Tag Archives: ölüm

Primal Soul

One simple way of reinstating an absolute form of morality (as opposed to a relative, risk-reward kind) is to postulate continuity beyond death. The notion of a “ruh,” as proposed in almost all religions, serves this purpose. Soul is also the substantive (albeit ethereal) representation of the otherwise elusive consciousness of ours, which is an entity that has no right to exist or be real because it fails all possible tests for real existence, yet is supremely real to each one of us. Aslında, consciousness is more than real, it is the arena in which our reality plays out its act. It is so fundamental to our experience and existence that we have a hard time accepting its ephemerality.

Ben, biri için, believe logically that when I die, everything I will have known and experienced till then will just disappear. I believe that death is like an eternal dreamless sleep. Logically. But logic has very little to do with what I can feel and accept, emotionally. I don’t like to drag in the concept of “emotion” burada; I am thinking of what I can accept at a gut-level. “Primally” would perhaps be a better word to use, but I am not sure. Any way, once we have conscious awareness, and develop a sense of temporal continuity about things and experiences around us, we cannot help assigning continuity to the backdrop of it all — our consciousness. Continuity of selfhood is encoded into our mind. Primally — evet, that would be the right word.

Logic and rationality, which come after the primal plumbing of the mind, bilinç, selfhood etc. (which may all ultimately mean the same thing) is already in place, can influence our thinking only to a limited extent. Mind grasps at anything that offers a semblance of eternal continuity. Enter religions.

All conventional religions have some notion of a “ruh,” which comes in different forms and with a multitude of meanings and contexts, although, logically, it can only mean our consciousness, or an entity holding our consciousness and pretty much nothing else. Thanks to our primal need to search and find continuity, we readily buy into whatever notion of soul our parents’ religion happens to uphold, ignoring the gaping holes in logic associated with it. From the perspective of religions (speaking of religions as organizational entities with intentions and purposes), the notion of continuity implied in the concept of a soul has a great benefit — it completely alters the risk-reward analysis at the root of morality. And it takes out death (ya da en azından, greatly diminishes its significance) in the analysis. For death is only the beginning, as the horror-comedy taught us.

If the wages of sin are eternal third-degree burns, not some material comfort followed by thirty-to-life in a federal facility till death sets you free, you do think twice before doing the crime. The “zaman” that you may have to do could well be an eternity. Other religions offer other kinds of divine carrots and sticks. Örneğin, if you are a Hindu engaged in a particularly unsavory Karma, you will reincarnate as somebody (ya da bir şey) on the receiving end of the stick, roughly neutralizing your risk-reward equation. Diğer taraftan, if you are willing to take it on your chin with some amount of fortitude, you will be upgraded to business class in your next life.

In all notions of spiritual continuity of consciousness, and/or soul, there is something I find logically wanting. It is the lack of continuity of memory. Death is still a point of phase transition where all the existing memory is erased. If we think of soul as the eternal manifestation of mind and consciousness, erasing its memory is as good or as bad as killing it, is it not?

What I find interesting in this Hindu notion is that the ultimate reward for presumably the best possible Karma is not an eternal life of comfort in heaven, but a release from the cycle of reincarnations, hangi, Bana göre, is similar to an eternal dreamless sleep — which is the only logical notion of death we can scientifically entertain. Bu yüzden, in the Hindu notion of the reward for ultimate good is, in some sense, the ultimate death. Makes me wonder…

From Here to Eternity

The temporal aspect of punishment extends beyond the span between the crime and its punishment. The severity of the punishment is also measured in terms of its duration. And death puts a definitive end to all man-made durations. This interference of death in our temporal horizons messes up what we mean by proportional punishment, which is the reason behind the general lack of gratification on Madoff’s long sentence. If a heinous crime like a senseless murder brings about only a life-sentence, and if you know that “hayat” means only a couple of months or so, then the punishment in and of itself is incapable of deterring the crime. And when the crime is not as senseless, but prompted by careful material considerations, it is a deliberate risk-reward analysis that determines its commission. A comprehensive risk-reward analysis would involve, I imagine, a consideration of the probability of detection, the intensity and duration of the potential punishment, and the time one has to enjoy the spoils and/or suffer the punishment. There may be other factors to consider, elbette. I wouldn’t know because I haven’t actually done such analyses. Not yet.

The smallpox story I mentioned earlier brings these considerations to the foreground, along with how the relatively high probability of death from the disease affects them. Knowing that there isn’t much time to enjoy life (or face the music), two older gentlemen of the story decide to go and feast themselves on a local prostitute of the village whom they have been eying for a while. It is not that the consequences (spousal anger, bad diseases etc.) of their action have changed. Just that their potential duration has decreased drastically because of the outbreak of smallpox. Knowledge of our death has a dramatic effect on our moral inhibitions born out of risk-reward analyses.

