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Death to Death! [I Won’t Go Gentle Into That Good Night!]

Street signsIn the past 3 weeks I had 3 deaths in the family: First, my aunt died suddenly from pancreatic cancer. Then my dad had a burst brain clot. And a few hours ago my grandmother had a stroke. All in all, I haven’t had so much death since my mother passed away when I was 14…

Unfortunately death is not an experience unique only to me. Each and every day 155,000 people die. [That’s almost 2 people per second] Since the beginning of time many billions of people have died on Earth. And so it should be no surprise that we have learned to cope with it. To rationalize and accept, even embrace it: “Death is natural.” “Death is inevitable.” Some dare call it even “necessary.”

But go tell that to a 14-year-old who just lost his 38-year-old mom to cancer. Or a mother who has just lost her baby. Why not try a husband mourning the love of his life. [Even if it is after 50 years of marriage]. Go ahead – rationalize! Bullshit all you want. Tell me to be reasonable; to embrace what I can’t stop.

But I refuse!

I will not be reasonable. Or quiet. Or accepting. Or gentle. I will not embrace the biggest scourge humanity has ever had!


And that’s the least that I can do. That’s the least that you can do too. To wake us up. To stir the imagination. To begin the fight. And to make us believe that we can do this. For us. For them. Forever!

One day humanity will write Death’s obituary. One day we will put to death the first, the last, the ultimate killer – Death herself. One day we will proclaim the death of Death!

And maybe I will not be there to see it. Maybe I would have lost that battle myself. But it doesn’t really matter. Humanity will win the war! And my rage would carry on to that day. My rage would be a part of it. [And so can yours]

As Dylan Thomas said:

“Do not go gentle into that good night, […] Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

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  • Joseph Palermo

    Sorry for your losses Nikola, and thanks so much for your words.

  • Gear Mentation

    Sorry for your losses 🙁 Keep raging!

  • Agah Bahari

    Very sorry for your loss, Nikola. There’s a line from Darren Aronofsky’s The fountain which I always remember: “Death is a disease. It’s like any other, and there’s a cure. A cure, and I will find it.” Best to you, stay strong.

  • Fabian Schaper

    We fight together…best regards from Berlin my good bulgarian/canadian fellow !

    We really have to meet when you are in Europe or Bulgaria…One of my closest friends is also Bulgarian from Gabrovo…she actually studied Computer Science…maybe we can enhance us

    All the Best…and always look up and fight…

  • Jonathan Jarvis

    Your namesake Socrates accepted his death with equanimity.

  • Robbie Oh

    At first you may rage. But what can you do? Then you may blame. But who is responsible? Doubt at your own demise may gnaw at you. Only when you rise above pessimism and be hopeful, optimistic, and passionate will an answer come. Not deathist rationalization but an answer all are waiting for.

  • Jonathan Jarvis

    Nikola, your namesake Socrates, for one, is remembered for accepting his death with equanimity. Without death, the reaper of natural selection, evolution would not work. We would not be here to rage against it or understand it.

  • Craig DeMartini

    When I lost my father, I realized how much I despised death. Since then I have faced my own death and I considered it a dress-rehersal.. Although I may die, I do not fear death. It may claim my life, but it has no psychological power over me. When the time comes I want to bravely look into it’s eyes.
    My hope is that when mankind finally discovers how to defeat death perhaps we will gain admittance into an exclusive club – a cosmic circle of eternal beings.
    Then again, how do we know that death does not permit a kind of transcendence into a realm that is much more significant than we currently occupy, and that by extending our lives and looking for immortality we are simply delaying our “promotion,”postponing our advancement into a form that we would significantly prefer.

  • Volkmar Golembusch

    Very sorry for your losses, Nikola. My condolences.

  • Steve Morris

    My condolences. Your father, aunt and grandmother would surely be proud that this website, by promoting visionary ideas, is playing a part in pushing back the curse of Death.

  • Jacob Top Møller

    I am so sorry for your loss Nikola 🙁

  • Zoltan Istvan

    I’m sorry about your losses, Nikola. I’m wishing you strength.

  • Patricia Tarabotto Eguiguren

    im so sorry for your losses

  • covertbabo

    This is god’s punishment for blocking me on YouTube.

  • Tom Mooney

    I always liked the poetry of Dylan Thomas!!!!

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  • Chad Lawson

    That’s quite a nasty and insensitive thing to say to someone after 3 members of their family just died. Why did he block you anyway? He hasn’t blocked me and I have posted several critical comments on his youtube videos. I can only assume that you were either “trolling” or being blatantly disrespectful without adding anything useful or constructive to the conversation. If that is the case then I think that he was justified in blocking you.

  • Chad Lawson

    Nikola, this is one of the most poignant articles about death that I have ever read. I feel sad, angry, and cautiously optimistic at the same time. Thank you for this and I am sorry for your loss and the losses of everyone who has or ever will lose someone that they care about to the horrible scourge that is “death.”

  • Thank you Fabian, my best friend from high-school has been living in Germany for almost 20 years and recently became a German citizen 😉

  • So, what is “the answer”?!

  • You are expressing a popular sentiment Jonathan but let me try to address it:

    1. Socrates did accept his own death most honorably. However, his students did not feel the same way… This is not about my own death but about the death of people I love and care about a lot. Each of those 3 cases was unexpected and sudden. Bunching them all together within a rather short period was an emotional hit of substantial proportions…

    2. On a somewhat separate note – Socrates is one of my all time favorites but that doesn’t mean that I idealize him and want to follow his example word by word. [If I were to do that I would be no Socrates at all.]

    I believe that we have learned a lot since his time. For example, Socrates argued against writing because he believed that it is a very bad thing because it will ruin the ancient oral tradition and will only make us stupider…

    Now, I think by now we ought to agree that writing was a good thing overall ;-)….

    3. Death as the reaper of natural selection is a popular idea but natural selection may be coming to an end. And yes, evolution will still totally work even without death. Just look at the technological world – machines do not die but constantly evolve. Moreover, the evolution is accelerating. Smart thinking machines will not stop evolving too. As long as there is knowledge gained there will be evolution. Just a different one from what you call “natural selection and natural evolution – an evolution without death. But it will still evolution never-the-less…

  • Thank you all, your words of kindness mean a lot to me!

  • Thank you very much friends, your words of kindness mean a lot to me!

  • thefermiparadox

    Death is just a stepping stone in evolution as Jason Silva so eluoqently expresses. Evolution and natural selection are ingrained in the fabric of reality so they will always work with or without death. From simplicity to complexity. We will eventually control evolution and selection pressures.
    We do NOT owe anything to the brutal darwinian processes that made it possible for us to exist.
    It brought intelligence into the universe but it also brought pain and suffering to us and all other nonhuman animals.
    -Shots of Awe- Mortality-

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