The Ego's Desire for Deathlessness
I just watched a movie on Netflix called HOPE FROZEN, about a family in Thailand whose two year-old daughter died of brain cancer, and they have her cryogenically preserved. It makes a powerful statement about science vs. spirituality, family dynamics and complicated grief. I had a very strong emotional (and socio-political) reaction to it.
At the beginning of the film, the narrator refers to death as “a problem,” and later in the film, the little girl’s father suggests that even if she is revived many decades from now, her parents may not have aged, because “science may have solved the aging problem by then.”
I have nothing against science, but the perception of aging and death as “problems” disturbs me greatly. So does the concept of "deathlessness," which the father proposes in the film. He is a scientist enamored with cryogenics. He also admits that he cannot accept the idea of his daughter’s death.
At one point the family (which is Buddhist) becomes famous because this child is the youngest person to ever be frozen. The father is interviewed on news programs throughout Asia, and many of the interviewers criticize him for trapping her soul and stopping it from moving forward in its journey (from a Buddhist perspective). There is also a science-minded older son who is tasked with the caretaking of his frozen sister… after he becomes initiated as a Buddhist monk so he can look after her soul.
I believe the fundamental difference in our country today is found in the premise of the movie, faith in God and acceptance that we are souls in imperfect human form vs a purely material atheistic world view. Those with faith acknowledge free will and freedom as a means to reaching human potential AND faith in God connects them to their soul and knowledge of eternal life, often leading to moral choices and respect for others to make their own way. Athists or humanists (who were Christian originally which led to freedom in USA) or marxists, seek power and social engineering to create a “better world” all based on a fear of death and a lack of trust in fellow humans to do good.
I’m so glad to read your comments. While I have not seen this film, the fear and rejection of death is an issue I consider all the time. So many of us know that humans on earth are only a small part of the universe, and our beliefs about a rich and complex afterlife, as detailed by the millions of NDE reports, is such a beautiful part of life. That some humans reject this most interesting and mysterious part of life is so troubling, and yet still somewhat understandable. But this is where I keep questioning: why do so very many hate and fear death, when many others are fully able to accept it and even welcome it? Not wanting to be judgmental, but why, truly why, is death hated so very much? Is this pure evolution, pure biology? Or something more? The ego, so powerfully controlling us throughout the life cycle, simply is not capable of allowing for its own demise? I wish I could hear wise folks talk deeply about this weird hatred of death, but I have not been able to find such a resource.
Toni Dore says
I agree that people ‘fear” death and even though ‘hate’ is such a strong word, I feel most folks fear it because they don’t know much about it and don’t (won’t) take the time to understand it. So many folks I know get so caught up in their present life with their material things, that we lose sight of how temporary it all is.
Beth Miller says
My name is Beth, and I constantly go back and forth about whether there is life after death, especially since my 22 year old daughter died so needlessly. I am terrified of death and have been my whole life. Even as a child, as far back as I can remember, I was afraid of dying and thought about it a lot. I am going to be 62 in 12 days and want more than anything to believe that I will see my daughter and parents again. I understand we have to die, but the idea of no longer having an existence, especially when it comes to how hard I have worked towards my goals, horrifies me. I am not a fan of frozen. There simply is not enough known about it, kinda like death…? I don’t have Netflix, nor do I have time to watch movies. I work two jobs, and am studying to take the last state exam so that I can do my student teaching, graduate, and become a teacher in Special Education. I’m babbling, just want more answers than I will probably ever get.
Anderson Andrews says
People really need to stop worrying so much about death. It’s organic and natural…we do not need to create artificial means to extend our lives. Yes, science will continue to discover ways to live longer, but by the same token, nature will continue to come up with ways to decrease the population until we find more room for humanity to thrive. Instead of all the worry, we need to learn to embrace dying as the most important part of our life, and to have a meaningful death experience. Please read … New Book of the Dead, Transformation for the Afterlife, by Anderson Andrews … http://www.newbookofthedead.com
Toni Dore says
I love this comment and your thinking!!
First, I did watch the show up to the “frozen” part and struggled to understand the parents thinking for doing so. Second, I am a Spiritualist, struggling to understand the purpose of freezing the”body” since the “body” has died and it is my belief that when the body dies the soul returns home to God and lives on. When and if this child is cured of her illness and brought back to life, I can’t imagine whose soul will be given to the child since her own has moved on and perhaps even been born again in a new life. I also imagine the many questions that will come as a result of being frozen in time like, what happens to the memories, what will life be like waking from the memory of motor cars to flying saucers and on and on and on.
Toni Dore says