Life is: feeling the passage of time as an ever-pulling current, the pressure to make the most of the unknown quantity of sand remaining in your hourglass.
It is only death which gives our lives any meaning at all. And yet, most humans seem to spend most of their waking hours attempting to evade this fact. We are absolutely obsessed with staying alive. We are also obsessed with distracting ourselves from our own mortality. I have a hunch that people who engage in high-risk activities may subconsciously fear death more than the average person. Being able to return from the brink of death repeatedly could be a way of confirming their own assumed immortality.
Highly religious people seem, to me, those who fear death most. The idea of losing their identity horrifies them so much, they must cling to a belief wherein they will not truly die but continue to exist forever, as the personality they are here in this world. They are so completely identified with their ego, they cannot fathom letting it go when their spirit leaves this body.
And I understand that the mere thought of releasing attachments to the perceived self, and, almost worse-so– to the people we love, is absolutely unappealing to most of us. It definitely was for me. But just a small glimpse of the connectedness of everything and the identity of nothing is so exhilarating, so stunningly beautiful, everything else seems to fall away. And I cannot believe that my highly-religious upbringing didn’t convey even an ounce of this truth to me.
It is laughable, really, how religions (especially the 3 largest monotheistic ones) have managed to reduce the Divine to such an awful representation of the source of pure light, love and wholeness.
“One of the main functions of organized religion is to protect people against a direct experience of God.” – Carl Jung