Once upon a time in Hollywood… [About Death]

Advertisements
Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio in a scene from “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood,” directed by Quentin Tarantino. Photograph by Andrew Cooper / Sony Pictures

What does “Once upon a time in Hollywood” has to teach us? Nothing that life cannot teach us itself. The cynical nature of our existence. The void in which we experience the cosmos. The hope that we rely upon every night when we say good night: That we will wake up the next morning…

Too much?

Perhaps.

But this is life.

Full of surprises. Freud used to behave like that in the last years of his life. He treated every moment as his last, he even bid farewell to his friends every time they parted as if this was the last time he saw them. So much we are dazzled by life, that we tend to never think of death. And yet, death is here. Next to us. Ready to touch us.

Let me tell you a story, as Steve Mcqueen said in the film…

Once upon a time in Town X there was a man. That man was married. He had a baby boy. That man was happily married. He had a thriving business, a loving wife and a new child. One day that man held the baby in his arms and went down the stairs. He fell. The baby died. Depression set in. His wife divorced him. His business closed. Now that man is ruined. A shadow of his old self. And he is living a life of death ever since…

Too much?

Perhaps.

But this is life.

A true story.

One of many.

The same life was the life Sharon Tate used to have. Full and happy. She was married, she was successfull. She was waiting a child. Nothing could be better. She couldn’t wait to hold that baby in ther arms. And she would. But inside her grave…

For one night, she and four of her friends were murdered in the most gruesome way. And everyone was shocked. And everyone watched in awe. And Cielo Drive was indeed the way towards Heaven for her and those innocent lives that night took…

Too much?

Perhaps.

But this is life.

Do you dare look at it in the eyes? Do you dare accept death?

Sharon Tate once upon a time read the Tess of Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. She even bought the book to her husband who later on made a film out of it. (There is a small scene in the Tarantino film that portrays that little detail) Funny that this excellent book talks about life’s tendency to have its own plans while you have your own…

Exactly as it happened to Tate.

Exactly as it happened to that man.

Too much?

Perhaps.

But this is life.

On an evening in the latter part of May a middle-aged man was walking homeward from Shaston to the village of Marlott, in the adjoining Vale of Blakemore, or Blackmoor. The pair of legs that carried him were rickety, and there was a bias in his gait which inclined him somewhat to the left of a straight line. He occasionally gave a smart nod, as if in confirmation of some opinion, though he was not thinking of anything in particular. An empty egg-basket was slung upon his arm, the nap of his hat was ruffled, a patch being quite worn away at its brim where his thumb came in taking it off. Presently he was met by an elderly parson astride on a gray mare, who, as he rode, hummed a wandering tune.

“Good night t’ee,” said the man with the basket.

“Good night, Sir John,” said the parson…

Coronavirus, Christianity, Death, “sissies”…

Advertisements

There is a lot of discussion about the new coronavirus affecting the world as we speak. Harmonia Philosophica usually does not deal with such news since our focus is philosophy and not everyday matters. Our subject is the eternal, not the ephemeral.

And yet, as we have said many times here, the ephemeral is sometimes more eternal than the eternal. And philosophy needs to take into account everyday life if the latter poses important and interesting questions.

The coronavirus has suddenly made humanity again aware of its fragility. And right when we thought we were “progressing” and ready to conquer the world, Death is suddenly again part of the discussion.

This is, understandably, unsettling to many people. I will not make the arrogant mistake of not including myself with all those people. I am also afraid of death. I am also afraid of suffering. But as we have said again many times, my personal or your personal feelings on the matter at hand mean nothing.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

And here is where Christianity comes into play. Despite what most people believe, Christianity does not evangelize that if you are a good Christian you will not suffer; the exact opposite is true! Christianity reminds us of death and suffering. Christianity emphasizes death and suffering and brings them to the spotlight. Jesus and all the saints have died horrible deaths. No one is spared from death or suffering because of being a good Christian. Being a Christian does entail accepting pain and suffering, so that we can acknowledge that death is nothing more than a portal to real life.

The world had rejected Christianity because of those attributes of Christianity. Because the world does not like death and suffering. Because the world believes that it is – or can be – immortal and live for ever. Because we admire matter and we cannot see beyond it. Blinded by our dogmatic materialism, we fail to see the obvious only because we are cowards.

As Johnny Cash has said, “Christianity is not for sissies”.

Don’t be afraid.

Yes, at the end you will die.

Can you not cry?

(Where is your philosophy?)

Related article: How to easily win an atheist in a debate…

Attack when they are stronger…

Advertisements

Does the time of day matter when our body is infected by a parasite? According to new research from McGill University, it matters a great deal.

Our body works differently at different times of the day following our internal clocks. Researchers from McGill University and the Douglas Mental Health University Institute have now established that parasitic infections are also controlled by these clocks. The severity of a microbe’s infection will thus vary whether it is encountered during the day or at night, a discovery that scientists believe could pave the way to new treatment and prevention strategies for parasitic infections.

Scientists who studied Leishmania (a parasite that causes leishmaniasis and that is transmitted at night by the female sandfly) concluded that its infection was more effective in the early night, a time when the immune response to the parasite was the strongest. Simply put, the parasite thrives when it elicits a strong immune response, attracting inflammatory cells it uses to multiply (macrophages and neutrophils) to the infection site. (1)

What elegant mechanisms does nature has to restore balance.

People have always fought to build knowledge.

And yet…

Nature tries to warn us…

The strongest prejudice propagates better through a solid knowledgeable mind.

The darkest dogmas find fruitful ground in the most educated societies.

The more certain you are for yourself, the less you expect that you are wrong.

Knowledge does not exist but in our arrogant minds. And no matter how much we built it, Nature is there to destroy it. To remind us that the only solid knowledge is non-knowledge. That the cosmos is illogical. Full of things only the children see.

Trust the child inside you. Once you knew everything. Once you were in Paradise. And then you tried to learn. And then you tried to understand. And the paradise was lost. And the world became a darker place…

Let go.

And you will have everything within your grasp again.

Bella Addormentata, living, dying.

Advertisements

Bella Addormentata, the new film of Marco Bellocchio, draws the audience’s attention to the importance of the right to euthanasia.

Weird times we live in…

A long time ago philosophers pondered on the right to live.

Now, having forgotten who we are, we fight for the right to die…