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The Illusion of Immortality and the Deception of Hope.

Just before 100 years people deeply understood the fragility of life and the immortality of the human body. Living in 19 the century and any time before that, you could be a normal guy walking around but if you fell sick, you'd collapse and die within days or even hours. Death and disease weren't an alien phenomenon to our ancestors. Living in villages and dwellings they witnessed deaths across all age groups, almost every day. A person who seemed healthy would catch an infection and die in no time.

The millennia of experience ingrained in people, a great awareness of life and death.

Death and sickness were just a part of life.

People never saw diseases as unexpected occurrences. Anybody could get sick and die. The lack of availability of emergency surgical interventions and modern medicine took away any leverage from people. Nobody had false hope regarding health and cure. At most, they would take their sick relatives to shrines and temples and that was it. The realization that suffering is certain and inescapable was authentic to those people.

You'd observe clear patterns if you read novels of the 20th century and before. The novels of old times speak about many things. The effects of colonization, innovations, mental turmoils and emotional rollercoasters, poverty, suffering, and death. But, you would also observe that none of those books speak about anxiety regarding health and cure. Writers have written about sickness and suffering but none of them were anxious about knowing what was wrong with them. Neither one of them was romantically obsessed with a complete cure. Although there were efforts to ward off diseases and suffering, they were still very real in their minds and hearts.

People accepted disease, suffering, and death as inevitable parts of life.

With the advent of research and modern medicines, the drift started. People suddenly got cured of acute sickness. Nobody would fall dead suddenly. The sense of inevitable mortality slowly started drifting away from the mind of people and a hope for a better life started.

But is the hope real? Has the suffering gone? Life, of course, has become longer. But, has it become better?

If you read modern novels, you won't find any writer pondering on the ideas of life, death, and suffering. The onus of discussion and ideas has shifted towards anxiety, fear, depression, and helplessness to overcome them.

Modern medicine, while doing all help to mankind, also has ingrained a false sense of hope inside our hearts.

We cling to the idea of completely escaping from mental, emotional, and physical suffering with the use of chemical pills. The idea that our ancestors realized; that suffering is the necessary step towards truth and realization, has gone away. There is a constant search for escapism. We constantly try to escape our suffering with pills in our hands.

Then how'd you say the quality of life has been better? Now, this argument could be highly polarising but what is your argument?

Certainly, sudden deaths and shocks are significantly reduced. But, we never addressed suffering. At least our ancestors accepted suffering and lived with it. We are in a constant loop of escapism.

Hundreds of tests on a constant search to find what is wrong with us and tens of medicines to cure the issue. Here, the idea cure is just a mirage. We get stuck in a constant loop of tests and prescriptions. So much that when we look behind, we feel we were better off without the boulders of longing we built around us in the name of hope.

There is an alarming need for people to look at their health as a delicate thing. We must also understand the inevitability of the inevitable. Anything could still happen and when it happens, we must look for solutions. Prevention with necessary precautions is highly important but that must not take us on an endless loop of illusions of cure and complete well-being. Something will always be there to nudge you. That must not make you develop a disdain for suffering.

Disease and death are inevitable. This realization need not drain every ounce of color and hope from life, leading us to a pit of nihilism. It doesn't have to induce more anxiety. But, it is what it is.

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