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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Death & The Afterlife

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Old 29-04-2019, 07:12 AM
Ghost_Rider_1970 Ghost_Rider_1970 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Found Goat
According to psychological studies that’ve been done on necrophobia, it’s about the age of 40 when people start turning their minds to the thought of their own mortality. Prior to this, the adult is preoccupied in what has been termed by some mind-doctors as “the invincible trance,” in which the mind is continually caught up in the here-and-now and doesn’t dwell on, let alone think about, the hereafter. It is one of the pleasures of being young, I suppose: Like animals, the thought of dying never crosses the mind.

There are, however, middle-aged folks and even senior citizens who are not afraid of their own mortality, whatsoever. I am among that group. Some of these ones possess a serenity of spirit attributable to having experienced a spiritually transformational event in their lives that has released them of all anxiety pertaining to what lies beyond, whereas others who have never had such a transformative event nevertheless do not feel so tied to the material realm as to want to hang onto it for dear life. Many in this latter group who are aged to the point of being feeble or even infirm might say things like, You’ll never find me hooked up to a life-support machine! Or, I’ve been fortunate. I’ve lived a long and good life, in recognition of the fact that many in the world die far too soon and prematurely and before their time due to tragic events, disease, poverty.

We can thank science for without the invention of creature comforts that protect many people from the elements and all the benefits that health-care systems provide, many people would not make it into advanced years. To think that the average lifespan of one who lived in the 19th century was only 40! It is said that in earlier times, during the ancient Greco-Roman periods, that people did well if they made it into their thirties.

To think that there are some people who knock medical science, when in actuality it has provided humankind with many wonderful things (antibiotics, anaesthetics, placebos for chronic halitosis, and so on). Without it, there’d be no octogenarians and even centenarians around.

I must be an oddball for I have never obsessed over meeting up with the Grip Reaper. As one who partly holds a neopagan worldview, my spiritual belief is that everything naturally dies in the end and returns to where it came from. To me, it is a natural process and nothing to fret about.

What I have never understood is how one who is religious, say, a Buddhist or a Catholic, can still be so anxious about growing old and dying. I suppose that is one for the analyst to try and explain.

Still, it is said that the ancient Egyptians were a deeply spiritual people and yet there were mummies and great monuments built and the belief that one could bring along with them their material belongings into the afterlife.

Necrophobes in the realm of fiction are plenty. Three come to mind: Harlan Hawkes, Antonius Block, and a wizened biddy named Matilda.

- Harlan Hawkes, played by actor William Hickey, from the tv series The Outer Limits (episode: “White Light Fever”). It’s about an aged and moneyed curmudgeon with an artificial ticker that’s been keeping him alive and who so fears death that’s he deluded himself into thinking science and his material wealth can keep him alive forever.

- Antonius Block, played by Max von Sydow, from the film “The Seventh Seal.” The story is set during the time of the Black Plague and is about a knight whose life will be spared and prolonged indefinitely so long as he can beat the Scythe Toter in a game of chess.

- Matilda, played by actress Mary Morris, from the tv series The Ray Bradbury Theater (episode: “There Was An Old Woman”). It’s about a wan and wrinkly crone who’s visited by Death Personified and strives with all of her might to show him the door.

In real life, some people who have suffered from such anxiety have taken comfort in reading a book or two by the authoress, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, whereas others might snuggle up with Maurice Rawling’s “To Hell And Back,” whatever their cup of tea.

This brings to mind a gaffer I once knew who jokingly wondered to me whether where he might be going required his bringing along with him a bag of marshmallows. He said he couldn’t do the “stairway to heaven” on account of his arthritis. “At my age, with these legs, if I must do steps, God let them descend,” he quipped.

Oh wow Found Goat! What a wonderful and inspiring post. I loved reading every word you wrote. I too agree that dying is nothing to fear with it being a natural and beautiful cycle of living.
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