“Life is a school in which we are trained to depart.
That is what mortification really means: training to die,
to cut away the enslaving ties with the past so that
what we call death is not a surprise anymore but the last
of many gateways that lead to the full human person.”
Our bodies are finite, so there has to be a transition to the eternal: I get that. What I don’t get is being “mortified” in the process. Mortify means, “to humiliate or shame, as by injury to one’s pride or self-respect.” Why does death have to be so difficult and demeaning? Why do so many suffer so much and linger so long in its shadow?
Do we really have to be humiliated into giving up these broken bodies for perfect replacements? Apparently so.
The borderland between the two worlds is rough terrain and the journey arduous for most. On the other side lies a new frontier. A few travelers have even managed to return and tell us about the Elysian Fields awaiting us. That means there’s hope beyond the hurting—but is it enough to ameliorate the pain?
Not on some days.
“Modernity’s double punishment is to make us
both age prematurely and live longer.”
—Nassim Nicholas Taleb