“What dreames may come, When we haue shufflel’d off this mortall coile, Must giue vs pawse.”
Thanatophobia, or fear of death, is a relatively complicated phobia. Many, if not most, people are afraid of dying. Some people fear being dead, while others are afraid of the actual act of dying. However, if the fear is so prevalent as to affect your daily life, then you might have a full-blown phobia.
With my latest and somewhat ongoing heart issues, I have more than often, contemplated the possible, plausible and inevitable outcome of death. Now adding 50 to the equation could spiral me out of control and into a tailspin of paranoia and self-involved entitlement, pity and loathing. I have thought of it all, over and over again – but the idea of becoming so obsessed just seems too much like work. Sure it hangs there like a stone-carved gargoyle on my shoulder peering over at me once in a while. I look back at it the odd time and we lock eyes. But after that nothing seems to happen. Something else grabs my attention and I escape back into the distractions and burn up time like everyone else on this ball of peat. I don’t really see the value in paralyzing myself over something that I can’t control. I have no desire to call upon Jesus or Krishna to carry me into the psyche of self-delusion.
The idea of fear and the notion of fear just causes mental and physical paralysis.
I do hate the idea of having to ‘live smarter’ and ‘be more careful’. I do hate the idea that things start to become a time-race and you start to wonder how much more time you have, or what you should do now instead of later. I am not talking about things like getting your affairs in order – I mean things like- should I go pet the yaks in Tibet now or wait a few years? What if my bowels explode next month and I never make it there?
I now begin to see myself traversing into a different zone than I once saw myself. I no longer fit into the mass of uncontrollably dominant youth. I meet people and when I hear them talk they sound like something out of a bad sitcom. I look at them bewildered and wonder how they could say what they said or to be more blunt that they could be so ridiculously stupid. I never really know how old anyone is anymore. It’s like they don’t look that young but they sure are acting strange. Movies and music seem to be grinding out at an alarming rate and express massively powerful messages and themes VOID of any meaning or relevance.
It’s not as bad seeing things from the outside as it is to realize how large chunks of generations just keep grinding on the same shit over and over again. I have begun to loose the last fragments of respect I had for humanity at an alarmingly fast rate. I feel good to be out of it and would not want to trade places. The problem is it really just makes the world a harder place to relate to. One has to be careful not to isolate themselves too much. One has to be careful to not pass too harsh a judgement. One has to keep their resentment in check and just roll with it, knowing that swimming against the current of the young is futile. Sometimes it is a good idea to jump back into the white-water of stupidity and revel in the energy and madness of it. But you need to make sure you jump back out before your perception gets drowned and you fall into the trap of living a delusional youth-chasing lifestyle.
When you get my age it is time to accept and know that you are not young. You need to accept and know it for the right reasons though. If you live in denial of your age you will be susceptible to many sorted catastrophes that I won’t go into right now. Life is not over at 50 for sure – but it sure is one hell of a lot different than life at age 20.