Quit being so creepy
By Joshua Bagby
Do you believe that death is creepy?
If so, have you ever asked yourself why that might be?
Our cultural training teaches the mass majority how to respond to stimuli for the most part automatically and instantaneously. We often learn how to react to things by imitating others, which is to say conforming to others. To go against the grain of this conformity training is in itself a small act of creative rebellion.
Few media depictions of death and what may occur afterwards show it in aesthetically pleasing, uplifting ways. They tend to use stereotypes and clichés borrowed from horror films and religious-based stories of hell. If they don’t use the scary story approach, they may go the way of tragedy, sadness, and loss where death is depicted as the ultimate defeat, failure, and end of anything worthwhile.
The creators of these shows employ eerie, creepy, and chilling aesthetics to lure viewers into the zone. This would include both audio and visual effects. It also includes verbiage that highlights the idea that we should be afraid—be very afraid—of dying.
If you haven’t spent much time pouring over near-death experience, mediumship, and other afterlife research literature or videos, you probably haven’t been exposed much to the alternative view that death begins a new adventure. Your thinking apparatus is clouded by all the imagery of skulls, ghosts, spooky cemeteries, and screams in the night.
Many people expect the paranormal to be spooky, and producers of content deliver on those expectations. To the contrary, afterlife research frequently uncovers cases where the paranormal is close to the ecstatic, a far cry from creepy and weepy.
In so many places and in case after case, the message from the great beyond is that death—surprise!—was a piece of cake, nothing scary about it. While the dying process leading up to crossing over may have included pain and suffering, such as in a long, slow illness that finally kills, the actual crossing was easy peasy, more slip and slide than teeth-gritting torment.
Even though we experience creep-out media with our eyes open, we may not be conscious of the cumulative effect of ingesting all the fear-mongering, much of it subliminal. If we don’t watch or read information that counters the freak factor, we’ll likely simmer in the fear.
Said another way, if we grew up in a world where death was presented as natural, normal, and even desirable at the right time and place, would we share such fear and sadness about it? It seems that the people most comfortable with death are those whose personal experiences led them to a far different conclusion than we die and that’s it.
WHAT DREAMS MAY DUMB US DOWN
Ironically, those who are most interested in learning about death are either facing it themselves or have just lost someone precious to them. They are suddenly motivated to look beyond cultural clichés. They seek reassurance that death is not a black hole; that they (and their loved ones) will transform, not terminate.
Ravenous for information, they search for answers with a passion. They often discover good news. Some of that good news is well-researched. Unfortunately, some of it may turn out to be highly inaccurate if not downright fraudulent. Wolves in sheep’s clothing abound.
The mass media culture may not build a psychological remodel on death since commercial interests are invested in keeping their markets thriving just as they are. They may not want to deal with the changes that would occur if humanity ever saw death as a positive, even happy event. As it stands, mostly people with first-hand spiritually transformative experiences remodel their belief structures. To them, death isn’t scary or sad, even if they deeply miss those who shed their bodies.
Many people have been conditioned to be instantly spooked by symbolism of death. People flock to ghost hunter shows in which the aesthetic is reality TV for horror’s sake. Creepy music, intensified suspense, anticipated gotcha ghost scenes. Even some near-death-and-survival stories on commercial TV play on the scare factor. They often do this to keep viewers viewing, but it is also subliminally teaching those viewers that this stuff is scary.
CONSIDER THE ALTERNATIVE
Consider the possibility that death could lead to fun, peace, and greater fulfillment. If this were a more commonly accepted version of the death story, the aesthetics used in presenting stories of death would likely look much different. It might look more like a great time.
Look at a movie such as Defending Your Life. Although intended as a romantic comedy, it nonetheless portrays death as a gateway to another realm of existence. It’s not creepy or weepy. It’s full of promise and ultimate joy.
Initially many people might be suspicious of the SoulPhone due to all the horror and doomsday media they have consumed in their lifetime. However after informing themselves more, they might come to learn that this technology offers hope and happiness. Boo and boo-hoo might become woo-hoo.
Joshua Bagby is a visionary writer currently residing in Oregon. He applies afterlife research to fiction and nonfiction to envision a better life for all humanity.
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