Hello readers, today I'm going to discuss my own perspective of life and death. If you are sensitive about these topics, please feel free to stop reading right here. My blog is a place where I can express my opinions but I certainly don't expect you to share them. You are entitled to your beliefs and it is not my intention to tread on your dreams. However if you are curious, please read on. I realize these topics are complex but I'm hoping to provide the simplest answer I can.
Over the course of my lifetime I have been plagued with the thoughts and unanswerable questions of generations before me. What is life? What is death? (What is the meaning of life? I will attempt to answer that in a later blog post.) Before I could answer these questions I spent all my life asking questions of my own. In university I chose all of my courses to learn the most I could about people, be it individuals, groups, cultures or beliefs. With much thought and consideration, I have finally come to the answers that satisfy me.
For the answers to life and death, I personally found that a mixture of ideas and intuition was best for me. Everyone will come to their own conclusions and this just happens to be mine. After studying tribal cultures such as North American First Nations, Australian Aboriginals and African tribes like the nomadic Kalahari, I discovered something very similar between them. They all believe that life is cyclical. I don't think this is by mere coincidence. Somehow, very different people across the world all came to the conclusion that life is not linear but it is cyclical. I've combined this belief with pieces of Buddhism, neo-Paganism and a dash of mysticism.
It is a common Buddhist belief that what brings us misery is desire and ego. In order to separate ourselves from misery, we must abandon our desire to want things and at the same let go of our ego. Doing both of these things will only leave room for happiness. When I think about things that make people miserable, ego and desire are often the reason. Things such as "wants" are unnecessary and inevitably create more want. We are never satisfied with just one thing, there is always something ready to take its place. For example, "I want a flat screen television" turns into "I want a bigger flat screen television". It's like a never-ending goose chase. We are never satisfied. Perhaps the real reason is that none of these things truly satiate the appetite for happiness. They are mere distractions. They may entertain us but they will never fill that hole. (In a previous post I discussed The Key to Happiness and the hole borne in each person's heart.)
Then there is neo-Paganism. If you aren't familiar with the term, let me help acquaint you. In my own words, neo-Paganism is a collection of sub-cultures that derive their practices, ideals and beliefs from the history of Paganism. People who are a part of neo-Paganism would simply call themselves "Pagans" since they do not separate themselves from the cultures before them. To sum up, neo-Pagan cultures include many diverse groups such as witches and druids but they all tend to share similar beliefs, that is respect for people, the Earth and the belief in Karma. More importantly, neo-Pagans believe we are all connected. The environment, the animals and of course each other. We are all united and share the same energy and in turn to harm the Earth or another living being is to harm ourselves. To love each other is to love ourselves.
I have described pieces of beliefs that I have come to accept for myself from tribal cultures, Buddhism and neo-Paganism. The last part is mysticism. Again, in my own words, Mysticism is the idea that we privately seek our own answers using our intuition to reach conclusions. Perhaps this means meditating or praying in private or maybe communicating with nature, whatever it is, is up to you. In my own thoughts and times of meditation, I have come to accept certain ideas.
Life is cyclical. We are born, we live and we die but only to be re-born again. I am a true believer in reincarnation. Just like the Law of Conservation of Energy states that energy can neither be created or destroyed, I believe that we are beings of energy and therefore cannot be created or destroyed. Our bodies are mechanical but the "energy" that makes us tick exists almost separately. We are all connected and to me that describes life as a ball of energy. When we are born, energy is borrowed to make us breathe and when our bodies fail us, the energy is returned. Perhaps it is easiest to compare to people's notions of a soul. The difference for me is that the soul is described as individual, as though it has a personality of its own. I'm not sure that's true. I am more inclined to believe that due to life's connected nature, the energy is without personality. For me this means, there is no judgement and therefore no heaven or hell.
I realize it may seem like a lot to take in and perhaps it's somehow offensive to you but that would be silly. I am not here to persuade you to think like me. In fact just the opposite, I'm hoping to inspire you to search out your own answers. I am here to say that I have come to this conclusion after much deliberation and I appreciate anyone who takes the time to reach their own conclusions. If something I've said rings true with something deep inside of you, please follow up and do the research. Learning is always a good thing. If you want to ask me questions, just use the contact form and I will get back to you. In the meantime let's try to spread love, not hate; peace, not war.
Everyday I do a little research and find events for that particular day. Sometimes it's a famous birthday or a bizarre holiday. Today it's a historical event. I learned about something that I didn't know before. I always appreciate learning. So I thought it would be a great idea to share it with my readers.
This day in history, December 6, 1917, Halifax (Nova Scotia, Canada) was shocked by something now known as the Halifax Explosion.
During the first world war, the Halifax Harbour was a crucial port for the Allies. Due to the success of German U-boat attacks, the Allies were forced to form convoys and used the Harbour as a starting point. The convoys would leave through the northwestern end of the Harbour which was guarded by anti-submarine nets and Royal Canadian Navy patrol ships.
