13 Aug Death, Taxes and Architecture
You are going to die. It’s a fact.
Just for a moment let that fact wash over you. Stop all your struggles and ambitions and just let it sink in.
You are going to die.
It is in moments like these when we are confronted with our mortality that we can truly live. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to live like that all the time?
We don’t talk about death, we don’t want to face death and we somehow always find a quick way to steer the conversation in another direction. It makes us uncomfortable.
“Lets rather talk about something positive” or “let’s not dwell on the negative” are two very standard responses to this conversation.
I can think of nothing more positive than talking about death. Without us realising, we spend our whole life learning how to die.
The topic takes you out of your head and makes life real, it is as if confronting this topic you become alive. While the thoughts linger in your frontal cortex things will smell and taste better and you will enjoy the hug your wife gives you thousand times more, everything just comes alive.
Talking about this inevitable fact also puts into perspective all sorts of other things like the longevity of things like architecture, ambitions, and what is important in life. This inevitably has a huge influence on how we treat the planet and the people around us. Our perception of our surroundings, of space and people, changes completely as it should and, we might just for a moment think before we act…or consume.
We have unlearned how to think for ourselves. Instead, we have learned to superficially float over reality, indoctrinated by media and social correctness. Unable to dive deep and stand our ground, living our values boldly. Isn’t it time for those able to think to start thinking again? But maybe this is a topic for another blog.
Getting back to living real and now.
Here are 5 reasons why thinking about death will make your life better:
No human being said it better than Carl Sagan when commenting on this thought-provoking picture taken by Voyager 1 in 1990, which inspired his book “Pale Blue Dot”.
So now that I have your attention let’s talk about death, taxes, and architecture.
I was born to be an architect. My earliest memories are of watching my grandfather (also an architect at heart) bringing dreams and sketches to life. It instilled a passion in me that keeps on growing and maturing.
For me, Africa is a place of great creativity with a rich heritage of cultural variety. I draw on these influences of my childhood in rural South Africa when engaging in any new project.
I also am an enthusiastic amateur archeologist where I have learned something about time. Time tends to warp our brains, when we are confronted with the concept of a million years our brains simply do not have the ability to fathom that space. This statement is very important for where I am going with this blog.
Every 100 years or so our planet, with the help of Mother Nature presses the Control Alt and Delete button simultaneously and then chooses what programs to stop.
Let’s look at the “latest” 20 examples
- Prehistoric epidemic: Circa 3000 B.C.
- Plague of Athens: 430 B.C.
- Antonine Plague: A.D. 165-180
- Plague of Cyprian: A.D. 250-271
- Plague of Justinian: A.D. 541-542
- The Black Death: 1346-1353
- Cocoliztli Epidemic: 1545-1548
- American Plagues: 16th century
- Great Plague of London: 1665-1666
- Great Plague of Marseille: 1720-1723
- Russian Plague: 1770-1772
- Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic: 1793
- Flu Pandemic: 1889-1890
- American Polio Epidemic: 1916
- Spanish Flu: 1918-1920
- Asian Flu: 1957-1958
- AIDS Pandemic and Epidemic: 1981-present day
- H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic: 2009-2010
- West African Ebola Epidemic: 2014-2016
- Zika Virus Epidemic: 2015-present day
There is a certain rhythm to this history and, I would expect nothing less of Mother Nature than to have a rhythm. Did you notice that the occurrences are speeding up? We of course know the reasons for this. As the balance becomes unhinged, Mother Nature pushes back to restore the balance, it is in her nature.
Every human generation will be faced with some sort of attempt by nature to balance things out. Sometimes its “natural disasters“
And sometimes it’s in the form of a pandemic.
I am drawn to pure wisdom like a moth to a flame and, it is as if this message from Mother Nature is coming from all directions at the moment.
The wise man Ginadiy had the following to say in an interview with George Thomson “Slow travel in an age of speed“
“It doesn’t matter if we rush… there will never be enough time to do everything…our politicians need to rethink their actions…they are the ones pushing us to live lives like ants in a nest.” “There would be much more goodness in this world if people lived like the old times, people destroy the forests and they pollute without thinking about it…now nature has started to fight back…it got tired of this destruction…. even animals are taking back their spots…..you can’t blame them, they are smart…they lived in this place before and will keep coming back…we are made of nature…without it we are nothing….if we keep living this way nature will take over….”
We hold on to life as if it is unnatural to die.
We think the things we create will last forever. We all have “long term plans”. We all think we are so special, we think we have figured out life and we all think we are right and we all spend so much energy on trying to convince the world of our own opinions that we miss the whole journey! Just focus and you will realise the brief moment you will be here.
Our current architecture and so-called “civilization” were built on top of a dinosaur oozing with fossil fuels but still we continue. We read articles on “green architecture” and feel so much better about ourselves for trying. But, we do not commit. Committing is way to uncomfortable, because we are so used to consuming.
Our perception of what is “green” or friendly to nature is wrong because we bent the statement to suit our selfish needs. What we believe to be “green” really isn’t, it just suits our opinions.
IN SHORT: Architecture and our current way of living must die for the planet to live or mother nature will take over.
Ps…as for taxes ….