the mudpond

It's good to let things breathe in your imagination because often your initial response to it is not the best thought-through response. I savour little glimpses of life. Mine and those of people who turn me sideways and around. Friend or stranger. Even a child. (the world looks different from down there) Sometimes an author, photographer, artist. I let things saturate and incubate here. Hopefully, deeper meanings can percolate up and flower.

Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A stray cat.


Not For Sissies

"The end point of existence is death, but the end point of life itself.
The journey is the destination. The purpose is the seeking of purpose."

This, like saying: ‘death is the alternative to aging’, is splendidly to the point, but misses the point as well.

I think nobody really, seriously wants to stay in the same place. [we may want to look forever 30 or whatever ‘young’ is, but surely not freeze there experientially, lost in time] Nor do we so WANT to die [unless our world’s suddenly tumbled down – breakup, loved one died, bankrupt, cancer/AIDS diagnosis, that sort of thing]. Yet we are ALL fearful of getting older [barren, impotent, infirm, bedridden, senile...].

Look how obsessed society is with youth, plastic surgery, Viagra, beauty and novelty. As old age takes its toll people try to resist, try anything to keep decay and death at bay. How popular the notion of continual rebirth.

wits0: "where there is life there is death." But “there is more life in death than there is death in life”, says Midas Dekkers, author of The Way of All Flesh - a book that celebrates decay and death and acknowledges life as a way of dying slowly. In a grim biology lesson, Dekkers hilariously points out the clumsy ways we mortals try to sidestep our own transience. He ridicules our obsession with staying youthful and alive by piling on (with such glee!) the evidence in the myriad ways in which our food, our bodies, our loved ones, and our world are destined to crumble and return to dust.

  • the holes in Swiss cheese are created by bacteria farting gasses into moldering cheese. urggh!
  • Fresh meat from the butcher? BULL. ‘Fresh’ meat would turn stiff in the shopping bag on the way home. The US$3000-a-pound-Kobe-beef Martin Soong says is healthier than USDA Prime, is actually also carrion (like any other cheap meat your butcher sells) -- stale, no rotting meat that has gone limp after 36 hours.
  • Our red blood cells live only for 100 days, and our intestines get re-upholstered every three days.
  • the skin and hair on which we lavish so much care is already dead. We shed flakes every day. Over a lifetime, we lose our weight in skin.
  • And, here’s the good (?) news: semen of men aged between 60 and 90 years contains more sperm per ml than that of mere youths

It is our nervous system which preserves the memory of the long-lost parts of our body. ‘Dying’ is only the death of the leftover parts; almost everything else was jettisoned long ago

We die, as Dekkers describes it, like 'an empire at the hands of barbarians'. Bacteria settle down to do the work. In about two or three days, a thin green layer of bacteria, most of which originated from our intestines, covers our body.

Well, like they say, ‘old age isn't for sissies’ and neither is reading about it. Despite the morbid and depressing facts, this book is a whole lot of fun. It’s actually quite an entertaining way to spend a few hours of your decay.

Meanwhile, take comfort in what Professor Stephen Hawkings said when asked how he feels about having ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis):

"I try to lead as normal a life as possible, and not think about my condition, or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which is not that many."

I really should sip life from the top of the bowl and try to ignore the dark gritty bits at the bottom AND count my blessings.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

"How popular the notion of continual rebirth."

OTOH, a single judgement DAY for all would seem to be uneconomical, God-wise. It seem to imply that God is subservient to the due processs of the passing of Time within his own creation(!).....among many other things ;).
I doubt this (single DAY) thing can be literally interpreted.

I think it's the more sensible of the two views. Wonder where is MWT? She'll tell you that we live in a MUlti Dimensional Reality.


8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About the afliction of Professor Stephen Hawkings, wouldn't that incriminates a Loving God if there be but one Earth, one lifetime and one Judgement day? And the same for others, the majority, similarly afflicted but much less brilliant and certain not famous?
Of course you can say it's God plan but will that alone satisfy?
The question of Creations fairness and comparative logic appears to become logically pertinent.

What Anthony wrote makes easy to understand sense when one does not just live a single lifetime.


8:30 PM  
Blogger Anthony said...

I guess I'm a bit of a pragmatic dreamer here. I've had a near-death brush early in my life, so I've got a bit of benefit of hindsight.

What I've said pretty much presumes the limitations of our lifetime. We're all gonna get older. We're all gonna die. We're all gonna get one lifetime.

So we can live with fear of these things that all come eventually, or we can fear these things with the understanding that it's about as useful as worrying about what the weather is going to be like tomorrow.

Do what you can, and do it well.

3:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that between an agnostic and a gnostic viewpoint the former is not at all a tenable or valid position.


10:20 PM  

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