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Prologue: I Want To Live

December 24th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Prologue: I Want To Live


It is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment…

We are all going to die. We become aware of our mortality at a tender age, and we are taught by society to accept this eventuality as the price of life. Well adjusted individuals reconcile themselves to death as a part of their reality.kalvaria_-_banska_stiavnica4

But instinctively we know that death is our enemy. And no healthy person wants to die.

So we wax philosophic and derive comfort from the axiom that “death is a part of life… (heavy sigh)” – Which it is not. Death is the cessation of life; this precious life being the gift of God.

Many of us believe that if the way we live our life has meaning, Death will seem less bitter at the end. This attitude is both admirable and constructive. The death which follows is still not good. But by all means put the best face on it.

So we live our lives the best that we can, and try to keep our minds off of the sudden stop at the end. We work hard to fill our lives with things, or to pass down to our children. Some may party and chase women or men to fill empty hours with meaning. Or if we are noble, we fill our lives with service. Even so, there is not much that we wouldn’t do to avoid death. But what CAN we do?

Medical science may someday be able to prolong or restore life. Or maybe not. I’m not certain that we even understand the force that we call life. What substance inhabits living tissue which causes it to differ from the dead? I sincerely hope that there are medical professionals who are hot on the trail. But I don’t expect a breakthrough this week. And the fate of men who live a thousand years from now is scant comfort to me.

Literature is replete with examples of man somehow achieving immortality. Mary Shelley introduces us to a world in which science has unlocked the mystery of life. Vampire stories reveal a race of once-men who will live forever, (although usually at the expense of their immortal souls.) Even Shangra La’s promise of a few hundred years seems hopeful to those of us doomed to a life of three score and ten. These stories illustrate our hopes and desires. But they are just stories.

In the real world, where can we turn? A plethora of religions claims to provide insight to an afterlife. An Afterlife! What a wonderful idea if it exists! If dying is just a doorway to a new and possibly better existence, then Death has lost its sting. All that is necessary then is to determine which belief system is correct, and to adhere to that faith. A correct choice guarantees an afterlife in a far better state. Of course a wrong choice might have dire consequences.

A prevalent view today is that all paths lead to God, that one religion is as good as another as long as you are sincere and a “good” person. If you are certain of this view, you may stop reading now. You have nothing left to learn, and your ascent to a positive afterlife is guaranteed no matter what you believe. In the afterlife you may chide me about my vain and fruitless search for the one true path to God. I have noticed though, that those who adhere to this doctrine don’t really believe in anything with certainty. They appear to be just hoping for the best.

These include the “modernists” who first explain away historical written records of the supernatural in terms of the limited understanding of primitive writers, and then use the “lack” of the miraculous to “prove” the lack of the Divine. As well as the “New Agers” who believe that it is arrogant and boorish to claim that your path is any better than the one that they just thought up. Like Aristotle they have no need to test their hypotheses. If it seems right in their head it must be right. It never occurs to them that a true God might just set His own perfect standard for reasons not totally comprehensible to we the finite.

And the testimony of the various religions contradicts this view as well. Many diverse religions claim exclusive access to God. Obviously some are mistaken.

So how do we “test” our hypothesis? How do we make certain that we are on the path to God without having already died? (Which may be too late?) The answer is simple: Just find a man who has overcome Death, and follow His leadership.

To find this man we must commit ourselves to the historical record. Who remembers the splendor of the Tutankhamen exhibits which toured the USA in the late 1970’s? King Tut was an important historical figure. These exhibits from his tomb indicate that Death overcame him. Likewise, a little research provides insight into the deaths of Gaius Julius Caesar, Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson, Richard Coeur de Lion, Saladin, Zhu Yuanzhang and most other historical figures. History usually tells us how a famous person died. The written record also indicates that they tend to remain dead.

Categories: The Big Question
  1. August 22nd, 2009 at 07:19 | #1

    Hi there John – do you consider the power of thought, and of healing techniques, when looking at overcoming death? There is now evidence that our thoughts control our genes, for example (Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief). Just curious – great to see you discussing these issues – Robin

  2. August 22nd, 2009 at 08:10 | #2

    Robin,

    I think that we have a natural desire to live longer and better. I disapprove of the ravages of old age, and concur with the preservation of youthful vigour. To some extent we can accomplish these goals with changes in lifestyle and attitude. By all means, each person should make a conscious effort to lead a long and fulfilled life. In so doing, we express our appreciation for this magnificent gift.

    But eventually, despite our best efforts, these mortal bodies tend to run down. In the end, as the old joke runs, you’re going to be dead a long, long time. I am aware of no mortal who has managed to forestall these eventualities indefinitely through thought or healing techniques. But we do know of a rare few who have actually returned to life from death. These resurrections universally appear to be the consequence of Divine intervention in the affairs of men. In other words, we must receive the gift of eternal life through the One who gave us this precious gift to begin with.

    I encourage people to live the best, healthiest, longest, most meaningful lives that they can. But we should also have a plan for what comes after. We owe it to ourselves to investigate all possible avenues. And only One who has overcome death can provide insights into this ultimate victory.

    Best Wishes,

    John

  3. Mavis Monson
    February 1st, 2010 at 22:19 | #3

    John,
    Mavis again. There is a book titled “Lift Up Thine Eyes” that has pictures
    similar to yours.
    The web site is listed under Contemporary Concepts from Charlotte, North Carolina.

  4. Eileen Copeland (member BBC)
    February 20th, 2010 at 10:46 | #4

    Great site. Something I need to learn more about. I’m also planning to attend Defending the Faith conference at Brookwood.

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