift which must not be wasted.

Death Comes, And Now Must I Make Known

Death comes, and now must I make known
That which my pride eternally
Prayed to withhold; for thee, for thee,
My heart has throbbed for thee alone.

The coffin waits! within my grave
They drop me soon, where I shall rest.
But thou, Marie, shalt beat thy breast,
And think of me, and weep and rave.

And thou shalt wring thy hands, my friend.
Be comforted! it is our fate,
Our human fate, the good and great
And fair must have an evil end.

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Failure of Religion Is Not An Excuse For Evil

You may have read the story of a man named Wuor Arop, the lone survivor of a plane crash in South Sudan that killed all 37 aboard. Apparently the only other survivor is a 13-month old baby not related to Arop whom he cradled in his arms during the crash. Somehow, it makes sense to me that the baby survived because it is innocent but for the man there may have been some intervention – some karma involved. There is definitely some higher authority in this universe.

According to some atheists blogs I read (Makagatu & co), they claim that “no one is self sacrificing unless he is going to benefit from it.” So in this case, I want to ask the atheists what benefit was Arop thinking of when he cradled the baby. The truth is the act, before impact, of protecting the baby was an instinct. He had no intention of benefiting from anything whatsoever. He knew he was going to die but he put his self-preserving instinct on hold and thought to himself, “let me attempt to protect this baby” and they both survived. His friend who sat beside died also.

Of course he may not be a good man and we cannot say this god or that god saved him, but in those critical moments only our good deeds can save us. His momentary act of goodness has saved him for now. If there were no religions or all religions were corrupted there will still be moral men because morality is something innate. Failure of religion is not an excuse to lead an immoral lifestyle. Please Mr. Atheist don’t tell me you don’t have a religion so you don’t know what is good from bad. You’ve got to be kidding me! Faulty moral judgments don’t affect anything but us.

All The World Is But A Playground

All the world is but a playground,

Like the play of a young man and a maiden,

Like the play of a child and a balloon,

Like the play of kittens and puppies,

Like the play of a serpent and a mongoose.

All the world is but a playground,

Only to awake at the sight of our grave.

Beyond The Physical

There lived a mad woman in my home village by name Beatrice but we all called her “Bee.” She was young, probably in her late twenties back then. No one knew how she became mad. When I was a kid, the other kids and I will mock at her and go into hiding and she will chase some of us with a big cane. I am speaking of a time when I was about seven or eight and “Bee” was very fat then. Now she has grown a little lean.

Sometimes she got her senses back when the gods were on holiday or when they let the locks lose. During those brief moments, she will be calm, even if you teased her and yelled her name. I was told she even responded to greetings nicely.

It has been a long time, about twenty years now, since I went back to the village and I was shocked to know that “Bee” was still alive. In fact I saw but didn’t recognize her. We were watching a traditional dance one late evening when someone came and stood right in front of us thus not only blocking our view but polluting the atmosphere with a pungent smell – as a result of not bathing for almost two decades.

“Hey Bee, move away!” one of my cousins shouted and I asked him if that was the same Bee I knew as child to which he responded in the affirmative. It got me thinking. This is someone who eats from the trash can and drinks from the gutter and is still alive. She has no sense of hygiene at all and probably houses thousands of bacteria in body. Yet she is still far from death. Over these years many people have died of warfare, diseases, drugs and simple recklessness.

Let us take a look at the war in Syria and Iraq, where almost daily, hundreds are lined up and massacred. Or let’s come down to West Africa, Boko Haram, which has killed more than 2000 people during the first half of 2014. Could these things have happened by chance? Certainly not. Are there higher malevolent invisible forces involved? Maybe.

Human behavior is very intriguing. The seeds of evil are sown by humans but the larger invisible evil forces help water them daily and nurture them until they grow into unimaginable dimensions. Think of this as pouring gasoline on a piece of burning flame. There is a force behind all evil. Many people call this force “the devil.” But I am not sure if this is an accurate description because the forces that I have sensed are also dynamic – metamorphosing into other forms every now and then. So that something that initially appears good suddenly transforms into evil and vice-versa. How then can evil come out of good? How can hate come out of love? And how can death replace life if there are no malignant demonic forces involved?

