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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What is Life ? ........... and what is death ??

What is Life and what is death ??  

A simple looking Q with complex answers – What is Life ?   Posted this one in my blog yesterday – something about half marathon and humber bridge

In the Universe there exist from the smallest known organisms (Mycoplasma bacteria) to very many larger ones – some known, recorded and studied and more creatures which are strange and not so well known to the scientific world.  

For a Hindu believer, there is God, there is birth, rebirth and bliss is moksha or salvation.  In the Western philosophy, have heard of a phrase ‘I think, therefore I am’ -  Cogito ergo sum - a Latin statement proposed by RenĂ© Descartes. The simple meaning of the phrase is that someone wondering whether or not he exists is, in and of itself, proof that he does exist - because, at the very least, there is an "I" who does the thinking.  

Without dwelling deeper in to whether we live life meaningfully, the meaning of life concerns the purpose and significance of life and not existence alone !  - there could be questions and more questions on why are we here ? what is life all about ? what is expected of us ? and what makes it meaningful – there can be sociological inferences and individual perceptions.  There could be spiritual  and theological assertions on life and the way it is to be lived.  There can be moral, social, ethical, humanistic and other connections as well.  

Whilst Life is all about ‘present tense’ – there is a certain future tense – death – simply put  the termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism.  Whether you are a believer, non-believer, nihilist, agnostic, theist or spiritualist  - there is bound to be  cessation of the condition of a formerly living body.  This could be brought about by various reasons including  old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, accident and more.  What would occur after death is too conceptualistic to be explained or understood !!

There are strong indications of death that include - Cessation of breathing, no  pulse, Pallor mortis, reduction in body temperature, limbs becoming stiff, decomposition and more.  In the days gone by, there were specific reasons that were attributed to a particular illness afflicting a person.  In modern World, we hear news of people passing away suddenly and we hear of more and more new diseases…….

This morning heard the news of a known person passing away in his early forties – reportedly due to an illness termed ‘aortic aneurysm’ – which medically is a bulge in a section of the aorta, the body’s main artery.  When a section of aneurysm is overstretched and weak, it can bulge and burst.  A bursting can cause serious bleeding which may even prove to be fatal.  The abdominal aorta is the largest artery in the abdominal cavity.  
Aneurysms can form in any section of the aorta, but they are most common in the belly area (abdominal aortic aneurysm.  The wall of the aorta is normally very elastic. It can stretch and then shrink back as needed to adapt to blood flow. But some medical problems, such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), weaken the artery walls. These problems, along with the wear and tear that naturally occurs with aging, can result in a weak aortic wall that bulges outward.

Every human being on Earth have to pass away one day but unnatural and untimely deaths do shake people badly.

With regards
S. Sampathkumar.

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