I caught myself off guard when I asked myself – „why fight to get off death row when death is inevitable? “ That was a difficult question simply for the thought process it inacted.
Death – such a controversial subject for the human. In our world today we’ve become so attached to it and the material pleasures it brings that the mere thought of death causes ones to feel as if their being robbed of something. Should this be a natural or unnatural feeling?
Death row has become a boxing match with death, we’re face to face, literally in an enclosed ring (ie-cell), battling our way with this “adversary.” But should this process be more like shadow boxing where this “other half” should infact be conditioning us for the journey up ahead ?
I’ve analyzed my own self in the face of this and have come to the realization that the answer to this enigma of facing death will have a different outcome for every individual, but perhaps we can venture into my own realm of facing the valley and shadows of death and emerge with answers of peace, understanding and assurance.
We can look to 3 things to enlighten us about death
1) ancient civilization
Two ancient civilizations come to mind, both being firmly rooted on the earth before religion or technology as we know it today and both viewed death in similar ways: The inhabitants of Egypt and the Native tribes people of the West (what’s known as North and South America). Both of these cultures embraced death in a very arcane way. First of all, death was only viewed as a transition and because these people knew the essence of life they embraced it wholeheartedly and even prepared lavish tombs and had beautiful ceremonies for the departure. Did these people possess a knowledge that we have failed to grasp hold to? When we specifically view these 2 cultures we find that the similarities of their esoteric behaviors didn’t cease with death rituals, but they both were masters of medicine, mapped the stars in science and with structures (namely pyramids) and their structures were so captivating and flawless that man today still cannot phantom their creation at the time they were built. So apparently there was an arcane knowledge of unbelievable measure that we’ve truly became very separated from.
Most religions have confirmed to us that we must live our lives today in an righteous way so that we will find peace and life in the hereafter. While many religions may vary on what that after life is, man is settled strongly on the fact that there is something.
Before religions became firmly established with their modern day names and beliefs we had many prophets walking this earth that exemplified the same characteristics. We find in these prophets the most sublime of spiritual advancement. From Abraham to Moses, to Jesus, to Muhammad we find that they weren’t attached to the world. They saw themselves as servants, they interacted with the sick and poor and put their lives in the line for God. All taught to seek knowledge over wealth and that this world will perish. This was a divine knowledge and man has lost touch with this supreme understanding.
Lastly, science in its simplest terms teaches us that our bodies are made up of undetectable particles. It is only one particle in the universe that can be found in All forms of matter (whether solid, liquid or gas) and that is the Atom (of course Atoms consist of sub –atomic particles: protons, electrons, and neutrons. At the nuclei of the Atom resides the protons and neutrons and outside of the nuclei revolving around them are the electrons). This tells us that we have energy particles in us that are non-destructible. If I was to tell you right now – close your eyes and think of a flower, the ocean or the color green – you could. But how? Your eyes are closed. It’s undeniable that we have a force deep within us. A brain is only tissue, thus it must be composed of greater elements that allows this phenomenal brain power. Could we reason with this by saying the creator has composed this “inner–self” (perhaps in other words – spirit) with an intricate design of Atoms that creates our mind and intelligence? It seems logical and being that the Atom is in all things and indestructible that would basically make it infinite, and if the Atom is infinite and it makes up our true self wouldn’t that make our composition eternal? It seems scientifically so and this should cause us to think greatly about our lives and how we feed this energy within us.
Viewing the analysis, even in brief, of these 3 things should have our minds open to something very deep. On death row it has not been a choice to if we could avoid this lesson. Here, it stares us face to face and challenges us to question it, seek to understand it and should I say …befriend it.
So the question remains, “why fight death if its inevitable!?!” I’ve come to voice that it’s easy for a man to die yet very hard to live. No matter how ones situation on death row is argued the conclusion is still the same: Life is precious. Why? Because the creator has taken a special time for all his creation and could anything He made be without purpose?! We find that practically all living organisms serves a purpose, even if only part of the food chain, and as man has been given reign over the earth would not his purpose be magnified 100 times more!?!
Death Row has been the rose among the thorns – even among the harshness beauty had bloomed. Through this struggle we’ve had to break ourselves down: the ego, immaturity, anger, ignorance and lack of spiritual nourishment. We’ve had to seek knowing our selves, then to love it so that we could allow others to love us. The love others have given us has been the water to our growth. It has encompassed us like a pool of warmth submerging us from head to toe. Through this breakdown process we have seen the value of man and realize that we still have worth and purpose.
Many here are discouraged by the affliction we face, but this is where we fail to see that it is absolutely necessary for life to unfold. Sometimes pain and hard times are not meant to be removed. You can’t second-guess God. Rather then praying for it (pain, hard times, etc.) to go away its often wiser to pray that you learn as much from it as you possibly can. For those of us here who have attained this understanding I feel safe in saying that it is not death that frustrates us but the enlightenment that we have achieved in knowing what role we should have been playing in society. Philosophers, teachers, counsellors and much more have been molded here and the reality that these lives may never be lived does act as a disappointment. It’s not in rejecting death but in rejecting this forced death. When ones mind floats to those here that have committed acts against humanity we must stand on the concept that forced death multiplied by forced death can only manifest destruction. We can’t lose grasp of the ability for man to change into a better being. When we think of how man has taken reign as judge, jury and God let us ask ourselves is man pure enough to take lives so easily and consciously. I feel like when a man can create life, and I don’t mean by intercourse or sampling DNA, I mean making DNA itself, making Atoms and Universes, maybe then he can have the power to take lives. All societies need discipline, rules and fair punishments for wrong, but murder in any form can’t be the solution to get peace or growth in life.
So the answer comes to: We must let life continue to feed life. Life should be allowed to take its natural course so that adverse effects do not spread from multiplied evil acts. If a man can learn to live and nourish life it would be abominable to cease that. So it’s not about being afraid of facing death, but embracing every bit of life.
As I sit here on death row for a crime I did not commit I ask why? Why me? Why should I fight? Then I think of all the strugglers and martyrs that carried on even in the face of unimaginable things. They knew they were serving a purpose and to lay down their lives as quitters would insult their entire being. It wasn’t until I read a very simple yet extraordinary saying by Minister Louis Farrakhan that truly gave me peace in my heart towards my difficult journey. It assured me of all my affords to live and strive having purpose.
“What we are experiencing now is the chronic disorder of the breaking down of a world that will give birth to the order of a new world. So this chaos is absolutely and vitally necessary to create the motion toward order. Out of death comes life, out of darkness came light, out of nothingness came everything so out of what seems to be only chaos comes order.”
This assured me (even in these universal terms) that all we’re doing is vital for what will come. I’m blessed that I have been able to reach people and share with them and all my friendships have bloomed like a great garden. We cannot fear death and also we cannot run and hide from life. Both are companions, both will call us and both will demand every ounce of our being. Lets learn to embrace in peace and understanding what is natural for us. This is why I fight and this is why I will continue to fight to have every breath I’m supposed to have because I know as long as I am alive I have a purpose to serve.