The question is a matter of semantics. First it is important to define death as it relates to life. In the course of that contemplation, we will inevitably fall victim to the same theological, as well as philosophical, debates that have caused the rise and fall of civilizations.
In fact, if not for the depth of mankind’s torment over this question, we would not be living under the threat of Islamic terrorism and, suffice it to say, the Islamic nations may not perceive themselves persecuted by Judeo-Christian imperialism.
At some point in our evolutionary history, mankind became self-aware. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to go back to the place on the prehistoric timeline to witness the epiphany; the very moment when man became capable of projecting the course of his life into the future? He, at once, was able to predict, with absolute surety, his death by reasoning that others of his kind had died, therefore, he would also die. He surmised a life expectancy, thus he began to track his aging process.
Religions were born from the cavern of ignorance the new knowledge created. Out of necessity there needed to be an answer to what happens after death. Insecurity gripped humanity by the hind-end and never let go. We became painfully aware of our own mortality. We no longer could live as other creatures lived, content and secure with day-to-day survival routines, totally immersed in the present, and only fearful of death out of an instinctive will to survive.
It could be said that if it wasn’t for the knowledge of our impending death there would never have been a reason for the relentless human pursuit of art, music, or technology. War would never have moved beyond tribal feuds over the scarcity of resources, territorial protectionism, or mating rituals. There would, to this day, be no sense of urgency, no ticking clock that spells out the calendar of our lives causing us to rush to the finish line leaving no stone unturned.
For the sake of argument, let’s say life and death are the same. Assume we have all been hoodwinked into a lifelong quest to formulate, follow, or accept an answer to a question that need never have been asked in the first place.
Ask a few simple questions. If we are all barreling toward the finale, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that it must be better than the beginning? If birth is such a miracle then why isn’t death given an even richer accolade?
If, at the moment our physical body gives out, wouldn’t the cursed awareness of our impending death be instantly erased? Wouldn’t the split second after our heart stops beating become infinitely pure? Would the shedding of our morbid sense of time be a weight lifted from our shoulders causing us to soar through the timeless void as giddy as a newly born bird?
The energy that has become the essence of our uniqueness may carry us into an infinite journey that is ours alone; a whole new path to be followed with just as much meaning and purpose as we had when our heart was throbbing and our lungs were breathing. Wouldn’t some of us meet Jesus and others come face to face with Allah.
Therefore, if the assumption that life and death, by definition, are inseparable and that death leads to a life of infinite discovery, then it is a joyous revelation to know that human kind, in a life after death, would not find any reason at all to join forces against one another? Peace.
We are born at peace with the world wanting only life’s necessities. Maybe we move on from this world, at peace with ourselves, wanting nothing of life’s gratuities.