i am just watching the movie “The Sea Inside” about a quadraplegic author who would prefer to die rather than live.
i always struggle with this notion of life and choice. because life is so beautiful and itriguing to live and be a part of and the idea of shortening that beauty seems to reduce the experience of life to nothing more than death. but then i come to this place where if the quality of life is fractured and fragmented than is that life at all. and i think it comes down to how one defines what life is. because life isn’t always the roses we see that grow in springtime. it is a beautiful sea, but it can also be a raging one. and so maybe life is about how well we live within whatever experience we are handed, how well we choose to participate in the life we live i think helps determine not only how well we live but also what we contribute while we are alive. i am in a quandry with all of this…
below is a portion of the script from the movie the sea inside and is a conversation between a jesuit priest and the paraplegic character (Ramon) wanting to die. and Ramon makes a comment about how the christian church has used the idea of death as a tool to get ‘customers’, which i think when you think about, especially in light of the reality that the word ‘hell’ was used as rhetoric by the Pharisees to attempt to convert people. but it was more a way of life people could live, not so much a place of destruction and death that those who didn’t say a prayer would go to. i think it is important to understand words like hell, heaven, satan and other parts of the scripture within their first-century context and what they meant then and how they have come to mean what they mean now…
Go upstairs and tell Ramon
…and since we are inside eternity.
Life doesn’t belong to us…
and we take to ridiculous extremes the
bourgeois definition of private property
You are killing me
But if Church was the first one in
secularizing the private property
– I can’t tell him that
– How come?
Should I tell him that?
Freedom to choose my beliefs…no,
his beliefs and decide over his life
Ok, now you tell him
Why does the Church keep that posture
of terror of death with such passion?
Because it knows that it would lose
a great amount of its customers
if people lose their fear to the Great Beyond
He reminds you that according to the polls,
% of the Spanish are in favor of euthanasia
Very well, very well. Now you tell him that
moral issues are not resolved through polls
Because most of the German
people were also in favor of Hitler
Now he is going to compare
me to Hitler. That is very rude
No, not that
Ask him what Hitler has to do with all this
No wait… Padre Francisco, do you hear me?
Yes. Ramon I can hear you
Why do you mix pears with apples?
I hope you didn’t come here to do demagoguery.
Because you Jesuits know a lot about that.
No, no. Of course not.
But since you bring up
demagoguery, my dear Ramon.
Don’t you think that what’s really
demagogic, is to say “Death with dignity”
Why don’t you leave the euphemisms aside
and call things by its name, with all its rawness
“l take my life” and that’s it…
Your interest in me keeps surprising me,
while the institution that you represent
accepts the death penalty and condemned
those who didn’t think the right way,
to the bonfire for centuries
Now you are the one doing demagoguery
Yes of course, but leaving the euphemisms
aside, as you say that’s what you
would have done with me, right?
Burn me alive
Burn me for defending my freedom