Relationships with Death

I’ve spent the last two days listening to a very interesting podcast: The Gateway. It’s a short six part audio documentary that flows quite eloquently. Whilst American journalist Jennings Brown is in the throes of depression due to a recent breakup, he comes across the spiritual guru Teal Swan via a few YouTube videos. With his curiosity roused, the journalist begins to research Swan’s unusual methods used in her personal growth and spiritual enlightenment videos that reach thousands of her followers. Meanwhile, Swan is also being accused of positively representing death and suicide.

When Brown’s thoroughly positive approach and Swan’s metaphysic manner clash, a cold fusion is certainly not reached. Apart from openly presenting the testimonials, comments, and beliefs of all involved parties, The Gateway reminded me of the complicated nature of irrational and gullible life decisions. And our fear of death. And of course how that cartoon was banned 15-20 years ago because of the children who jumped out the window thinking they were Pikachu. If you remember, it was Pikachu who paid the price for injuring imagination rather than developing it, and not the parents and environments lacking clear borders and a healthy sense of reality and self.

It’s inevitable that we all have something in common with those injured children. But for me, being an adult seems to be an acceptance of responsibility for all these things. Of course, life doesn’t always develop in that way. Or common sense doesn’t suffice in solving every issue. Some of us want a guru, a leader, a hero. Some of us choose our own guru, leader, and hero. Some of us want to know and prove; some of us want to believe and let ourselves go. For some of us a meditation that focuses on the moment of our own death opens all those windows that announce our end, but for others this type of meditation is the first step to developing a deeper and stronger connection with life. Either way, when we view it from a purely rational perspective, our need to find someone responsible or guilty of having caused suicide never wanes. If life is so precious to us, then perhaps we have to ask ourselves: How am I finding that meaning in life that the person who chose death couldn’t, what am I doing to make my life worth living?



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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