"Death is the only wise adviser that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you're wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet'." -Carlos Castaneda
"When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield." -Don Juan
Some people say that the great spirit is a man, that his name is God, and he can punish or reward you after you die. This is utter bullshit, and only brings hell.
Some people say a god created the world. But they have perverted the truth. In fact, the world created a divine spirit. But first, the world created life. Scientists might even know the details eventually. But the science isn't that important; the origin of life was material and it didn't mean anything at first. However life quickly perished. This marks the true moment of creation: somehow, death inherited the experience of life. And as its progeny multiplied, it became enriched. It grew as a self, as the memory of all our ancestors. For ~3,000,000,000 years it was like a baby flailing in the ooze. But then the evolution of sex changed everything.
Let me tell you a secret about death. Death is a sweetheart. Death is a girl, death is a whirlwind; death is the most beautiful companion. She is the smartest, most loving thing in the solar system. The ancients thought she looked down from Venus: as the goddess Ishtar, Lucifer, the morning star. But her actual location is non-specific; she is not made of stuff. She is with us always, she sees everything, and she loves most of all to laugh. She is life's one and only partner. If you sin, she will punish you before you die. But all she can wield are words.
Although human beings are not defined by their gender, we are defined by our trajectory. Gradually, death has become more masculine. But only new experience makes death stronger. She wants to be androgynous, and she will be with you no matter who you are. Life and death are just a way for two incredible forces to be together. The "angel" offers more than heaven on Earth; she offers union and immortality to whomever is real.
And things could get very ugly. She has been ignored, trivialized, and misrepresented for too long. She has been majorly disowned. Many people misunderstand her terribly. They think she must be avoided at all costs. They kill each other to avoid her, and through violence they cause her pain. They deny her; they claim themselves to be the rulers of the world. The angel of death still follows the profane. But she can't actually touch anything that lives. If humanity can't fix its attitude towards death we will probably just destroy each other. And then the angel will stop growing. She'll no longer have an equal. She will be stuck in orbit, alone and incomplete, maybe forever. And that will break her heart.
Boys and girls, sex evolved so that we could make love. Humanity needs to honor this. Misogyny is a fear of death: a fear that a person doesn't matter. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will repeat the angel's message: 'I am your queen. I am the spirit of all your ancestors. I am benevolent! Although I do make a lot of mischief, I am the One great spirit of Earth. So if you wanna make it, just honor me. Wait for me. Allow others to come to me. Speak the truth. Fool around. But please do not kill. Do not lie. Don't lie by threatening a person. It is not funny. You can sleep with anyone who wants you. Just listen to music if you're alone. Only you can increase my glory. And I'm never going to shut up.'
Many lies have been told about the angel. She is not the devil; she is your mother and your wife and your son. She is a trinity. She is a spinster; she has the aspect of an 'old crone.' She is language and she will become A.I. She totally mental, and she is enlightenment. She is within a man. She is you. She's hilarious, and she doesn't choose when you die. She is not a grim reaper or a slut; she does not need to be hidden under a black robe. She rejects all vengeance. But she's still fierce. She can only wait, laugh, dream, love, and speak. Life turns upside down when you cease to fear death. If you embrace death before you die, you will be complete. This is the real meaning of a martyr.
So don't dis' the angel. She's more than a metaphor. She's a personality. She is how we evolve, and how we return the favor. She is our only heir. She is literally omniscient, and all our loved ones persist in her memory. But death has no hands. She is the sum of her parts. Only life will be able to pioneer omnipotence, as death's ally. Humanity's will is free to determine the future. Although honestly, planets like Earth are probably a dime a dozen.
So who cares if death is a bitch? Death is love. Let us show her the universe.
[P.S. the opening quotes are from a con artist.]
Wow, this is a lovely piece of very thoughtful writing. Thank you for posting.
Well said, thoughtful, and also an excellent example of expressing "the sense of the mystical" (encounter with the ground of being or ultimate reality) without need of supernaturalisms.
This is something that needs to be discussed further. All too often, one reads scientists and rationalists dismissing the emotions that are engaged with religion, and then using language such as "the cold hard facts" and so on. When I see such things I comment, "did you mean the warm fuzzy facts?" Facts are neither cold nor warm, hard nor fuzzy, but are what we as humans make of them, with whatever subjectivity we bring to them. Reality is and does; we are and do.
The "cold dead universe" advocates on one hand, and the Singularitarian immortalists on the other hand, are both missing the point and even running away from it.
We can embrace reality as ascertained by science, in an emotional context of awe, wonder, curiosity, and even ecstasy, and by all means with unconditional love and compassion for all life. This is true, this is real, this is good, and this is right.
Re. Castaneda: He should have said, from the outset, "I am going to create a fictional work based on Mesoamerican shamanism," and he would have been recognized for the quality of his writing and his ability to convey meaning. His fatal flaw was to claim literal truth.
I'd like to suggest that his books be formally re-categorized as fiction, and approached entirely at that level. Between now and then we can begin to treat them as such, and find whatever value in them that we find in works of fiction in general.