The Amiable Reaper 7
JOEL KRAMER is the inspirational author of ‘The Passionate Mind’ which was first published in 1974. Following is an edited description about death from the book. Although he does not mention a Reaper as such, he explains why mankind feared dying so much that it fostered the myth of a Grim Reaper.
“Why should you concern yourself with death? If you don’t look at death directly, if you don’t come face to face with it, then you live always in its shadow, and the shadow is fear. What does it mean to say I’m afraid to die? Am I talking about physical death? Physical death is an abstraction; it’s not anything I can know about. Yet I’m afraid of death. Exactly what am I afraid of?
Isn’t it true that what I am really afraid of is losing myself? I’m fearful of losing that which I’m familiar with… myself, my personality, that which is me… that which makes me distinct from other human beings. So when I say I’m afraid to die, is it not the personality that I’m afraid of losing… the me?
All of the religions that promise eternal life – what do they promise? They promise the eternal life of the soul or the spirit. And what they mean of course is that what will continue is you, the personality. Have you ever wondered why people believe in and seem to get security from a religion that vaguely promises heaven to a few and seems to guarantee hell to most of its followers?
The answer is quite simple. Hell, too, guarantees the continuation of personality, which is preferable to total annihilation. Even hell is better than not being at all. If I look at death and the fear of death very carefully, I see that what I’m afraid of is the fact that I (personality) am going to go away. That’s what fear of dying is, that I’m not going to be anymore.
Me, the person, the separate thing, the unique entity that makes me different from you, is going to die. We tend to think that life and death are separate and different. We put them at opposite ends of a spectrum: Here is life; when life is absent here is death. Life and death, however, are not different or separate. They are just different ways of looking at a total movement.” To be continued….
Dan’s Quote: “The only reason we are here is to remember what we have forgotten.”