Thoughts on Mortality


Decks pictured (clockwise from top left) Bohemian Gothic, Sacred Rose, Arcus Arcanum, Starchild, Tarot of Prague, Wild Unknown, Sun and Moon, Wildwood, Alexander Daniloff; center – Alchemists Oracle: Connected and Free, Celestial Stick Figures

I’m inspired to put some thoughts down by a video Katey Flowers posted on YouTube of her year with the “Death” card from the Tarot, and her musings on aging and life and death. I decided to post this here rather than on my Tarot blog because this isn’t necessarily a Tarot post (maybe I’ll cross-post it).

I’m at the age where I spend a great deal of time thinking about death (a great deal) and how much closer I am to my own end than to my beginning. I have far more days behind me than ahead of me. I’ve started planning out what sort of instructions I want to leave for my heirs, make sure they have access to all my accounts, both online and offline. I think about how much crap I have that I need to get rid of to spare my kids having to clean it all out. I think about people I’ve lost so often. I can’t count the number of times I’ve wished my dad was still alive to see some new technology (he was an electronics engineer) or a movie or show I think he would have liked. He died when he wasn’t much older than I am now.

Of course everyone dies, it’s not that I expected to live forever. I don’t actually think about how I might die, that’s not the part that concerns me. It’s the idea of winking out of existence, passing into oblivion, that disturbs me because I have no belief in an afterlife. This is it, here and now. Please spare me any platitudes about the inevitability of dying and accepting with grace. Maybe the day will come when I can, but not now. Right now I feel no more ready to accept that than a teenager. Intellectually I am perfectly aware that the day will come, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I’ve lost both of my parents, all my aunts and uncles, a cousin, friends so it’s not like I’ve never experienced losing someone. I know it happens, but that doesn’t change my frustration.

Part of my raging against death may stem from the feeling that I haven’t accomplished anything with my life, that I will never feel done, ready to die. There are so many things I would have liked to have been and done and learned in this life that I will never have the chance for. Maybe that’s why I’m so fascinated with Tarot. I look to the cards for a deeper understanding of the nature of existence, some reason to believe this isn’t all there is. How can we live, exist, breathe, think, be self-aware, and not be able to somehow do something about the terminal nature of life? It seems cruel for the universe to give us the capacity to understand we will cease to exist, doesn’t it? And yes, I understand the contradiction embodied in the idea of seeking a spiritual understanding if I don’t have any belief in an afterlife.

I know I’m not alone in this dread, and that it’s why some people cling to religion, or a belief in ghosts. We’re hoping to find some proof of something beyond this world, that physical death is not really the end. I’ve had unexplained occurrences that seemed ghostly, but they’re not definitive proof. Not yet. I need more.

I guess for now I will continue to search. I’ll let you know if I find enlightenment, or at least acceptance.

I did feel compelled to pull a card from the Druid Plant Oracle, and interestingly got the Celtic Bean, which is associated with death, reincarnation, the ancestors, and the Otherworld. A message?

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Mortality

  1. Wonderful post. Is it possible that our energy just changes form when the body is gone? I admit that I have such a limited vision of the Universe that I have no idea or belief in what comes after life as we know it. I’m in no rush to find out, but I find it oddly comforting that I won’t be the first or last to find out. But I will be pissed if it turns out to be just like high school. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I once heard something that I believe was attributed to Einstein, regarding the electrical energy in our brains that continues to exist after our deaths, since matter can not be created or destroyed, although I can’t find any reference to it at the moment. That gave me a little comfort, that perhaps some small bit of who we were would still exist as electricity. My own mother claimed a NDE, after her first heart attack. Come to think of it, she had several weird experiences. So who knows? But yeah, if it’s high school redux, I’ll take oblivion.

      I agree, there is some comfort in knowing I will join some of the greatest minds who ever lived, people I’ve admired, people I’ve loved. In the meantime, I will continue to seek my own answers.

      Like

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