Tag Archives: science

Death By A Thousand Eternities

“Without the threat of death there’s no reason to live at all.” –Brian Warner

We are told to exercise, to improve the quality of our lives, to above all be happy. We buy a Fitbit. It counts our steps, checks our vitals, monitors our sleep cycles. Measuring, labeling, categorizing—our Fitbit is a body sensor and a mind censor. A census-taker of souls.

Let’s stop kidding ourselves: the final goal of science and technology is to exterminate death. It may take forever, but future generations of scientists will risk their lives to get dying under control.

Are we not heading towards a man-made eternity without God? Are we not destined to create a permanent Heaven on Earth that would put to rest all hope of an afterlife?

Thanks to technology we’ve forgotten how to die.

We must resist the consumerist imperative to buy ourselves more time at all costs. Embrace death. Let it come for us, naturally or accidentally, as a devastating act of mercy. A blessing in demise.

To kill death with technological precision—to be forced to live with ourselves forever—this is Hell Unending. Death by a thousand eternities.

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To Infinity And Beyond

Religion and science have at least one thing in common: people from both fields theorize (hope for?) the end of the world.

Many Christians believe in the Rapture. The world as we know it, full of misery and sin, will one day be transformed. Believers will be raised in the clouds “to meet the Lord in the air.” Non-believers will remain on earth and suffer, falling for the Devil’s tricks. Sounds pretty harsh, but that’s God for you.

Scientists take a more practical approach to the apocalypse. Man-made climate change will eventually wipe out humanity if we don’t get our shit together. Everyone knows this. Except conservative politicians who’d rather save your soul than the planet.

In both cases humans are responsible for the end of humanity. In the first case, the Left Behind have only themselves to blame. In the second, no one’s left to verify the prophecy.

Maybe we’re beyond speculation and dire forecasts. What if the world has already ended? The earth suspended in a blinding flash, humanity a tragic afterimage in the mind of God?

Or perhaps we’ve yet to begin. The world is in beta mode and we’re the flaw(ed) testers. God still weighing the costs and benefits of moving forward with his program.

Reports of our death are greatly exaggerated. There’s so much suffering left—obscene amounts of pleasure too. Sometimes infinity takes a long time getting started.

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Beyond Belief

I lack the strength to fully accept or reject the existence of God.

I can’t identify with hardline atheists who know beyond a doubt there is no God. Duped by the almighty power of reason, non-believers turn to a religion with its own zealots: science. The laboratory serves as the site of the uber-rationalist’s Divine Liturgy. He chides the theologian for naming that which he cannot see and proceeds to diagram particles invisible to the naked eye.

But let’s be honest: I’m not fond of Sunday services and I’m uncomfortable with the doctrine of original sin. I loath the hypocrisy of pious folks who skim the Bible for commandments that apply to everyone but themselves.

I find God in the chorus of a Nirvana song. Long legs and high heels. The vibrant rhythms of a Ginsberg poem. The rush that chocolate provides. I yearn for meaning, to go beyond belief. To recognize my being completely.

God or not, I live for the possibility of joy. And the strength to know I deserve it.

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Psychotherapists Or Clergy

I have long maintained that my depression is a spiritual problem. I never ignored the chemistry behind my illness and I’ve always believed that by taking medication I’d relieve some of my symptoms. But I know my depression goes beyond physical concerns. It’s ultimately led me to metaphysics.

But last week my doctor called to say my thyroid levels were high, which means that my thyroid is underactive. “It’s possible your thyroid issues are affecting your depression,” he said. Notice how I wrote “affecting” above, meaning that my thyroid might be making my depression worse. But what if the proper word is “effecting,” meaning that it’s causing my depression—literally bringing it into existence?

If I could take a pill and “lose” my depression, or at least a great deal of it, within a few weeks—why the hell not? Is it possible the root of my illness lies in areas none of my doctors considered before? What if my biology supersedes my will—my brain, not my mind, being the sole determinant of who I am?

We’re still investigating all treatment possibilities. There’s a chance my depression has affected certain hormones, thus leading to lower thyroid function. A lot’s going on inside of me and it’s all, somehow, connected.

Whatever the outcome, I’ve suffered with depression long enough to sense its impact on my whole being. It has brought me closer to my humanity and helped me view my life in a new light, despite the darkness in which I often find myself.

I’m still drawn to the final chapter of Carl Jung’s Modern Man in Search of a Soul, entitled “Psychotherapists or Clergy.” My well-being depends on factors both seen and unseen. Some days I need medicine. Other days I need miracles of a different nature.

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