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Companion Death   Apr 22 2007

Filed under feature, Serendipity by Ewen Shearer

To Live is to Suffer

Life is inevitably pain, sickness, death and decay.

Everything is touched by the shadow of dissatisfaction, imperfection, disillusion.

No one escapes.

Sound familiar? Not just my pathetic publisher on a good day. Not just any of us on our 50th birthday.

Simply the first Noble Truth of Buddhism, philosophy 101, lesson numero oono for every child when a parent dies –

You grow old. You die. Life Sucks

If you don’t reach old age, maybe you’re lucky.

We are obsessed with life, the universe, and everything. Especially (and increasingly with age) the moment our bodies fail, a dismembering of mind, spirit, and matter.

Left alive in this flickering moment we ponder dying or rotting flesh, shell of a person who was, such corpora delicti of life’s offence against itself that draws our bewildered incomprehension toward that dimly perceived and feared Transition, the doorway where time stops, where life’s experience is said to replay, where light claims the pure, burning darkness the fallen, where big bang merges with Omega – beyond the paradox of eternity.

Images of death circulate freely now on the net. We who don’t work with recently and violently deceased, who have not experienced the vileness of war, tend to be morbidly curious when confronted with starkly destroyed bodies.

Belief – suspended for carnage in horror flicks – returns with vengeance when the victim is real, playing a tortuous kaleidoscope of emotions on an area of mind normally shut tight.

More sickening, however, is our impunity to a vast community of less fortunate fellow beings who live close to death in abject misery.

You feel strongly too, but don’t know what to do, right?

Well, that at least is the first step.

Let the feeling grow inside and an opportunity to effectively help might present itself. A frame of mind is the first step to empathy.

The saint-like are out there helping, so don’t panic. The more you learn and think, the more effective your help will be when the moment arrives, and how you might help becomes suddenly obvious.

Empathy. Giving meaning to life.

Down Under


Ink Irresistable

Not the NYT Montaigne's what would I know? Huxley's almost anything about almost everything. Or Bierce and nothing matters. Codifying life's inimitable impromptu inclines irrestistably to essay.

Civilization ..

   defiles itself

Times past when warlords, priests and royalty hoarded luxury, life was a short grim struggle. Today most want for little yet still deny dignified survival to working poor, and ravage entire countries as collateral to our laissez faire fiesta.
double arrowOn not shedding a tear ..

A Century of Imperialism

     ..hasn't dulled the urge

American foreign policy never a pretty sight, finesse of the mobile crane chase from Terminator 3. Export democracy? Cure worse than disease. double arrow Read more ..


~ its own reward

And what's going on in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? As 40% of kids fail graduation the Iraqistan wars suck $2.4 trillion [CBO 2017 est]. Imagine this staggering sum applied to rebuilding The Great Society. Think of others.
double arrow Where Charity Begins

This lazy unemployed

..crack-smoking welfare queen ran up U$15 trillion debt

lazy homeless scum
Odd how the ultra-wealthy gull even working poor to blame unemployed, disabled, weak, and vulnerable while but for the grace of God go all.

If he's a welfare leech then your soul is with the sociopaths and predators who own Warshington and its minions, the Repugnicans and Dumfocrats, gutting a once noble nation that aspired to equality.

This elite will survive the US economic train wreck, land softly on 300 million plundered taxpayers, then from fortresses of luxury and privilege prey elsewhere for spoils.

The dawn of civilization was greatly exaggerated.

Munch Montage

Painters, such a sad old bunch
None it seems more so than Munch
Upon that bridge with skies afire
A meme took flight to never tire.
2arrow gif

Quote Me

"I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another. In a way I have nothing to say but a great deal to add
~ Gore Vidal

"Rulers of state are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying" (Well, that explains the last 2500 years)
~ Plato

"By 'known unknowns' I was referring to the universe's dark matter.."
~ Donald Rumsfeld

"I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out.."
~ Joseph Addison