It is in this light that we have to examine clichéd statements like, “Live in the present moment,” veya “Live everyday as though it is your last.” What do these statements really mean? The second one is especially interesting because it makes a direct reference to death. Is it asking us to shed our inhibitions vis-à-vis all our actions? Eğer öyleyse, it may not be such a positive invitation (hangi, elbette, is a statement of value-judgment emanating form a sense of a morality of unknown origins). Or it could be a simple exhortation not to procrastinate — a positive thing by the same uncertain morality.

“Living in the present” is even more puzzling. I guess it comes from the Zen notion of “burada” ve “now.” I can kind of understand the Zen notion in terms of cognitive neuroscience, although that is the sort of thing that Zen would ask us not to do — understanding one thing in terms of something else. According to the Zen school, an experience has to be assimilated before the intellect has a chance to color it in terms of preconceived notions and filters. In the absolute stillness of a mind, presumably brought about by years of introspection and intense mediation, experiences take on perceptually accurate and intellectually uncolored forms, which they say is a good thing. If the statement “Live in the present moment” refers to this mode of experiencing life, fine, I can go with that, even though I cannot fully understand it because I am not a Zen master. And if I was, I probably wouldn’t worry too much about logically understanding stuff. Understanding is merely a misguided intellectual exercise in futility.

As a moral statement, Ancak, this invitation to live in the present moment leaves much to be desired. Is it an invitation to ignore the consequences of your actions? You compartmentalize your timeline into a large past, a large future and tiny present. You ignore the past and the future, and live in the present. No regrets. No anxieties. What else could this slogan “Live in the present moment” Yani?

Why Should I Be Good?

Knowledge of death is a sad thing. Not as a general piece of information, but in as applied to a particular individual. I remember only too vividly my own sense of helplessness and sadness towards the end of my father’s life, when it became clear to me that he had only a few weeks left. Until then, I could never really understand the grief associated with death of a loved one, given the absolute certainty and naturalness of death. Aslında, I couldn’t understand my own grief and often wondered if I was romanticizing it, or feeling it because it was expected of me.

It is very difficult to know people, even ourselves. There are multiple obscuring levels of consciousness and existence in our inner selves. And we can penetrate only a limited number of them to see within ourselves. Therefore I find myself doubting my grief, despite its directly perceived realness and existence. Perhaps the grief arising from the loss of a loved one is so primal that we do not need to doubt it; but I cannot help doubting even the most obvious of feelings and sensations. Sonunda, I am the dude who goes around insisting that reality is unreal!

The “loss” of a hated one, by virtue of its mathematical symmetry, should generate something like the opposite of grief. The opposite of grief is perhaps glee, although one is too civilized to let oneself feel it. Ama cidden, I once heard a stress reduction expert mention it. Dedi, “What if your boss stresses you out? Imagine, end of the day, he also will be dead!”

Evet, the fact that we will all die is a serious social and moral problem. How much of a problem it is is not fully appreciated due to the taboo nature of the subject. I once read a novel in Malayalam describing a village in the sixties ravaged by smallpox. Some parts of this novel illustrated the connection between death and morality. Anlıyorsun, morality is such a holy cow that we cannot examine it, much less question it, without being called all sorts of bad names. Being “iyi” is considered a “iyi” şey, and is taken to be beyond rationalization. Demek istediğim, we may ask questions like, “What is good?”, “What makes something good, something else bad?” vb. But we cannot realistically ask the question, “Why should I be good?” Being good is just good, and we are expected to ignore the circularity in this statement.

For a minute, let’s not assume that being good is good. I think the knowledge of imminent death would make us shed this assumption, but we will get to it later. For now, let’s think of morality as a logical risk-reward calculation, rather than a god-given axiom. If somebody proposes to you, “Why don’t you shoot to be a drug dealer? [Pun attempted] Good money there…,” your natural reaction would be, “Drugs kill people, killing people is bad, no way I am getting into it.” Şimdi, that is a moral stance. If you were amoral, you may think, “Drug dealing involves violence. There is a good chance that I will get shot or caught. Thirty to life in a federal penitentiary is no walk in the park. No way I am getting into it.” This is a risk-reward analysis, but with the same end result.

