Human Development

Radical contingency

This state occurs when a human being experiences the mystery of death as the final reality of every life. Today's world is alive with images that communicate this reality. Just a few include: the nuclear threat; the daily news of famine, airline hi-jacking, civil wars, terrorist bombings; and advanced medical techniques that sometimes work and sometimes don't. Whatever occasions this state, everyone has those moments in which his own death becomes a reality to him.
A dimension of this experience is a sense of awe, that is fear and fascination, accompanied by a unique emotional tone. One experiences the shock and fear of realizing that death is the absolute, irreversible finality; the fear of not knowing how, when or where it will occur, just that it will. This is accompanied by a kind of amazement that one is, in that moment, still alive - that it is not me this time. This is the fascination which compels one to watch death occur at the same moment as one is tingling with one's own liveliness. During such a moment, one decides on present awareness of one's death; and more than that, to carry on living in and through such a moment. The residue of these events is a sense of not wanting to forget the reality of death that has been experienced, at the same time as a deeper appreciation for life, alive in a new way to the possibilities and options open to one.
This state is number 1 in the ICA [Other World in the midst of this World].<
Aweful encounter