By Guy Cissors
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors. View more opinion on ScoonTV.
Open your eyeballs, you’re going to want to pay attention to this. I am about to give you the most important two words of advice out there: Man up. That’s it. That’s the advice. Man up. Alright. Now I am going to give you the most important five words of advice out there (besides “man up man up man”): Quit being scared of death. That’s right. Cut it out. Grab your balls or whatever you got and stop it.
You might be wondering why I am talking about death in the first place. You don’t see stuff about the concept of death in the news much. Sure, death is all over the place in the media, but it’s surface level. It’s all about what celebrity died or how many people were killed, not “what does death really mean?” or “what happened to their consciousness?” I thought that this lack of in-depth coverage stemmed from us being cool with death. But apparently, we’re not. I had no idea this fear was so widespread until recently.
I had certainly heard of the fear of death, but I always figured it was women stuff. Not until last week, when I was holding one of my weekly “vulnerable with the bros” sessions, had I heard a boy, let alone a man, say he was afraid of death. And then it spread. Six of my closest friends admitted they found death scary. I could not believe it. These are really, really strong guys. Besides me, only one man, Pete, said he was chill with death. Insanity. Of course, we went deeper. That’s what “vulnerable with the bros” is all about.
“Stevers” (I changed his name from Steve to avoid his embarrassment) explained that he doesn’t like the concept of eternity. Something about how he would die and it just wouldn’t stop. “Randers” (name change) took the talking stick and started pacing. He shouted “how could time start?” and punched the wall. These guys that normally seem tough as nails, even while being vulnerable, were losing their minds. If these guys react like that, can you imagine how freaked out women must be about death? They’re probably privately slapping the walls all day, every day.
But back to my story– I grabbed the talking stick and took over. It seemed their fears all stemmed from one assumption; that time is real. And what a stupid assumption that is. “Time’s fake! Time’s fake!” I yelled. The guys looked at me quizzically, besides Pete, who nodded with a gentle smile. I’m no hippy but I am a wide reader, and I pick up things from all over the known universe. I told them a little something I had heard from Eastern religion: “Everything is right now.” The guys immediately calmed down. Pete exclaimed, “That’s right!” I decided to give him a pass even though I was holding the talking stick.
The session went on like that. I explained other concepts I appreciate like “emptiness is form and form is emptiness.” Pete led a guided meditation and showed us the Zen in mundane tasks, even in making your own protein shakes. By the end of the night, no one was scared of death. Realizing time is illusory is a powerful thing. So is being vulnerable with your guys. Try it.
So, what makes this relevant to you? Well, based on my math, six out of every eight really “strong” guys are scared of death. Really, strong guys are probably the least likely to be scared of death besides maybe scrappy medium-sized guys and goth girls. You’re probably wondering “what about goth guys?” They’re posers. They’re scared. Anyways, probably like ten out of twelve people are scared of death. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones like me and Pete and you’re thinking death-shmeth. Well, congrats if that’s you, but your loved ones are probably pacing and hitting walls without you even realizing it. Send them this.
While death has always been a part of the human experience, current fears about pandemics, wars, and mass shootings can exacerbate these worries. Until massive changes are made, these catastrophes can and will continue to take lives. But even if these issues were remedied, death would still exist. While this can make one’s actions feel futile, there is one thing we can change: our perspective.
Understanding that our thoughts and logic are not necessarily representative of reality but instead are limited by our Euclidean minds (I got that from another book) can help you stay open minded to ideas like time not being real. It will alleviate your anxieties, too. So, instead of letting yourself get freaked out by something beyond your control, try to change your own thinking. Basically, what I am trying to say is; man up, and quit being scared of death.
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