The Internet Has Been Down
Early this week I got separated from my e-mail. I haven’t solved the problem, and I’ve actually kind of gotten used to it. I do worry about it some, though.
Will I ever catch up? Am I going to lose contact with someone–especially someone far away? What if they think I’ve died?
What if they do? I will, surely, die someday, and that day keeps getting closer even though I never really expect it to be today. That strikes me as so strange. How is it that none of us seems to expect to die, yet we all seem to agree to our eventual mortality?
Or, maybe that’s just me.
No way to decide, I guess. Kind of a hazard of getting older, as near as I can tell. Do we even know it’s coming when it’s upon us? Near death experiences are well documented. But they are always related by those who survived. How do the rest of us know they were really almost, or even more so, dead?
No way to decide.
For me, “near death experiences” have always referred to times I looked back upon as times when, if things had not gone exactly as they actually did, I surely would h”ave died. Whether I saw a white tunnel or not was irrelevant. For most of those who claim “near death experiences,” though, much more seems to come into play. In my type of “near death” injury is not even a consideration, while something seems to have already happened to the “white tunnelers” to have caused their going into the “tunnel.” Their “near death” experience seems nearer than mine. Sort of a “came back from death” experience.
Anyway, by my definition, I’ve had three near death experiences that I’ve been aware of. Each resulted in a prolonged, and rather profound, philosophical evaluation of how I was living my life just prior to almost losing it. In the first instance I nearly drowned. or so it seemed at the time. I panicked, and lost everything I had ever read in The Reader’s Digest about what you were supposed to do if caught in a riptide. The numerous articles I had read while sitting on the toilet were useless. I’ve had little faith in hypotheticals since.
The part that lingered, though, was listening to my own voice calling for help from the large number of people on the beach within only a few feet from where I was being dragged out to sea. It was weak and unconvincng. I sounded concerned, but not particularly scared. No-one who heard me believed I must really be in trouble.
As a result of that experience, I think the scientific community’s warnings against climate change are mostly falling on deaf ears for a very simple reason: the public hears almost no real fear in scientist’s calls. So what if the endpoint of climate change might involve uninhabitability of Earth if no one is afraid? But no one seems to be. So, so what?
Here’s “so what?” Getting off this planet to somewhere else we and our neighbors, from the micro-organisms to the macro-, can live, will be anything but easy. It will take a long time and a dedication to purposed unseen by any species’ in history or prehistory. But stopping the destruction of the ecosystem by human success appears to be impossible because of the simple fact that there are now so many of us, so we have to get off. And we don’t have much time to get started.
The second near death experience I had involved a miscommunication between a surgeon and myself. It probably does not really qualify as a “near death experience” under my definition, but it did, nonetheless, end up in rather profound changes in my life. The bottom line was that I spent a weekend thinking I might be confronting a melanoma that had metastasized. Luckily that was not the case. In those days, metastasized melanoma was a death sentence.
At any rate, the change was that I began seriously confronting a Vision of the end of the world I had had few years earlier. At the time Reagan appeared willing to engage the USSR in nuclear warfare, and that became my focus for several years thereafter.
In the final, so far. near death experience, I was very nearly struck by a train traveling well in excess of 100 miles per hour There had been a long hiatus between the second near death and the third, during which I had realized that my substitution of nuclear war for an unknown cause had been mine, not the Vision’s .
In that experience, the lingering impression was that death would come unannounced. When it does, what I’ve been doing or not will be over. If there is a life after death, won’t we have some responsibility for having done all we could while alive?
Besides, not everyone has a Mission to keep the reason for wanting to keep on living right there in front of them all of the time. Why not count my blessings? As I get older I realize that the instinct to want to keep on living is one that gets stronger as you age. Who am I to blow against the wind? Now if I can just keep on plugging until I get a publisher.