20) Life flashing before your eyes

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.”

Heard that before? The notion of life flashing before one’s eyes at the moment of death is something which is romanticised. It’s sentimentality at its finest. Make sure that you have lived a good life, a full life, and active life; so that when you get to watch that final show it’s worthwhile.

But what if I told you that your life flashing before your eyes is actually a defence mechanism? Its human nature – probably animal nature – to survive, to live, to exist. We fight death, we try to cheat death. It’s not possible to stop yourself from breathing, to stop your heart from beating, to the point where you cease to be. Existence and the fight for life is an automatic process which cannot be interrupted without the introduction of an external element.

When you are at the point of death your life does flash before your eyes. This is your brain, your fight, your ego, your id, searching desperately for the answer to survival. The urge to live is strong in us all. At the point of terminal, lethal danger, your brain searches your past for the moment closest to the one you are in right now and asks, “How did I survive it the last time?”

I hope you can find the answer. And if not, I hope you enjoy the show.


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