Sunday, January 18, 2015

Intense living and perception of Death - A breakfast conversation with a friend

" Of late, I find no energy, intensity in daily life. You know, I am comfortably placed. Happy family, Decent house, respectable job ; but somehow, I don't find the energy to do the things I want to do. For example, I have been holding on to a book for the last three weeks, reading a few pages each day and then I begin to procrastinate. Similarly with Music, Drama, sports and all my creative interests - I know I got to be doing these things, but somehow focus eludes me. A lot of unfinished projects in my life , Bala..."
We are sitting in coffee shop after our swim. Both of us are almost of the same age. He works in a senior management position in a bank, keeps shuttling between the West and east coats for work.
A Well read person, and a very good conversationalist - I enjoy being in his company whenever I can. I replied..
" Yes, Drake (name changed). You are right. What you say is true of many of us. It is interesting though, that in my case, things changed after my near fatal illness years ago. I guess ,what dawned on me afterwards is the tremendous realization of mortal death being a certainty and not a idea or an abstraction. When one experiences and "knows" with authentic certainty that our days are numbered, not in a fatalistic way, but as an inevitable law of nature, then life does take on a new focus. The other day I was reading about Average life expectancy in the United states in a WHO report. It is 77.4 for a Male, and 82 for Female. Now, I am not a great believer in statistical measures of central tendency, and on a bell curve one could be an outlier, which means an individual could live more than the average measure. So lets for a moment assume that one can potentially live for a 100 years.. Drake laughed... " You know its a possibility, and a whole number makes my calculation easier. So it means we have 36500 days at our disposal. Take away the first twenty years as formative ones , which is 7300 days and what is remaining ; 29200 days. So here is the important thing : If an individual can possess a large enough board or a wall to tabulate 29200, and keep striking off each day meticulously before he goes to sleep, then you will find that one cultivates a stark sense of temporality of this physical body , which otherwise we lose track off . When one realizes in the marrow of one's bone that we do not have unlimited time, not matter how hard and how much Medical science progresses, then a new energy can seep into our lives. Our relationships gets a new orientation, and we are not unduly frittering energies on things that pales away in the fire of this truth. In fact, that is the meaning of the word "Solitude" - to remain conscious of our enormous vulnerability and allowing life to pass through uninhibited like a wind through a bamboo flute. We, then will have time and energy for all that we really want to do with ourselves , and not put on pretenses and parley excuses.. You see, as a culture, we shirk death. we don't want to talk , think about it, keep our children away from it. We want it to postponed "indefinitely", and that my friend is the most stupid idea that any educated man can have.. It saps vital energy out of our lives"
Both of us laughed and Drake said " Yea, makes sense if you put it that way...."
"Is there any other way of putting it Drake...?
Our breakfast of Omelet and Fresh juice arrived, and both of us dug into it with a ravenous appetite. That is life.....
God bless...

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