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Where ever there is conflict, for once, we know that there are at least two opposing forces – usually good and evil or sometimes all evil. The only medium for these forces is the human psyche. Here, let me try to, in psychological terms, define spirituality. It is at that precise point where emotions is joined with intellect or reason. It is like the confluence of two rivers, so you cannot know where one ends and the other begins or which direction each river is going. This is the arena of all mental struggles and this is where invisible evil forces perch in wait, like sea eagles, to dig their talons into innocent souls. Surely you will need an anchor. This anchor is called morality. And immortality is considered the ultimate reward  for being moral.

In another sense, evil forces are like malicious computer software, they cannot destroy physical things on their own. They need hardware (humans) as a medium, so brothers and sisters let us guard against our emotions and reasoning. The point of this post is to draw your attention to the metaphysical aspect of the world in which we find ourselves. The physical material world is just one side of the coin. Science does not and cannot teach everything.

Bee, the lunatic, is still alive because the evil forces do not need her. She is a damaged piece of “hardware” so why would they want her. But those of us in our prime let us be on guard. I am just saying be careful. In the spiritual world there are no remedies, it’s a predator-prey kingdom, and it doesn’t matter whether you are on the side of this god or that god. A little mistake and you are gone and who is to tell whether there is another world beyond? If you ask me the answer is simple, I don’t know.

But I, personally, will never chose oblivion over immortality though the former is more obvious and the latter, simply speculative. This is because a belief in immortality makes one happy in the here and now. The ultimate purpose of cultivating faith (in anything)  is to make one happy.

“Thus Spake Zarathustra” By Nietzsche

 

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EXCERPTS FROM ZARATHUSTRA’S PROLOGUE

Zarathustra, however, remained standing, and just beside him fell the body, badly injured and disfigured, but not yet dead. After a while consciousness returned to the shattered man, and he saw Zarathustra kneeling beside him.

“What art thou doing there?” said he at last, “I knew long ago that the devil would trip me up. Now he draggeth me to hell: wilt thou prevent him?”

“On mine honour, my friend,” answered Zarathustra, “there is nothing of all that whereof thou speakest: there is no devil and no hell. Thy soul will be dead even sooner than thy body: fear, therefore, nothing any more!”

The man looked up distrustfully.

“If thou speakest the truth,” said he, “I lose nothing when I lose my life. I am not much more than an animal which hath been taught to dance by blows and scanty fare.”

“Not at all,” said Zarathustra, “thou hast made danger thy calling; therein there is nothing contemptible. Now thou perishest by thy calling: therefore will I bury thee with mine own hands.”

When Zarathustra had said this the dying one did not reply further; but he moved his hand as if he sought the hand of Zarathustra in gratitude. Meanwhile the evening came on, and the market-place veiled itself in gloom. Then the people dispersed, for even curiosity and terror become fatigued. Zarathustra, however, still sat beside the dead man on the ground, absorbed in thought: so he forgot the time. But at last it became night, and a cold wind blew upon the lonely one. Then arose Zarathustra and said to his heart:

“Verily, a fine catch of fish hath Zarathustra made to-day! It is not a man he hath caught, but a corpse. Sombre is human life, and as yet without meaning: a buffoon may be fateful to it.

I want to teach men the sense of their existence, which is the Superman, the lightning out of the dark cloud–man. But still am I far from them, and my sense speaketh not unto their sense. To men I am still something between a fool and a corpse. Gloomy is the night, gloomy are the ways of Zarathustra. Come, thou cold and stiff companion! I carry thee to the place where I shall bury thee with mine own hands.”

When Zarathustra had said this to his heart, he put the corpse upon his shoulders and set out on his way.

Henley’s “Invictus”

image source: boats.desktopnexus.com

image source: boats.desktopnexus.com

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

–William Ernest Henley. 1849–1903