Friday, January 19, 2007

Living - Dying - Both - Why Not?

I was thinking about a biblical concept for quite some time, mainly because a self-professed atheist said it makes no sense (or lacked rational). I thought 'wait...I am a very rational person and do things to make lives better and I hold that belief' - so I decided to take a closer look at it. Just maybe I was wrong - I mean - who knows until they examine the ideal.

'Your living to die and dying to live'...this is a biblical ideal (what!). It's the whole 'losing your life to live' ideal taught by Jesus. This was taught to me as such a stupid belief that lacks any real sense - and I was like 'cha'. It makes all the sense in the world and dare I say it - we all live like this - it's just what do we focus (put perspective) upon.

I figure we are all living (for something) towards a goal based on our perspective of life. We know this is true because as we read this we can breath, take a drink, have a smoke, well - anything you want. But we are also all dying - day by day we lose one more day - it becomes the past and there is no 'turning back' from the inevitable (the day of our demise). The cup is half full and half empty - and this again - is perspective - and I am more a 'live-r' than a 'dyer' - but aren't we all?

But my point is this: we are living and dying for the same perspective we hold on our life. If someone says 'I live for this moment' - they also mean 'I'd die for this moment' - and some do. So...the way one lives is also the way one dies.

So it makes all the sense in the world for Jesus to ask us to give our lives for the cause - since we are going to do it anyways - for this cause, for that cause, or for no cause - our living and dying is part of that process (by our mere acceptance of the cause). So I live for Christ and I believe all these values from the teachings - or I 'live in them' - and I also 'die in them' - for my life is not removed from the process by the cause - actually the cause becomes a part of me.

So whether I live or die - I was doing what I believed and what my perspective was. Not to say all good people won't be shot or murdered - they might - but they lived for their cause - and they also died in that same cause. Not saying the good people won't die by old-age - they might - but either way they lived their cause and died for it too. Living life means you hold a perspective and whether you realize it or not - you're also dying for it (day by day passes and you hold the same view until finally the next day just stops coming).

Final point, consider the case of a murder - person murders a person - he in turn gets killed as an act of revenge - the person dies for what they believe (that the one person should die - so they sow something that comes back to them). It's the same for the good, the bad, and the ugly - we all have brains and perspectives and we all live in those ideals - and then we eventually pass away - but those ideals define our lives (and sometimes our deaths). So you are living to die for something - we all are - and that's the circle of life.


BrotherKen said...

"This was taught to me as such a stupid belief that lacks any real sense" (society)

In what way was this taught to you? It was taught to me in a way that makes perfect sense. The teaching is that we actually die two deaths. What?! Yes, here it is, take it or leave it.

We have a physical existence (one life) and a spiritual existence (another life). Our physical life and death are obvious. Life sucks and then you die. Our spiritual life and death are not so obvious. We are born and grow up with a spirit that is in conflict with the spirit of God. An internal battle eventually brings us (some of us) to the proper realization that our spirit is inferior and faulty. We die to that spirit.. repent and accept God as our Lord. We then live on in His spirit.. we died to live. And so it is written;

"Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." Rom 7:4-6

SocietyVs said...

Ken, I was talking with some hard-core atheists and they said this point of view doesn't make any rational sense - and to be honest - of you don't believe in a God then none of the above (which you wrote) would be of any use to them - since they likely deny a spirit - but they do not deny the body - so I came at it from that perspective - which to me makes a lot of sense. But I get you point also - and since I believe in God - your point makes sense to me. Not sure if I am total agreeance about the division of spirit and body (or how un-tied they are) but I in general agree with you.

the_burning_bush said...

I liked the post, SocietyVS. Every moment that passes is another moment we can never have back. The dred of death (a sympathetic opposition) challenges us to be real about who we are. Athiests like Sartre and Camus can grasp that. Or at least claim they do.

Rational reflection on death can lead an individual to choose, but it cannot tell him what to choose. Hence rationality often ends up in circles ... ('It would be good to marry ... but it would be good not to marry ... but it would be good to marry' ad infinitum).

So I agree with you that Jesus' command was (in the clarity of the death that awaits everyone) rational. On the other hand to then say, "This God who created the heavens and demands such seriousness in light of death ... He will bring the truly serious back to life again," would be to suggest something very mysterious and hard to understand.

But this is precisely the task of faith.

chris said...

This is a very good post! I actually read it a few days ago but didn't have time to comment. your take in dying to yourself is unique. I never looked at it that way, but I like your thoughts on this. I always viewed dying to yourself as putting others first as well as putting our selfish desires behind us. Either way, the outcome is the same.