Death. It's a topic that has intrigued, concerned, and harassed mankind since, well, always. Some people fear it, some people taunt it, dance with it. For many the issue of death harangues them. What happens when we die? What happens next?
Religion and science have always sought to answer those questions. They try so we can put ourselves at ease. To calm our restlessness at the thought of the unknown.
Loricism, however, attempts to help us understand that death is an inevitability, and something we (for the most part) have no control over. Barring the actual act of taking our own lives, we cannot actually control the hour of our death. There are other things, we can control:
- what we choose to do with the time we are given
- we can attempt to enhance not only the quality of our lives, but the quantity (through taking care of ourselves)
- we can choose how we react to the knowledge of our own deaths
Until we know definitively otherwise, it is our responsibility to assume we only have one life to live and that there is nothing beyond it. That is our first priority as humans. We must be kind to one another and responsible with what we have been blessed with. Too often, when there is the promise of an afterlife, there is little incentive to take care of each other and the planet. There is also an actual incentive to hasten the process, especially if these eternal rewards come post-doomsday.
Loricism reasons that we should make the best of what we already know we have, that we should not squander it, and that we should be responsible with it. Seek your purpose, do things that bring you joy, and take care of each other. Leave the place better than you found it.
Working from the assumption that we only get one life, it is not unreasonable to want to prolong that gift. It only becomes unreasonable when the motivation for doing so is out of dread or desperation to avoid the inevitable.
Part of Loricism is the virtue of Vitality, which is embodied in the 4th Key of Ingenium: Take Care of the Master. This key is a reminder that we ought to be taking care of ourselves anyway, so it stands to reason that in doing so, it produces the natural side effect (either intentionally or otherwise) of attempted prolonging of life. Why do we say "attempted" when we talk of this? Because that's all you can do. You can't prolong your life with any degree of certainty, but you can attempt to do so. We don't know if the things we do are actually going to prolong our lives. We know that some things are shown to do so, and may things are shown to kill us faster. But that's it. It's impossible to say for sure, because we could be hit by a train tomorrow. We could still develop cancer. Etc. etc.
Something else to consider is the virtue of Justice. In Loricism, Justice refers to treating others fairly and with dignity. Part of this is not contributing to the suffering of others, inhibiting suffering, etc. It is not unreasonable, then, to want to be able to do more of this. There are many unselfish reasons to want to live longer, so it stands to reason that we might want to be able to help more people, or bring joy to more people (or whatever).
In conclusion: it is okay to want to live longer, but don't get preoccupied with it. Have no expectations.
Choosing Our Reactions
There's no escaping death, and there's no way to know for sure when it might come for us. One of the biggest principles of Loricism is avoiding self-induced stress and anxiety. Worry falls under this. Worrying about death isn't going to help anything. Ingenium 9.3 says,
Consider first in all situations what your own contributions are. Are you helping advance a solution or are you hindering it?
Think about that. Apply worrying about death to that. Does it help our lives or hinder? One could argue that by worrying about death, we are more cautious, and don't take as many risks that would increase our likelihood of seeing an early grave. While this is true, with prudence we can still be cautious, so worrying is an unnecessary component of that scenario. Prudence renders worrying for caution an obsolete concept.
Another thing to consider is that when you are dead, will you know you are dead? Before you were born, did you know you weren't born? Think back to before you were born. You can't do it. You weren't aware of it, and if you were you can't remember it anyways. After we die is the same as before we were born. You don't spend your life fussing over what things were like for you before you were born, so don't do it with regards to death. The key is to work toward accepting death with poise and dignity.
That's about all you can do really.