In order to move between the Harbour and the basin, ships had to navigate something called "the Narrows". It was here that the Norwegian ship, Imo stubbornly refused to slow down or stop when they were met with warning signals from the French cargo ship, S S Mont-Blanc. This caused an inevitable collision, despite the Mont-Blanc's seasoned harbour pilot, Francis Makay. Unfortunately the Mont-Blanc was filled with munitions and the collision detonated a devastating explosion.
Smoke filled the air, rising over 6 100 metres (20 000 feet) and the explosion destroyed over 160 hectares (400 acres). The seismic force resulted in a 18 metre (60 foot) tsunami. Every building within 26 kilometres (16 miles) was destroyed or damaged while 1 600 people were immediately killed and 9 000 injured.
The resulting damages were worth about $35 million in 1917 but when adjusted for inflation, the damages would be over $531 million today.
The loss of life was horrific and what's worse, the relief efforts were not equally distributed. The black community known as Africville was heavily damaged but ignored by relief funds and reconstruction.
Death, destruction and on top of all that, racism. I wish I could say times have changed and this sort of behaviour is a thing of the past but unfortunately I can't.
Following the devastation of hurricane Katrina in 2005, I think it's obvious that the government was ignoring the citizens of New Orleans. Yet when New York was hit with hurricane Sandy, there was no end to the preparations and funds funneled into protecting the wealthy and white. I hope that people will realize sooner rather than later, that all lives are equal.
Yesterday was November 11, Remembrance Day. It's a time when everyone thinks back and thanks the soldiers who gave their lives. It began initially after WWI and continues to this day not only to commemorate the lives of the fallen but the survivors. What's unfortunate is that there have been many wars since and I'm sure that many of those soldiers believed they were fighting for peace. Peace may still be a long time from now.
Whenever I think about Remembrance Day I think about my grandfather. (Both of my grandfathers were in WWII but my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born.) I only knew my maternal grandfather for a short time but the time I do remember was special. When I was a little older I learned more about him. He was a top sniper and participated in some of the worst known battles. I think about what it must have done to him, to be forced to kill strangers, strangers with families. Strangers with lives and dreams, never being fulfilled because he was forced to take their lives. It was kill or be killed.
I knew him as a sweet man with a generous nature and infinite compassion. I can't imagine how he must have felt. He left behind poetry he had written during the war and I was fortunate enough to see some of it. Written in neat cursive he recalls moments, some of them heart warming and others heart breaking. In one poem he writes about witnessing his best friend dying in front of him. War is a dirty, horrible thing.
On Remembrance Day I think about everyone who has ever sacrificed to protect their loved ones and I think about the day war is a thing of the past. I hope that happens sooner rather than later.
All 2009 2012 2013 2014 2015 Actor Adolescent Advent Adventure Aging Alberta Amusement Park Anger Anime Anniversary Anxiety Art Astronaut Athletes Audio Australia Author Autumn Badminton Bake Bbc Bear Beer Biological Birthday Blind Body Book Brain Busy Calm Canada Career Cartoon Castle Cat Cbc Cell Change Chart China Christmas City Clean Clothing Coffee Comment Competition Concert Conflict Contest Corporation Cosplay Culture Dance Dark Dead Death Deceit Depression Director Disaster Disney Documentary Dog Dream Drink Driving Ds Earth Earthquake Egg Election Emotion Emptiness England English Espresso Essays Exam Excited Exercise Exhibition Eye Failure Family Famous Fashion Fast Fate Father Favourite Feminine Feminist Festival Fiction Films First Fog Food France Free French Friend Fun Funny Future Gallery Game Gender Glasses Government Grammar Haiku Halloween Happiness Hate Head Health Heart Hell Hidden Hike History Holiday Homage Home Honesty Horror Hot Housewife Human Hunt India Indonesia Injury In-law Italy ITTTi Japan Jewellery Job Kanto Key KFC Knowledge Labels Lake Language Laughter Law Learn Legalize Life Liger Liquor List Loss Love Lyrics Magazine Map Marijuana Marriage Masculine Mature Meet Men Metal Metallica Metric Mie Miss Mobile Monday Money Mortality Mother Motivation Motorcycle Mountains Murder Music Nagoya Nature Nerds New Nightmare Novel Obsession Ocean Okanagan Olympics Optometrist Pagan Pandaria Panic Parents Partner Passion Past Peace People Phone Photo Pirate PKC Plane Poetry Politics Prescription President Protest Psychology PTSD Québec Queen Racism Radio Rain Reading Recipe Reincarnation Rejection Relationships Relax Release Religion Remember Rent Resolution Resort Restaurant Review Rhyme Riot Road Robot Rural Saskatchewan Scary School Science Search Service Sex Shadow Vault Short Story Simpsons Sister Skydiving Small Snow Soul South Korea Spaces Spirit Sports Spring Starcraft 2 Star Wars Station Statistics Statues Stay Stereotypes Store Story Storytime Strategy Stress Submission Success Summer Sun Sunday Survey Teach Technology Tesl Theatre Theory Throne Top10 Tour Train Training Trauma Travel Trip Trivia Troll Tunnels Tv Unknown Usa Vacation Valentine Vampire Vending Machine Video Video Games Vision Voice Waiting War Warcraft Weather Wedding Week Wine Winter Women World Wow Writer Writing Yoga Youtube