Conquering our fear of death

Death ... the last divide. Though the most palpable certainty in life, it is widely – and wildly – feared for its most definitive attribute: uncertainty. Death is truly the greatest mystery left to mankind. A mystery we all hold deeply within the refuge of our bosom from the moment we are born. However, I wonder, is it a mystery which will stand the test of time and the incorrigible curiosity of humanity?

Once when storms brewed, wind sweeping in dark devilish clouds fostering malevolent intent, people would pray. Pray in earnest to the All-Father’s son Thor or the ruler of Mount Olympus. Humanity wondered at the incomprehensible glory of magical bolts of white hot energy churning in a maelstrom cauldron of inky black vapor before it struck the Earth with a thunderous flash. The fizzing and crackling lightning left mankind in awe, a brilliant display of unfathomable and dazzling theatrics. Mankind bowed down to this magnificent enigma for centuries. Creating gods to explain what they could not because mysteries are a little less scary when we take away the mystery part.

However, now when thunder rolls and lightning strikes all that is elicited are utterances of appreciative oohs and ahs, the deep felt condolences to this once fearsome phenomena. We no longer cower behind a pagan deity most commonly referred to these days as the day before Friday or Iron Man's pal. The mighty Thor has been conquered, shackled by frighteningly patient people in lab coats who spend their time squirreled away in sunless laboratories. Our foresight for this ominous spectacle now reaches far beyond the nearest hill as we have been gifted with visions of the future through simple consultations with our local meteorologist.

So I wonder, will mankind one day do to Death what it has done to the magic light show in the sky? Snare the dark husk of the Grim Reaper, unraveling the mysterious threads; forcing it to unveil the beast hidden within. No doubt we, or our children, or even theirs, in turn, will some day pin down the most elusive beast known left to humanity, and Death will become nothing more than a conquered oddity, an amusing diversion. We will shackle his emaciated frame alongside that of the mighty Thor, where he can look up at his captors with his ever-present fixed grin while they jeer at him in disdain for the power he once held. And in time humanity will forget its fear, its most ancient birthright. Vanquishing it with an excalibur forged in understanding by keen enthusiasts for vials and things that make them spin.

After all, “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible,” said Albert Einstein.

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