Awakening in Nothingness

Submitted by on March 4, 2015 – 1:32 pm

Art by Barbara (Barney) MoravecThere is supposed to be awakening in the realization of our nothingness.

St. Augustine stated that it’s only in the face of death that man’s self is born.

Michel de Montaigne recommended that one’s writing studio should overlook a cemetery to sharpen one’s thinking.

To vanquish ego, attachment and fear of death, Buddhist monks meditate in charnel grounds among human bodies in varying stages of decomposition, from the freshly dead to bones.

Although in my youth I spent hours writing, picnicking and playing the drama queen in graveyards, it did not sharpen my thinking so much as presage a life that would be undermined by catastrophic thinking, terror management and an insistent hunger and existential ache.

The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between
the profusion of the earth and the galaxy of the stars, but that in this prison
we can fashion images of ourselves sufficiently powerful to deny our nothingness.

Andre Malraux

We are just an advanced breed of monkeys
on a minor planet of a very average star.
But we can understand the Universe.
That makes us something very special.

Stephen Hawking

And when from death I‘m free,
I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on.
And when from death I’m free,
I’ll sing on.

And when from death I’m free,
I’ll sing and joyful be,
And through eternity,
I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
And through eternity,
I’ll sing on.

American folk hymn, c. 1835

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About Martha Moravec

Martha M Moravec is the author of the memoir Magnificent Obesity: My Search for Wellness, Voice and Meaning in the Second Half of Life, (Hatherleigh Press/Random House). She is also the author of two novels: an epic historical fantasy, The Secret Name of God; and a sci-fi eco-fable for young adults, The Odd Body Vanity Squad. Before committing to prose, she wrote the book and lyrics for five original full-length musicals, all of which were successfully produced in southern Vermont and Boston. Martha blogs at Mad Genius Bohemians about the mysteries of the creative life and the persistence of one's dreams. She also blogs at Magnificent Obesity about the hazards posed by anxiety, addiction, aging and agnosticism to personal growth and transformation. She can usually be found at home in Vermont working on her next seven novels, four novellas, second memoir and a sweeping revision of the five musicals. She is currently seeking further publication opportunities, a hundred more years and God.

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