Slip sliding away
January 7, 2014 2 Comments
Last night, I experienced an eerie feeling — my limbs went numb; my eyes were off-focus, staring but not seeing; my heart thumping vigorously I could hear every hurried beat… I was aware of the people beginning to crowd over me, yet I couldn’t hear nor understand anything they were saying or telling me: It was like those dream sequences you see in movies.
Then I found my self staring at an unfamiliar ceiling splashed in antiseptic white. I knew I was lying down but I couldn’t feel the bed underneath me. It felt like I was suspended in mid-air!
Suddenly, the ceiling dissolved in a swirl of colors… bright, flashing colors. I looked away from it and tried to fix my gaze at the hazy figure to my right. As my eyes struggled to focus, I can sense the urgency in whatever the hazy figure was doing. The figure was a she — clad in the same antiseptic white as the ceiling. Now, I saw her face clearly… she was TRYING to smile at me, yet there’s fear etched in her eyes. She was mumbling something…
… was all I could remember before I passed out.
What’s it gonna be like, dying? To go to sleep and never, never, never wake up.
Well, a lot of things it’s not gonna be like. It’s not going to be like being buried alive. It’s not going to be like being in the darkness forever.
I tell you what — it’s going to be as if you never had existed at all. Not only you, but everything else as well. That just there was never anything, there’s no one to regret it — and there’s no problem.
Well, think about that for a while — it’s kind of a weird feeling when you really think about it, when you really imagine.
— Alan Watts* on Death
In this hauntingly beautiful animation based on a Watts lecture, produced by Luke Jurevicius and directed by Ari Gibson and Jason Pamment, Watts considers what death might be, exploring the notion of nonexistence and pitting it as “the necessary consequence of what we call being.”*Philosopher and writer Alan Watts (1915-1973) is best-known for authoring the cult-classic The Way of Zen and popularizing Eastern philosophy in the West alongside John Cage.