Only My Opinions

Why Do People Die (Revision 1)

“God willing, should we wake up alive tomorrow, we would do this or that…”. This  statement is only one of the many others that we use to concede that, ‘tomorrow is promised to no one’. Of all the things that could ever happen to life, death is the worst because it puts an end to it; to all that we value in it, our hopes, the activities; processes; alliances; what we regard as right or wrong about living; all of it comes to an end. We often do not feel responsible for being alive or for the time when death would come knocking on the door. This is often because we never remember a point in time when we each made the decision to live, or even to be born. We find ourselves already being alive, and since we think we had nothing to do with that, we consider our being here to be the responsibility of someone else; something that happens beyond our will; an act of God, the Source, or any form we ever conceive the source of creation to be in. We may attribute the different abilities we have to this source; the ability to live another day; to think; to understand; to love; to laugh and to recreate the world according to our own preferences. This continues until one day, at a time totally unknown to any of us, when the source would just blind-side us and decide unilaterally, to take away one of our possessions; a bodily ability; a loved one or in the worst case, our very lives. This too would happen regardless of what we would prefer – at least that is what we believe.

From when we are little, we all have had a direct experience of how the body is able to heal from some extent of pain, illness or injury, all by itself. Any time a headache; a scratch or injury to the body heals without medication or much of our intervention, we are witnessing the innate and enormous ability of the body to restore itself. We regard this ability as happening beyond our control, because we do not feel responsible for it happening, with some of it happening while we are asleep, or our attention distracted elsewhere.

Like the very life we live, we attribute this healing to the God who would use his or her discretion on whether we should heal or suffer.  Indeed, if it is not us directing all this ability, it could well be that this power is truly directed by God somewhere, who may have given us only some freedom to use our discretion in certain situations. However, is it also possible that this being, in its most generous act of empowerment ever, may have already given us all the power to decide on all the matters of our lives, including whether to live, to heal or to die? Could the body’s ability to heal as well as our discretion at how many spoons of sugar to put in our tea, be all the evidence we need of how we already have this power within us? Knowing that the body could heal by itself, we may then ask ourselves, could it recover even from extensive injuries caused by a major, near fatal accident; a chronic or even a terminal disease?  Is it possible that we already have this power, but are not yet aware of it because we have developed a habitual dependency on God, or the tendency of looking up to someone else for our own salvation, instead of looking within and learning to understand and muster what we already have? The answers could only be found by observing the abilities that humanity has been able to demonstrate since the beginning of time, with which we are able to navigate through life. These abilities are inherent to the power of choice.

Each one of us chooses the different situations of their own lives. Sometimes we make a choice and then forget that we ever did, usually because of the long time that it may take from the point we decide on something until we finally realise it. Even at a place where we don’t remember how we got to, we still retain the power to choose whether to stay there or leave. Nonetheless, the fact that we may continue to stay in any situation that others may regard as unfavourable to us, is itself a testament to the fact that indeed, we see nothing wrong with continuing our stay in it, and for that reason, we remain in it regardless of what others may prefer.

On a much greater scale, every one of us makes the most important decision of their lives – whether to continue to live or to die. In keeping with whatever choice we make; we start to interact with our environment in ways that would bring about the reality of the choice we made. The achievement of this choice would ultimately be brought about by the smaller other decisions and choices we make along the way, until we finally realise what we chose.

The choice to live, would often be followed by seemingly lowly decisions such as making sure the main road is clear of any oncoming traffic before we go across, or if driving a car, we may travel at a speed that would allow us to stop at any point should a need arise, such as to avoid an accident. On the contrary, we could choose to focus more on the conversation we have with someone in the back seat while the car is moving, and be more involved in that than driving the car, which would make us less able to respond timely to any unforeseen road incidents. The decisions we make in every moment of every day, and our ability to make a difference in our lives based on them, are all the evidence we have that each one of us has what it takes to direct the material circumstances of their lives in accord with what would be in their best interests. This is the power to be happy or to suffer.

We sustain our lives by continuing to choose to live. This is how we express our love for life, based on the happiness we derive from it or hope for. Every day, we explore the different facets of our lives for various ways in which to relate happily with the different people, things and situations we choose. The happiness we experience from doing so, motivates us to continue looking for even more of it in various other ways. This becomes the process of living, defined by the things we choose to do every day, and the time and effort that we bring into realizing them. The fact that we could read what is written on this page, right now, is a result of the choice we have made at some point in the past, to be alive on this day, and to choose what we would focus more on, in order to realise it.

Every instance of life or death is primarily a choice made by the one who decides to live or to die. The choice to die, and how it finally gets to be realised, ranges from the most passive to the most active, depending on how motivated we are to realise it. From the moment we decide that life is no longer worth the effort of sustaining it, we proceed from one day to another with an expectation of something that would help us realise that choice. Depending on how much we perceive this decision as a form of salvation from whatever caused us to make it; we would make decisions in however small or big ways, that would steer us towards realizing the goal.

The oneness of life is such that we would experience anything that we would want to experience, as well as avoid whatever we want to avoid, because in this oneness, everything exists to help us realise what we set for ourselves as a purpose. When we look for what would help us to heal, we find unlimited possibilities for that. When we seek out what would help us to live, we would find everything that would help us realise that. The same would be the case when we want to die, anything would present itself as a possible cause. With everything possible in life, the only way to achieve anything is only to set it as a goal and begin to perceive evidence of how it becomes a reality. The goal would ultimately be realised when we get presented with the most efficient means of realising it, such as getting involved in an accident, falling ill or any of the things that we would ultimately regard as most suitable to succumb to. Suitable because we would not want to be perceived as responsible for what happened – for the sake of insurance as well as the related stigma. This would then be regarded as the cause of our death, thereby shifting everyone’s focus from our culpability.

In some cases, the decision to die is so wilful that we actively engage in ensuring that it happens immediately. This would usually come as a violent feat of rage or any of the emotional decisions we make, which would captivate our focus so much that we only see the problem at hand as the only reality we have; a state which if prolonged tends to present death as the only salvation available. These are the cases we usually refer to as suicide, where the death would be directly attributed to the self as the cause. In more general terms, we commit suicide by giving up on the need to protect or sustain the physical body, or wilfully bringing harm to ourselves. The decision is taken by us, regardless of when it finally gets to be realised. The duration it takes from the moment we make the decision, to the time when it is realised, could range from seconds to a matter of days or even years. The longer it takes from the decision to the realisation of it, the more likely the death would not be regarded as suicide, but something else. The longer it gets, the more likely we are to forget that whatever is happening right now, is a result of a decision taken earlier, which this moment serves only to help realise. So, to other people around us, the act of dying, as it gets to happen to us, would often make us appear like helpless victims who are being carried away through a process that we have no power to direct or even stop, while in reality we are going through a realisation of a decision we may have even forgotten that we made, or that we are making at that very moment as it unfolds.

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