It’s been said that being born is like being thrown off a very high cliff. At first, the bliss of feeling alive and lighter than air is so bracing and powerful that it gives a sense of overwhelming godliness — and giddiness — in becoming just human. And, mercifully, that lasts a long time without the faintest knowledge that the ground at the bottom of that precipice is still coming hurtling up to meet us at terminal velocity.
In between we glory in our childhood, then go through the rigours and righteousness of schooling and college, before building our houses with our spouses in the falling air and living inside them looking out the windows at the street or scenery that seem to be totally solid. What we don’t realise all through this delightful experience that is full of our own children by then is that the outside is also dropping along with us at the same speed and will meet a similar fate sooner or later. Good we don’t linger on that thought or we wouldn’t be able to function for even a single day!
There are a lot of ways people have developed death-defying stunts to deal with this. An unconscious denial is one of the first ways we learn; meaning, if we don’t think of the bottom streaking up, maybe it’ll back away. For the majority of us, it works for most of our lives. For others, religion seems to perform wonders — probably mainly because it negates death as a noxious phenomenon to be avoided at all costs.
But it’s also been said that though birth is the leading cause of death, death is the chief cause of being born. Maybe there is something to be said for karma after all.