Can we cheat Death?

DEATH 10 Comments »


Death personified in Ingmar Berman's Seventh Seal

Death personified in Ingmar Berman's Seventh Seal

I’ve been away from blogging the past couple of weeks.  My mom has been diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, liver and lung.  So I‘ve not been in a blogging mood lately.   I wrote about how my mum survived colon cancer 12 years ago, with the aid of serious vegetable juicing.  Back then she was given 6 months to live, but survived against all odds.  Recently she had her annual scan and was free of any sign of cancer.  Now it suddenly emerged form nowhere.  I find it grimly ironic and sad that after I blogged about how my mother survived cancer, it returned.

I have a friend who is a certified Pentecostal minister and another friend who is a pagan active in his local pagan community.  Both had prayers/healing rituals sent towards my mum.  I think Pentecostals and Pagans are both magical people in their own unique way.  Thank you Lettrice and Jamie.

Is it possible to cheat death?  Do we all have a time to die, set in stone, and nothing we can do will avoid it?  Do we have a date stamp on our lives, with an expiration date?

I wrote about a dear friend of mine who died of cancer.  How I hate cancer!  During an operation he nearly died and  he had an out-of-body, near-death experience.  At the end of this experience, a Voice told him “You have to go back, it is not your time yet.”  He survived for three more years before his cancer returned and took him down.  Back then we’d talk about his experience, and what was meant by “It’s not your time yet.”  This suggests we all have our time to perish and nothing we do will avoid it.

However, is it still possible to cheat death?

Can destiny and free will coexist?  Maybe our lives are like a movie.  Our past, present and future already co-exist.  Just like watching a movie, we live in the present.  But like a movie, there is a conclusion that we have not reached yet.  How else to explain phenomena like premonitions…glimpses of a few frames ahead?

I say we can cheat death, if only temporarily.  Our choices in the present create our future.  If our lives are like frames in a movie, then we are, to some extent, the director of our lives.  If we have a set time to die, we don’t have only one expiration date, but many possible dates depending on our choices in life.  Like a loaf of bread in the grocery store, we can pick the loaf with a later expiration date if we take the time to read the labels.  We can choose to live an unhealthy or risky lifestyle that will put us on one life track with its own expiration date.  Or we can live a life of good habits changing our personal expiration.  This is all obvious.

However, there is always the possibility of random chance emerging.  The chaos of life.  A disaster, a car crash, an accident, an unexpected illnes, something that has nothing to do with our personal choices outside of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  If lifestyle choices can cheat death to some extent, can we also cheat the Grim Reaper when it comes chance and luck?

I’d suggest this might also be possible, if we develop and listen to our intuition.  If life is a movie, we might change the ending if we have a glimpse of the outcome.  I think this happens far more often then anybody realizes.  Everyday someone senses something is amiss, and acts differently.  Don’t go there, don’t do that.  Avoid being at the wrong place at the wrong time.  And some people seem to gravitate to being at the wrong place and time like a magnet, attracting endless trouble into their life.  Do we want to go down that dark alley?  It can often be a fatal choice.  My family seemed to cheat death in 1967.

If we listen to our instincts, and sharpen our intuition, maybe we can cheat death (and other misfortune) for a time.

When it comes to cancer, can we still cheat death?  It reminds me of the classic Ingmar Berman film, the ‘Seventh Seal’, where a knight is playing a chess game with the personification of Death.  If the knight loses the game, Death claims him.  The film suggests we have some control over our life’s chessboard, if only for a short time and as far as it goes.   We all lose in the end; the point is to keep playing the game.  We have to be a fighter and not be passive when the Reaper is knocking on our door. 

In the end, we do all have our day, sooner or later.  Death is a part of life; we can hope it is later and painless.  I just hope my mom will be ok.  I love my mom.