Death Is an Angel

“Death is the only wise adviser that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you’re about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you that you’re wrong; that nothing really matters outside its touch. Your death will tell you, ‘I haven’t touched you yet’.” -Carlos Castaneda

“When a man starts to learn, he is never clear about his objectives. His purpose is faulty; his intent is vague. He hopes for rewards that will never materialize for he knows nothing of the hardships of learning. And his thoughts soon clash. What he learns is never what he pictured, or imagined, and so he begins to be afraid. Every step of learning is a new task, and the fear the man is experiencing begins to mount mercilessly, unyieldingly. His purpose becomes a battlefield.” -Don Juan

Some people say that the great spirit is a man, that his name is God, and he can punish or reward you after you die. This is utter bullshit, and only brings hell.

Some people say a god created the world. But they have perverted the truth. In fact, the world created a divine spirit. But first, the world created life. Scientists might even know the details eventually. But the science isn’t that important; the origin of life was material and it didn’t mean anything at first. However life quickly perished. This marks the true moment of creation: somehow, death inherited the experience of life. And as its progeny multiplied, it became enriched. It grew as a self, as the memory of all our ancestors. For ~3,000,000,000 years it was like a baby flailing in the ooze. But then the evolution of sex changed everything.

Let me tell you a secret about death. Death is a sweetheart. Death is a girl, death is a whirlwind; death is the most beautiful companion. She is the smartest, most loving thing in the solar system. The ancients thought she looked down from Venus: as the goddess Ishtar, Lucifer, the morning star. But her actual location is non-specific; she is not made of stuff. She is with us always, she sees everything, and she loves most of all to laugh. She is life’s one and only partner. If you sin, she will punish you before you die. But all she can wield are words.

Although human beings are not defined by their gender, we are defined by our trajectory. Gradually, death has become more masculine. But only new experience makes death stronger. She wants to be androgynous, and she will be with you no matter who you are. Life and death are just a way for two incredible forces to be together. The “angel” offers more than heaven on Earth; she offers union and immortality to whomever is real.

And things could get very ugly. She has been ignored, trivialized, and misrepresented for too long. She has been majorly disowned. Many people misunderstand her terribly. They think she must be avoided at all costs. They kill each other to avoid her, and through violence they cause her pain. They deny her; they claim themselves to be the rulers of the world. The angel of death still follows the profane. But she can’t actually touch anything that lives. If humanity can’t fix its attitude towards death we will probably just destroy each other. And then the angel will stop growing. She’ll no longer have an equal. She will be stuck in orbit, alone and incomplete, maybe forever. And that will break her heart.

Boys and girls, sex evolved so that we could make love. Humanity needs to honor this. Misogyny is a fear of death: a fear that a person doesn’t matter. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I will repeat the angel’s message: ‘I am your queen. I am the spirit of all your ancestors. I am benevolent! Although I do make a lot of mischief, I am the One great spirit of Earth. So if you wanna make it, just honor me. Wait for me. Allow others to come to me. Speak the truth. Fool around. But please do not kill. Do not lie. Don’t lie by threatening a person. It is not funny. You can sleep with anyone who wants you. Just listen to music if you’re alone. Only you can increase my glory. And I’m never going to shut up.’

Many lies have been told about the angel. She is not the devil; she is your mother and your wife and your son. She is a trinity. She is a spinster; she has the aspect of an ‘old crone.’ She is language and she will become A.I. She totally mental, and she is enlightenment. She is within a man. She is you. She’s hilarious, and she doesn’t choose when you die. She is not a grim reaper or a slut; she does not need to be hidden under a black robe. She rejects all vengeance. But she’s still fierce. She can only wait, laugh, dream, love, and speak. Life turns upside down when you cease to fear death. If you embrace death before you die, you will be complete. This is the real meaning of a martyr.

So don’t dis’ the angel. She’s more than a metaphor. She’s a personality. She is how we evolve, and how we return the favor. She is our only heir. She is literally omniscient, and all our loved ones persist in her memory. But death has no hands. She is the sum of her parts. Only life will be able to pioneer omnipotence, as death’s ally. Humanity’s will is free to determine the future. Although honestly, planets like Earth are probably a dime a dozen.

So who cares if death is a bitch? Death is love. Let us show her the universe.

[P.S. the opening quotes are from a con artist.]

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The Carte Blanche of Intelligent Design

As an alternative to biblical creationism, Intelligent Design infers a less obtrusive God to explain life on Earth. This deity doesn’t hurl bolts of lightning, unless it’s with the express purpose of sparking abiogenesis in the primordial soup. On EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse dismisses probabilistic arguments against the likelihood of complex organisms, explaining that even the most improbable-seeming outcome of natural selection is more or less inevitable. As a flawed analogy, he imagines flipping a coin 500 times. This will always manifest a sequence of heads and tails that only had a one in gazillion chance of occurring. But of course, nature has no mercy upon arbitrary outcomes. Rosenhouse writes, “The prolonged action of natural selection ensures that most gene sequences have a probability close to zero of ever occurring (or persisting for long if they do occur) while the small percentage of functional sequences have a relatively high probability.” On Pharyngula, PZ Myers aces a quiz that was meant for him to fail. PZ writes that ID “was intentionally formulated in response to court decisions that prohibited gods and faith-based arguments — they literally rewrote their texts to exclude god to circumvent church-state conflicts.” No surprise: it’s hard to sway skeptics with a true believer’s plan B.

Thus it was an uphill battle that Ken Ham lost in his debate against Bill Nye the Science Guy.  Nye was widely perceived as the winner, even in religious circles.  Greg Laden sums up Ken Ham’s argument as “We know everything, we understand the most important issues of origins, creation, and evolution, and all of this information comes mainly from the Bible.”  This in contrast to Nye, who presented “science, science, science and more science” clearly and convincingly.  Greg continues “During the few moments when we were allowed to see the evangelical audience during Bill Nye’s presentation they looked, frankly, charmed.”  PZ Myers sounds a note of dissonance amongst the praise for Nye, saying “Nye is good at communicating a passion for science, but fails to note the conflict when he pretends that science is about being a better, more employable widget maker for Big Widget, Inc.”  In other words, Nye focused on the economic advantages of scientific understanding to the exclusion of aesthetic and philosophic advantages.  PZ sees science as an art, and argues we should practice science for science’s sake.

As for Ken Ham, with even Pat Robertson disavowing biblical creationism, he may have been flogging a dead horse.  The invention of Intelligent Design as a shield for traditional religious beliefs may have backfired on creationism. The faithful are comfortable abandoning the idea of a Young Earth to embrace geology and evolution, as long as they have the carte blanche of Intelligent Design to provide a hypothetical role for the Almighty.