Friday, July 3, 2009

What is your biggest fear?

Everyone is afraid of something or the other. To deny is it is obviously bs, because it's fear that reminds us what we are.. animals, just like the rest of them on the planet. Every creature feels fear, so I guess it's a natural thing.

So fear, is a given but of what? I could almost say with conviction that pretty much everyone is afraid of death. For whatever logical (or illogical) reason, death seems to scare the hell out of people, me included. Maybe because there's no coming back. Death is permanent, irreversible and most of all, unknown.

Now when I say scared I don't mean, living every day fearing that it's the last, but the idea of what lies (or doesn't) beyond scares me. It's not like anyone can prove that they aren't afraid of death, not like keeping a spider in your palm for a minute to prove you don't have arachnophobia. But the fear of death I don't think is hardwired into our system. We aren't afraid of death unconsciously.

Take animals for example. Are animals aware of life, or death? Or are they just simply mindless beings, never pausing to think about the ways of the world and just keep going like a hamster on a wheel, to no visible end? One could argue that we, too, are the same, despite religion, and spirituality and everything, and the supposed awareness of life and death, we too run our lives on mindless impulse. We may be thinking different from animals, but we do the same. We're running a wheel too, just like the hamster, just that ours is a bigger one.

Anyhow, my point being, (I may be wrong) animals, do not fear death (because it means nothing to them) but pain, rather, because it is something they can feel and understand. Pain is simple, death complex.

We are unconsciously afraid of pain, and yet consciously afraid of death.

The fear of pain is hardwired into us, like every other in the animal kingdom. A response, to a real, and understandable danger.

Death on the other hand, is not so. The fear of death is not soldered into my brain. Because death, is an idea my mind conceptualized (and that too, badly), and its fear, too. It's an artificial fear. Our minds made it up.

The reason we're so afraid of death is because we don't fully understand it. We're afraid of the unknown. Our minds had been presented with a badly thought out concept and the loose ends scare us. The same reason we're afraid of the dark. Because we don't know about it. It's the unknown. We're scared of what we don't know because our minds like filling it up with the worst imaginable ideas.

But there obviously is no understanding death completely. I've been falling asleep regularly every night for 19 years since the day (or before) I was born, and I'm still clueless about sleep, let alone death. I guess some things take a lifetime to figure out.


Aditya Venkataraman aka Jicks said...

the fear of death always looms in the background of everything we do. i guess our sheer helplessness towards it makes it so scary.

Anonymous said...

"The purpose of life is to end." - Matrix

Brilliantly written. Not many people can give such a deep insight on something so unknown, and then put it forth in such a simple manner.

Death is something we are all unaware of. And perhaps, that is how God intended it to be.

Keep on writing. Expecting much more.