the elderly people "who are terminally ill have a duty to die and get out of the way", -- a former governor of the state of colorado
the story of the illustration above is about a caring son of elderly parents, who was killed unknowingly by king rama's father, who mistook him for a deer. the grief stricken parents cursed the king, that, the grieved as they were, the king, too, would die grieving for his absent son. and so does the story of ramayana proceed, sending rama to the woods for 14 years, and the father dies grieving for his son.
until that killing incident, no children were said to have died before their parents' death. but that was the way of life of antiquity, part nature oriented and part imagined, as all fighting men dying in the battlefields of those epic battles had died before their parents did.
one governor, richard lamm of colorado told a meeting of the colorado health lawyers association at st. joseph's hospital, that the elderly people "who are terminally ill have a duty to die and get out of the way", instead of trying to prolong their lives by artificial means. people who die without having life artificially extended are similar to ''leaves falling off a tree and forming humus for the other plants to grow up".
hitler had perceived jews and gypsies as the weeds choking the ideal aryan society, and had taken upon himself to weed them out. the colorado governor knew that he could not terminate the elderly in hitler's fashion, so he tried to say it in the elderly ears made deaf by design. besides, that was a faulty perception of the governor lamm, for the humus of the elderly is made in the nursing homes that enables other humans to grow up. what is weeds for one is the fodder for another. the whole pharmaceutical and surgical industry of care givers thrive deriving more than most other people earning their living in the service industry. the medically trained mind does not equate the old with the autumn leaves, but rather with the tree that goes dormant. the bed ridden elderly life is kept dormant as long as possible.
what you are reading here is an experiential wondering what being alive and the ageing oriented living is. the vedic urban indians had classified the living of a human being in four stages: brahmacharyaashrama: the age of learning, grihasthaashrama: the age of homesteading, vaanaprashaashrama: leaving the urban society, and entering the vana, the forest to dwell in. then there is the sanyaasa, the abandoning of even the minimal links with the ones related to the biological body of existence.
now this is not only an ancient indian tradition of the elite. in its modern format in the urbanized american way of life, it at least corresponds with disjointed adherence: the ages 6 to 16 as the compulsory education, not being allowed to smoke, drink alcoholic substances, legally marry, or vote in elections before the age 18; which legally marks as the adulthood; the official age of retirement, enabling one to draw the social security sustenance at age 65, entitling one to live in the government sponsored retirement homes.
since this classification of life is not physiologically natural, it becomes fully un-enforceable. thus in the legally underage, but biologically priming age called teenage sex related issues are unavoidable. then there is the status related infringements that enable the practically incapable persons to hang on to their seats on the bench of the supreme court or in equally powerful positions in governmental, commercial and religious sector. these people are afraid to let go that which cannot be hanged onto.
the fourth stage is thus denied or kept hidden in the modern living.
in fact, it is this illusionary stage of the modern culture where life of most middle class persons is spent not as wandering mendicants, but spent in nursing home beds or in hospitals, seemingly kept alive with the machines that sustain the living for all of those connected with the pharmaceutical industry. and the former governor of colorado was referring to these bedridden elderly americans who are only seemingly kept alive supported by not their own children, but by the medical/pharmaceutical industry's love of money.
dying of the natural causes happens at the ripe old age to only those who have lived a naturally healthy life. in a natural surrounding it happens naturally. leaves from a healthy tree, too, change colours in the autumn and fall and enrich the soil. and the autumnal colours of the leaves are as pleasant a site to behold as it is of the colours of the new tender leaves. the same is also true of the sight of the new born human infant and a person of ripe old age. such people are sometimes found even in as unlikely place such as an urban ghetto, but never in a nursing home. there not just the sight of a bedridden elderly person hooked up with tubes to the nose and blood vessels, but the very air there is made foul with the pharmaceutical products. and the care givers' acts are generated by the power of the paycheck and regulated by the profit margin of their employers. because it is cheaper to re-circulate the same air of the building than to heat or cool it if taken in from outdoors, the hospitals and most commercial buildings help spread viruses from one person to another.
the entire format of the urban living is such, that there is no place for the hearts, minds, and the living space of the young to care for the aged parents. in fact, right from birth an urban human being is subjected to the ever increasing number of channels to corral in age related segments to regulate one's physical and mental state of being to think as told by the various forces of the commerce. there, in the name of the preventive care, the young are subjected to the ever so engulfing pharmaceutical industry, that there is no opportunity possible for their natural inclination to grow up unaided and untold.
but nature created natural instincts stay outside of the regimes of an informed existence. its existence is observed in every walk of life perceived by the middle aged people in power as anomaly, ranging from the naughtiness to rebellion. it is not that a child or an adult who is otherwise perceived as an intelligent sociable person decidedly wants to go on a destructive rampage to just spite a parent or teacher or the person in power. it is a reaction to a thought created imposition as a form to live in equally thought created manner. it is not just the humans' thought created conflicts of interests. in the animal world, too, it is observed, though rarely, wherever there is even nonverbal conceptual living arrangement. it takes some form of fights; whether two creatures fighting out to assert the right to a hunting ground or to keep the intruding male from mating with the assembled females in prides of lions and clan of monkeys and primates or a large scale war among the ants. these creatures, too, have their brains-invented notions of the self-image to retain which they will fight the intruder. this may be observed in a surrounding where there is the scarcity of the basic ingredients of existence.
the church and political ideologies have selectively rescued creatures and human children from killing circumstances like the curable diseases or lack of nutrition. the notion of the "fit to survive" is not necessarily a personal ability as promoted by science, but rather circumstantial happening. otherwise, the rescued unfit would die out despite all the care bestowed. conversely, the healthy "fit" born and raised in the fluff of the abundance do die despite all the modern medicinal and surgical means and methods applied to their diagnosed ailments.
the commerce conceived way of life does not desire to look into the birth, life and death that would crumble the commercial fabric that enwraps the human existence like the web of maya. the existence itself is perceived in terms of the conflicting thoughts that are crudely set up in two camps, that of science and religion. for science it is formed of thought, ultimately as the "god particle", and by religion as the non material "spirit". and the search is on for its earliest thought out form in both camps.
one can search for only thing that is known.
what is unknown being unknown, remains as thought out speculations like the five blind men's perceptions of an elephant, touching whether the leg, trunk, tusk or tail or the massive torso. and even this story, being a thought envisions that the elephant is not the isolated body parts, but the whole together. together it makes an elephant, indeed, but the same thing can be said of a dead elephant. the quest(ion) concerning the life and death does not incur outside of the thought in either camp.
there is an old gossip of a movie star named tulullah bankhead, who had lived all her life as a non believer. once when she fell gravely ill, she called for a catholic priest for confession. her close friend asked her whether she had changed her mind about beliefs. she said, "just in case." that may have been just a rumor, but in reality, almost all persons even in the staunchly defined and division of beliefs and non beliefs harbour doubts about the given explanation regarding what is what.
the pollution affected or legal and illegal drug-induced blocked nerves render numb certain limbs and organs making one unawakened and imperceptive in those motions of life, making one an expert in one thing and dumb in other things. the commerce invented tools of preoccupation keeps an urban mind from sensing the existence as anything untold in order to keep it engrossed in an activity one feels capable to relate to with the corresponding body part, an organ or a limb that has not yet weathered away or damaged.
there is a southern rural u.s. response to: "how old are you?" the answer: "for what?"