Monday, May 30, 2005

a humbled thank you/ acoustic stuff

thank you to everyone who has kept up, commented, and talked to others about modesty. because of modesty i have been asked to write a alternating-monthly column for lowercasepeople.com (a website that will be coming very soon!) based out of san diego, california! so thank you, thank you, thank you!
also sorry it took so long to get this up on the net
i want to record more soon, but these were done for $25 in a studio in texas.
purevolume.com/stephenchristian
thanks,
stephen

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

final thoughts on final moments

we may not know when or how we will die, but what we do know is the what. what are we going to do with the time we have. i read through the comments and am amazed that such intelligence still exists, people who think for themselves and are not afraid to state what they think and believe.
a person wrote that because someone is Christian they don’t fear death, which from my experience is untrue. everyone subconsciously seeks immortality (the fountain of youth, vampires, etc.) and it is only human to try to hold on to the short life we do have. like i touched on in the first respose to shane, though i have a Greater Hope i am afraid of what i don't know in death i am terrified of getting old. i am scared of not being able to take care of myself, of having to be fed, and living because a machine helps me. as issac asimov said “Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.” i would rather pass away to the unknown than to stay here on this earth in the known of a nursing home.
im sorry i don't have all the answers but if i did i would be either God or dead, for only those know for sure. but know that there are those of us who are alongside you on this same path.

Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.
--Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Plato on Death

'To fear death, gentlemen, is no other than to think oneself wise when one is not, to think one knows what one does not know. No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a man, yet men fear it as if they knew that is is the greatest of evils. And surely it is the most blameworthy ignorance to believe that one knows what one does not know.'
-Plato (the apology)

Monday, May 02, 2005

the final journey; afterlife

'stephen
I guess I'd like to know what your opinion is on an issue that, for as
long as I can remember, has been a big struggle for me. Do you think about
dying, and if so, how do you cope with the fact? I have no idea why, I've
been fortunate to not have to witness much death in my life, but ever
since I was a young child I've been haunted by the thought that I will
eventually die. My dad used to encourage church, but I had some bad
experiences and disagreements with church, and have never gone to church
routinely. When I think about dying, I think about myself not existing, I
think about it all being over. I can't really conceive it, so I don't
think I can explain it well either. I find myself staying up at night
distracting myself from wandering thoughts by watching tv or reading
books, but sometimes the thought just gets to me, and when it does it has
this snowball effect that leads me to this state of panic and fear.

I've never read the Bible, which is my own fault, but I did find some
partial inspiration in some writings by Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet";
however, I realize that they are still only words, manifested by human
thought, and although beautifully written, they are still just words. I
recently read 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich', and at the end the character
experienced a spiritual epiphany, but that's only our mind making sense of
things, because it's in our nature to find meaning.

Lately the only solution I can think of is just to enjoy life, which still
creates a big problem for me. You say we are distracted from truth by
things like movies, music, and daily routine of living, but some of those
are things I enjoy, and how do we know 'the truth' is indeed real? How can
a human mind conceive the answer? I find myself without any motivation in
my transition from college to career, because I'm only focused on living a
good life. I realize I'm going to die someday, so I want to enjoy it. I
want to understand things, like technology, biology, medicine, I want to
travel, I like to write (I hope to one day write a movie), and I want to
enjoy the materialistic things that I find interesting. But it seems that
happiness DOES require money these days, so I'm pushed to pursue a career
with financial stability. Basically I'm stuck in the middle of happiness
and financial freedom, and when I go to bed I'm reminded every night that
no matter what, everything that I am, every thought I have had, every
happy moment I've caused or shared will eventually cease to exist.
Shane'

shane
thanks so much for writing, and i want you to know these thoughts have consumed every man (and women) for centruries before us and after we taste death men will still think on these things.
it is the last great unknown, it is both exciting (it is something that no one has experienced completely and come back to tell of their month long journey) and something to be feared.

i admit a great fear in my life, i am not only afraid of death but of getting old as well. i do not want to ever be incapable of feeding or clothing myself. i never want to be a burden but a blessing on others lives. death is inevitable, the process of learning to cope with it takes a lifetime (literally.) i have not coped with death yet, we who are young are immortal, or at least we think we are to some degree. we never view death as relevant in our lives right now, it is a distant lighthouse and we are still in the midst of the raging water.

but sometimes these thoughts are the raging water, the clamour that seems to involve everyone around us. why are some more afraid than others you asked? hope.
the answer is some have found the lighthouse not as something to fear but something to embrace and actually look forward to. you said you have never read the bible, and that is fine, i think the majority of the people in this world have never opened its pages. but i want to ask you to seek. if truth is what you desire than truth you must lust after. if you want anything of worth in this world you MUST BE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR IT! that goes for material posessions, true love, and truth among other things.
SEEK and you will find, but the key word is seek. i am not going tell you this is an easy road, but hope is the antidote, you must first be stung by the venom of hoplessness. (and that sounds like the stage you are in with sleepless nights, and constant worry.)

what can we do with the life that has been given to us? Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, "Did you bring joy?" The second was, "Did you find joy?"
and that is what we must seek aftert. i want to delve deeper into this subject but my time has been cut short here in norfolk virgina due to my career. but i want to hear from others on this topic. what has everyone/anyone learned on this subject in their own lives.

more coming; this topic could take a lifetime to solve...