I put it to you that the origin of most of our morality is this risk-reward analysis. If it wasn’t, why would we need the police and the criminal justice system? It is this risk-reward analysis that can get skewed because of an impending death, if we let ourselves notice it. Anlıyorsun, the concept of crime and punishment (or action and consequence, to be value-neutral) is not so simple, like most things in real life. To be a deterrent, the severity of punishment has to be proportional, not only to the foulness of the crime, but also to the probability of its detection. Örneğin, if you know that you will get caught every single time you speed, speeding tickets need not cost you thousands of dollars — a couple of dollars will do the trick of discouraging you from speeding. Such minuscule punishments do exist for little “crimes.” In public toilets, leaving the shower or sink faucet running would be a small crime because it wastes water, and the landlord’s funds. To fight this crime came spring-loaded faucets that shut themselves down after ten or 15 seconds. So you get “caught” every time you try to leave the water running, but the “punishment” is merely that you have to push the release button again. Now we have faucets with electronic sensors with even shorter temporal horizons for crime and punishment.

The severity of a pain is not merely its intensity, but its duration as well. Given that death puts a definitive end to our worldly durations, how does it affect our notion of punishment commensurate with crime? My third post on the philosophy of death will examine that aspect.

Tabu Konu

Ölüm bir tabu olduğunu. Biz bu konuda konuşmak gerekiyordu değildir, hatta bunu düşünmek. Neredeyse yaptığımız eğer gibi, Ölüm bize haber alabilir, ve biz dikkat bu tür olmadan yapabilirsiniz. biz her yerde hiç göze çarpmayan olmak istiyorsanız, o Ölüm önünde.

Ben izliyor Altı metre altında son günlerde, Hangi ölüm bu musings arkasında muhtemelen. Ama merak ediyorum — Neden ölüm böyle bir tabu bir konudur, doğal kaçınılmazlığına rağmen? Ben tabu batıl tür anlamına gelmez (“Yapamaz, yapamaz, yapamaz, Eğer her zaman yakında ölecek değil, kav!”), ama entelektüel tür. Bir bira ya da bir akşam yemeği masada bununla ilgili bir konuşma tutarak deneyin hakkında gelen soğuk tür. Neden ölüm böyle bir tabu?

ölüm sadece korkmuş olduğunu söylemek bir basitleştirme bir parçasıdır. Tabii biz ölümü korku, ama biz daha fazla kamu konuşma korkusu, ama biz hala ikinci hakkında konuşabilirsiniz. Biz başka bir yerde ölüm özel tabooness nedenini bulmak zorunda.

ölümle ilgili özel bir şey büyük bir ekolayzır olduğunu — neredeyse çok açık bir gerçektir takdir. Herkes ölür — ne olursa olsun ne olursa olsun başka bir hayatlarında yapmak. Belki alanın bu nihai tesviye biraz aramızda daha rekabetçi için üzücü olabilir. Biz uçmak Ancak yüksek, ya da ancak düşük biz lavabo, Bizim gün sonunda, Skor tüm sıfırlanır ve barut silinerek temizlenir.

Bu kayrak silme iş de başka bir nedenle zahmetli. Kalıcı kadar lanet bir. Onun kalıcılığı biz geçmesi ağrı ve acı başka türlü asla mevcut bir yönü vardır (topluluk önünde konuşma da dahil olmak üzere). küçük ağrıları işlemek için benim kişisel tekniklerinden biri (Böyle bir kök kanal olarak, Bir sevilen birinin kaybı gibi hatta daha derin yaralar) kalıcılık sadece bu eksikliği faydalanmak için. Ben geçeceğini kendime hatırlatmak, in time. (bazı garip nedenle, Ben Fransızca bunu, “Uzun olmayacak,” although, doğru olduğu, Kendimi söylüyorum gerektiğini düşünüyorum, “Bu sürmez.”) onun kolunu kırdı ve dayanılmaz ağrı iken bile oğlum bu tekniği paylaştı. Ben acı yakında hafifler söyledim. Iyi, Ben farklı kelimeler kullanarak söyledi, ve ben ufaklık anladım fantezi, onun kafasını çığlık tuttu rağmen.

