The Mysteries: Death Lays You Bare

17 Jan

“Desolate” by Michael Chen via Flickr

One of the first things I learned from this year’s Mysteries is that death lays you bare. And what I mean by that is that death reveals truth- about yourself, and about those around you. I noticed it the first time when I kneeled on the ground in the great hall at the end of the first Prologue. As I looked down at my hands, I noticed that all of my bond symbols were completely out and exposed- something that I almost never do.

But at this point, it was beyond my control- in death, everything was exposed. And I mean everything- there are bond symbols on my person that I don’t even know about or recognize.

And as I worked through my death over the following weeks, I noticed that my bond symbols stayed out more frequently- because death reveals the true nature of things. And in this case, due to the significance that I have with my bonds, death was trying to show me a bit about my nature, and the nature of the family that I have.

O talked to me about this one evening as I lay in the river. We were in the middle of a massive situation on the Other Side, and the situation left me with a lot to think about in terms of death. I asked him how he had felt regarding his own transformation. He had told me that initially he felt like he could handle what was coming his way, but that he soon found himself overwhelmed.

“Death is different for everyone,” he would tell me. “And even if you experience it a hundred times- it will be different a hundred times.” No two transformations are alike. He also noted that you can tell a lot about a person based off of how they behave in death. You have nothing left to gain, nothing left to lose- and so your true nature comes out. Additionally, you can tell a lot about your family and kin around death as well. It can be amazing what secrets and behaviours come out of a death that hits close to home. Some families fall apart during the death of a crucial family member.

Death, much like chaos, is not selective. It treats us all equally, and it reveals us one by one in its own time.

Furthermore, he likened life to a series of patterned energies. When we are all alive (as a unit, a community, or a family- as an example), we all hum and move at the same pace. But when someone is on their deathbed, one person stops- and that energy is transferred to the people around them. We see this in funeral plans, people freaking out, hospital visits, discussion- all the energy has to go somewhere- and so it goes into the people around us.

Death also leaves you incredibly vulnerable.

I’ve seen people give O flack over the years for his passive and largely uninvolved process in his own death. People have criticized that he simply laid there and did nothing for a large duration of his transformation. However, after this year’s Mysteries, I can understand why because I was much the same. There were many days when I couldn’t even sit up in bed, let alone get up and fight the good fight that was going on outside of my door. I was completely and utterly taken in by the process and rendered useless and incapable of doing anything about anything. I was reliant upon my family to keep me safe and to help see me through the process.

And by the time that I and another had been thrown into the Duat as a means of working through the Mysteries- there were days when we would lean against one another- unable to sit up otherwise. Sometimes, we’d start to try and move forward towards our destination and find that we could only traverse a few hundred feet before we had to sit down again.

Death rips you a new one. And when you’re laying on the ground trying to cope with the death that you’ve just lived through- you really don’t care about a lot of things anymore. Your priorities shuffle and your attitude with them.

The first night that I and my friend had landed in Rosetjau (best we can figure), we awoke to find ourselves in the middle of nowhere and coated in scratches, cuts and scrapes. We were a complete mess. We sat on the ground bewildered and shared a cigarette. In that moment, that cigarette was the most beautiful thing in the world, because it offered some sort of solace from the situation we were in. Our past suddenly dissolved because in our state, the past was irrelevant. We’d have to let go of a lot of our crap in order to survive the place that we were in- in the state we found ourselves in. In addition to this, our bonds and links and emotions were spelled out on our hands and faces. Our lips said things we didn’t want them to. Our bodies would expose wounds and hurts that needed to be healed. There was no way to avoid looking at the problems that existed between us because they were written on us plain as day.

And as I progressed through the Duat, I believe I began to understand how it was that O could forgive his brother (in time), and why he is so insistent about letting go of the arbitrary emotional crap that I tend to hold on to.

Because as someone who oversees death, he is in a constant flux of alive and not- and sees the process regularly. He watches and experiences people who die and whose priorities shift and things that we think are huge here are nothing but specs in the grand scheme of things.

Death had exposed everything in front of me and I realized just how much time I had wasted. And how pointless so much of the previous year’s crap had really been. I found myself frustrated with how I had handled things as I and my friend worked through traveling in the Duat. He was different as well.

Death had changed everything.

Mysteries 2013 Posts:


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6 responses to “The Mysteries: Death Lays You Bare

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