Thank You for “That which does not kill us…”
Nietzsche is Dead.
Zarathustra may have killed him. That is still under investigation while the courts decide if Zarathustra is mentally competent to stand trial.
Though Nietzsche is known for the popular and frequently misunderstood quote God is dead, he is also the guy responsible for strengthening our adherence to difficult paths with That which does not kill us makes us stronger.
I say; That which does not kill us merely kills us more slowly.
The process of dying is probably a bit more difficult than just being Dead.
To watch things die—A person, A nation, A moral code, or a rabbit hit by a car on the road to Watership Down—is torturous.
Sometimes I forget that living is the same as dying.
The moment we take our first breath, we begin the process of dying.
It’s actually quite beautiful.
In the process of this dying, we get to live!
There are folks that can take this concept to an extreme, living on the edge of life threatening situations to induce the thrill of a near death experience.
Hang gliding, race car driving, bungee jumping, weird sex practices that take your breath away, and walking that fine line between life and potential loss of life, seems to make some people feel more alive.
The view is better from the edge. I may have made that up or not.
Then there are the folks that never take a risk, play all their cards like a poker hand in Deadwood, and remain dying without the messy part—feeling it.
Sometimes Change feels like Death. And it is.
The death of old habits, behaviors, beliefs, idealistic notions, and other things we cling to in Deadwood, is difficult.
But if we are going to continue to live while we are dying, we have to feel it.
It is not the feeling that kills us, it is the natural progression of life. But we create so many distractions, so many myths, religions, and existential concepts to keep us from feeling it.
It’s as though attaching ourselves to something larger than ourselves will assuage our fear of insignificance in the inevitability of our mortality.
But here’s the good part…
If we can let ourselves embrace the fear, we might be able to gain some personal strength while we’re here.
Fear is very powerful. It makes us strong if it doesn’t kill us (or others).
Just look at all the things fear can manifest in our attempts to avoid it. We start wars, we try to conquer or control those who are different from ourselves or disagree with our world views and the beliefs we create to keep our fears at bay.
Last year, in November, I declared a Freedom from Fear Mongers Day.
Let’s do that again, okay?
In the Prime of His Mortality • 36×48 • Acrylic and Gold on Canvas by Lea Kelley