No matter what you think of death, it can be a very scary thought. Dying seems so infinite and so final that we wish it wouldn’t happen to those around us, but it does. People die and people are born.
It can cripple us, thinking of our deaths, but in death, is there beauty? This is questioned in this short video with commentary by philosopher Alan Watts.
Throughout Alan’s life, he discussed the ultimate taboo: death and what it means to die, and why it’s not such a bad thing after all.
Take a look and listen to this deeply powerful video and tell us, does this change your view of life and death? Are you scared of dying?
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“Now there really isn’t anything radically wrong with being sick or with dying. Who said you’re supposed to survive? Who gave you the idea that it’s a gas to go on and on and on?
And we can’t say that it’s a good thing for everything to go on living. In very simple demonstration that if we enable everybody to go on living, we overcrowd ourselves and we’re like an unpruned tree.
And, so therefore, one person who dies in a way is honorable because he’s making room for others… Although each one of us, individually, will naturally appreciate it when anybody saves our life, if we apply that case all around we can see that it’s not workable.
We can also look further into and see that if our death could be indefinitely postponed, we would not actually go on postponing it indefinitely because after a certain point we would realize that isn’t the way in which we wanted to survive.
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Why else would we have children? Because children arrange for us to survive in another way by, as it were, passing on a torch so that you don’t have to carry it all the time. There comes a point where you can give it up and say now you work.
It’s a far more amusing arrangement for nature to continue the process of life through different individuals then it is always with the same individual, because as each new individual approaches life is renewed. And one remembers how fascinating the most ordinary everyday things are to a child, because they see them all as marvelous – because they see them all in a way that is not related to survival and profit.
When we get to thinking of everything in terms of survival and profit value, as we do, then the shapes of scratches on the floor cease to have magic. And most things, in fact, cease to have magic.
So therefore, in the course of nature, once we have ceased to see magic in the world anymore, were no longer fulfilling nature’s game being aware of it.
There’s no point in it any longer. And so we die. And, so something else comes to birth, which gets an entirely new view. And so nature’s self-awareness is a game worth the candle.
It is not, therefore, natural for us to wish to prolong life indefinitely. But we live in a culture where it has been rubbed into us in every conceivable way that to die is a terrible thing. And that is a tremendous disease from which our culture, in particular, suffers”.