Biz herhangi bir halledebiliriz “normal” sadece bunu bekleyerek ağrı, Ölüm değil acı, hangi sonsuza dek sürer. Bu sürecek. Bunun bizim korkusu arkasında bu kalıcılık mı? Belki. Mutlak kalıcılığı ile mutlak geçirmezlik geliyor, Herhangi Spiderman fan seviniriz olarak. ölüm bilinmemektedir ötesinde neler yatıyor. ve bilinemeyen. Ne ötesinde hakkında dünyanın tüm dinler rağmen bize çeşitli mistik şeyler söylüyorum (Bilirsin, cennet ve cehennem gibi, vb karma ve reenkarnasyon), kimse gerçekten buna inanıyor. Biliyorum, Biliyorum, Bazı dürüst onlar gerçekten yapmak ısrar edebilir, ama ne zaman Zorda kalırsan, içgüdüsel olarak, gut düzeyi, kimse yok. Onlar cennette sona erecek eminiz bile olanlar. Neden başka kutsal erkekler güvenlik bilgilerini olurdu? Içinde Of Human Bondage, Maugham bu garip eksikliği caricatures (ya da imkânsızlık) Blackstable of Vekili son günlerinde rolüyle gerçek inanç vis-à-vis ölüm.

için amaç herhangi bir duygusu ile yaşamak, Biz ölümü görmezden olduğunu düşünüyorum. varlığının sonlu açıklıklı çoklu seviyelerde sadece saçma. Hepsi bizim yüce hedefleri ve saçma idealleri yapar. Bu bizim mantıklı iyi ve saçma kötü. Biz saçma hayat gayesi olarak düşünmek ne yapar. Hatta DNA tabanlı evrimsel açıklama, önerilen yaşam mütevazı amacı yapar (Biz sadece biraz uzun yaşamak istiyorum) saçma, zamanın sonsuzluğa göre bizim yaşam süresinin herhangi bir sonlu artış için esas sıfır, Aramızda asosyal olanlar kolayca seviniriz olarak. Kısacası, ömrü ile tek bir gerçek sorun var, hangi ölümdür. Biz vergi ölüyor ve ödememek olamayacağına göre, olabilir biz düşünme önlemek ve bu konuda konuşmak olabilir — Ölüm konunun tabu niteliği arkasında mantıklı bir nedeni.

Mum ki Burns Parlak

İİT gelen benim bir sınıf arkadaşı, birkaç gün önce vefat. Ben şok haber duyunca, Onun hakkında bir şey yazmak istedim. Ne aklıma geldi kopuk anıları bir çift vardı, ve ben onları burada paylaşmak düşündüm. Ona yakın olanlar daha fazla ağrıya neden korkusuyla, Ben minimumda tüm tanımlayan başvuruları tutacak.

Biz PJ derdik — hafif hakaret ifadesi için kullanılan bir kısaltmadır, hangi muhtemelen akademik kıskançlık aslına vardı. PJ akademik parlak, ve neredeyse patolojik rekabetçi ve parlak IITians dolu bir sınıfın üstündeki mezun. O daha az insanüstü taşımıştım bu yoğunluk benim ilk bellek parçasıdır.

Bu yoğunluk rahatsız, Biz bir kez PJ daha doğaya hitap için bir heyet kurdu. Bunu kimin başlattığı hatırlamıyorum, hatta heyet orada kim. Ama kesinlikle Lux veya Sıçan yapacağını şey gibi hissediyor; veya Kutty, belki, biz alabilir onu hiç bir şey yapmak için. Zaten, Biz PJ yaklaştı ve o kolay almasını istedi. “Büyük bir anlaşma nedir, adam? Yavaş ve istikrarlı bir yarış kazanır, Bilirsin.” PJ cevabı bir göz açıcı oldu. “Emin,” dedi, “ama hızlı ve daha da istikrarlı!”

Ben PJ berraklığı bu hızlı ve öfkeli hızı belki de en iyi kalite bakımından miktar yerine ölçülen bir ömür boyu çok haklı övgüler sonra onu getirdim eminim, yerine uzun ömürlü daha darbe. Ama PJ bir all-iş-ve-hayır-play adam değildi. MardiGras kızlar Mandak yemek salonuna geldi keresinde hatırlıyorum (“karışıklık”) yemek. Sadece bir dost IITian tam takdir edebilirsiniz bahtsız şevk ile incelenmesi, biz PJ ile bu gelişmeyi ele. Dedi, “Evet, biz onlarla karışıklık istiyorum!”

Dostluklar kolay geldi İİT bir yaşta bize oldu ve sahte bağları güçlü kaldı. PJ gitti ve bağlantıları biraz daha zayıf olan, Ben çözülmenin biraz hissediyorum. Ve aklımda çalacak melankolik sözler hatırlat — değil çan gişelerinden sormak, o senin için gişelerinden.

PJ parlak bir adamdı. Onun parlaklık ona yakın olanlara güç ve cesaret kaynağı olacağını umut. Sen ne derler bilirsin, sürece iki kat daha parlak yanık yarım yakar mum. Bizim parlak mumlar biri üzerinden alevlenen, ne hissediyorum yere kadar inen bazı karanlık bir anlamda.

Fotoğraf armin_vogel cc