Life is brief. It’s one-third shorter than we think. We are awake for only two-thirds of our life. The remaining third is spent in sleep. So, a person who lives till 75 actually lives for 50 years. Worse, we get caught in a peculiar time paradox as we age. The days pass slowly but years pass fast. And before we know, we’ve joined our ancestors. But we are programmed to shut out the thoughts of our mortality. Asked to name the greatest wonder of the world, Yudhishitra (Renowned character of Mahabharata, the Indian Epic), “Though you see people dying around, you never think of your own death”.
Our ego suppresses that awareness. Our fear of death is not a fear of the unknown. It’s a fear of what’s known too well: that when we die, we will never re-appear. Deep inside, we are devastated by this awareness. So we try to console ourselves by seeking the assurance of an afterlife that all religions promise. But we don’t believe these promises. As they say, everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die. Rather unfairly, the atheist’s view of life is excluded from debates on spirituality. The truth is that like believers, the atheist look for happiness too. But unlike believers, he doesn’t depend on God to provide it. He considers god irrelevant to his existence. He believes this is the only time he’ll be alive. The king of horror writers, Stephen King, once said he was always shaken “that almost nobody alive today will be alive a hundred years from now”. This awareness provides zest for school and college re-unions. Most enthusiastic about the re-unions are ancient “old boys” whose time is running out.
A 60-year-old man thinks he’ll be pretty happy if he lives till 80. Tell him his remaining 20 years mean just 7,300 days and he’ll panic. This awareness of mortality distinguishes human being from all other species. The awareness is immensely saddening. Once we go, it’s forever. Nor have we any proof of heaven.
So you might get an idea that what is on my mind for past few days and what I have been thinking all about. Never mind, I have only 18000 days left (according to my calculations, if we have to consider that I will live for 75 years) and I have to use them in the best possible way so I am being remembered after I am gone, this is how I will get my life back. And when I’m gone it’s forever and I do believe in afterlife.
How much days you have?