Hola mi gente,
All I want for Christmas is a new J-O-B. First thing I’ll do when I get paid is go eat some big-assed crab legs.
The “healthy” person, the true individual, the self-realized soul… is the one who has transcended himself.
— Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death
I just want to take a brief moment to bring into focus an issue I have found to be prominent in our culture. Many people have turned to different forms of self-improvement such as meditation, diet, and exercise, too) for their benefits. However, we are all going to exit this planet through something we call death. It’s a fact of life that people forget all the time. In fact, we live our lives as if death doesn’t exist.
Currently, there seems to be a notion that if we eat right, exercise, meditate, and use visualization well enough, we will live forever — or live more comfortably at least. It is obvious enough that our health habits do make a huge difference in the length and quality of our lives, but it is important to remember that even the greatest saints left their bodies — often from heart disease and cancer. Yet I don’t remember a single one regretting that it would have never happened if they’d meditated better, imaged or exercised more vigorously, or turned down that last cone of ice cream. We all get old and die and some of us — even those of us who are fit and healthy — meet death in a flash.
Still, the tendency to blame ourselves is always rearing its ugly head…
This is just plain narcissism — a resurrection of guilt and blame. To think of illness as a form of punishment and healing as a reflection of our goodness traps us further in the cycle of suffering: the attachment to pleasure and the aversion to pain.
If we go still further and believe that the state of our bodies reflects our self-worth, we are truly doomed to suffering. The only definition of sin that makes any sense to me is this: any thought or action that strengthens the ignorance of our own intrinsic goodness. We are healed when we can grow from our suffering, when we can recast our suffering as an act of grace that leads us back to who we truly are.
My name is Eddie and I’m in recovery from civilization…
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