Download PDF Here
Live Encounters Magazine April 2023
Flight out of Time In a Dark Age by Mark Ulyseas.
The cock crows thrice. He awakens in the moonlit room staring at the fan. Power cut. Sweat trickles down his neck onto the pillow. Opening the front door he walks out into the night and sits on the wall. These are the days of recompense. And the nights intermission between truth and lies. A snake weaves its way across the grass momentarily raising its head as it passes and then disappears into the shadows followed by the call of a nightjar.
He searches in his pocket for the phial, breaks it and empties the contents into his mouth. Senses careen between the shadows and lunarscape as he lies down on the wall watching the sky and dreaming of eternity.
On a full moon night no one sees the stars.
– Excerpt from Rainy, My friend & Philosopher by Mark Ulyseas
Suicide, some say, is the best recourse to exit this life that continues to inhale excess and exhale hatred and violence. There is much talk about beauty and love. These two pretenders continue to seduce us with the notion that life is beautiful. But is it? Is there love and beauty on this physical plane or are these just swirling hazes of delusions.
But why focus on humanity when Nature is, perhaps, the most unforgiving and violent of them all. The beauty is visual, the violence is all pervasive. There is no sanctity of life. It is one global bloodbath amongst humans, animals, insects, birds etc. Some call this the Circle of Life.
“Everything that needs to be said has already been said.
But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” – Andre Gide.
Repetition is perhaps a reminder that life has become a drudgery for many of us who see through the haze of delusions. We reluctantly accept the futility of daily life yet surprise ourselves with Hope – the dreamscape that continues to flow like a perennial spring.
The flight of time is nothing more than the pageantry of sunrises, sunsets, moon rises, moon sets and changing of seasons, each dressing and undressing to seduce the voyeurism latent in our senses.
“The flight of time maddened me. The necessity of choice was always intolerable; choosing seemed to me not so much selecting as rejecting what I didn’t select. I realized with horror how restricted were the passing hours and that time has only one dimension – a line, whereas I wanted it deep and wide; as my desires hurried impatiently along it.” – Andre Gide, Fruits of the Earth.
We can escape the flight of time by committing suicide. But is this really suicide or the culling of the soul by euthanasia? The taking of one’s life perhaps out of desperation, out of boredom or to spite someone?
There are instances when an animal is euthanised to put it out of extreme suffering. Why can’t we do the same without having to seek legal approval to commit suicide or to be euthanised? Do we need to suffer to gain brownie points in the After Life or do we refrain from suicide out of fear of retribution from our Creator or the insurance policy that does not cover suicide?
If we commit suicide are we then dispatched to the fires of hell, a great conflagration that tortures souls with an evil being overseeing our eternal misery? Is it this threat that keeps most of us from committing suicide?
An estimated 703,000 people a year take their life around the world. For every suicide, there are likely 20 other people making a suicide attempt and many more have serious thoughts of suicide. – https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-suicide-prevention-day/
One has never really understood this against the backdrop of unending murderous wars and genocide. Perhaps to die with honour – seppuku – is the way to go.
Suicide is condemned by many religions including Hinduism, which refers to suicide as ‘atmahatya’ (soul-murder). It warns against committing suicide for in its wake comes karmic laws that prevent the soul from being liberated. But does this apply to the altruist actions of Buddhist monks who set themselves on fire in protest against injustice?
What is the difference between killing people in a war and taking one’s own life? Perhaps one should go into war unarmed to get oneself killed to avoid eternal damnation? Or to stand in the middle of a busy highway? Or to walk off a tall building.
The refrain often heard is that Life is sacred. But Nature doesn’t think so. So why do the righteous express indignation at those who seek abortions? Rabbits abort their foetuses for various reasons and some monkeys abort their foetuses when new males arrive in the troop. These are just some examples of the sanctity of Nature. Survival of the fittest, the rest can dispose of themselves by any which way.
The perceived sacredness of the physical world exists only in the mental framework of a human being conditioned by cultural and religious traditions.
To live is really a choice for there are many options including – prancing to the tune of carpe diem, existing as a victim to the circle of life like a rat trapped in an exercise wheel or walking into an oncoming train on a whim. Either way its Omnia Mors Aequat*.
Life is only sacred if it is lived to serve others less fortunate at the peril of one’s own life. The act of selflessness becomes the flight out of time and perhaps out of darkness, forever.
*Death equalises all. Ref: The Rape of Proserpine by Claudian, late C4th CE.
© Mark Ulyseas
Mark Ulyseas has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photographer. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. It is a not for profit (adfree) free online magazine featuring leading academics, writers, poets, activists of all hues etc. from around the world.
March 2016 saw the launch of its sister publication Live Encounters Poetry, which was relaunched as Live Encounters Poetry & Writing in March 2017. In February 2019 the third publication was launched, LE Children Poetry & Writing (now renamed Live Encounters Young Poets & Writers). In August 2020 the fourth publication, Live Encounters Books, was launched. He has edited, designed and produced all of Live Encounters’ 265 publications (till April 2023).
Mark’s philosophy is that knowledge must be free and shared freely to empower all towards enlightenment. He is the author of three books: RAINY – My friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives and In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey. https://liveencounters.net/mark-ulyseas-publisher-editor-of-live-encounters-magazines/ https://www.amazon.com/Mark-Ulyseas/e/B01FUUQVBG