Beyond Ontology

Title: Navigating the Shattered Myth: The End of Ontology

Introduction: In the realm of human existence, our understanding of reality and the construction of meaning have long been shaped by powerful narratives and cultural myths. These narratives provide frameworks through which we navigate the world, assigning purpose and direction to our lives. However, in this essay, we confront the notion that both the captains of the future and prisoners of the past find themselves living beyond the end of their respective myths. As a consequence, our traditional ontological frameworks crumble, leaving us in a state of existential uncertainty and calling for a reevaluation of our understanding of existence.

  1. Captains of the Future: Navigating Aimlessly: The captains of the future, representing those who embrace progress, innovation, and the promise of a better tomorrow, have often looked forward with a sense of purpose and a belief in the power of human agency. They have subscribed to grand narratives that promise technological advancement, social transformation, and the conquering of new frontiers. However, as time progresses, the realization dawns that these narratives are increasingly inadequate to address the complexity of our current challenges. The future once believed to be within reach appears elusive, leaving the captains adrift in a sea of uncertainty.
  2. Prisoners of the Past: Trapped in the Shackles of History: Conversely, the prisoners of the past find themselves confined by the weight of historical narratives, cultural traditions, and entrenched societal norms. They are bound to the mythologies of the past that provide a sense of stability, identity, and continuity. However, as the world evolves, these narratives lose their relevance and fail to address the pressing issues of our time. The prisoners feel trapped within a paradigm that no longer resonates with the realities of the present, inhibiting their ability to adapt and engage meaningfully with the world.
  3. The End of Myth and Ontology: The convergence of these two experiences—the disillusionment of the captains and the stagnation of the prisoners—ushers in a crisis of ontology. Ontology, the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of being, is challenged as the traditional mythological narratives that once shaped our understanding of existence crumble. The end of myth signifies the collapse of our established ontological frameworks, leaving us in a state of existential limbo. We are confronted with the realization that the grand narratives that once provided meaning and purpose have lost their power and relevance.
  4. Embracing the Uncertainty: In the face of this ontological crisis, we have an opportunity to embrace the uncertainty and forge a new understanding of existence. Rather than clinging to the narratives of the past or chasing elusive futures, we can cultivate a present-oriented mindset that acknowledges the impermanence and fluidity of our existence. By embracing the ever-evolving nature of reality, we open ourselves to new possibilities, insights, and ways of being.
  5. Beyond Ontology: Embracing Existential Inquiry: As the old ontological frameworks crumble, we are called to engage in existential inquiry. This involves questioning our assumptions, exploring diverse perspectives, and seeking personal meaning within the context of a fragmented mythos. It is through this process that we can uncover new narratives, create individual and collective meanings, and embrace the fluidity and complexity of our existence.

Conclusion: The captains of the future and prisoners of the past find themselves at odds with the narratives that once guided their lives. The end of their respective myths signals a crisis of ontology—a crumbling of our traditional understanding of reality. Yet, within this crisis lies an opportunity for growth and transformation. By embracing the uncertainty and engaging in existential inquiry, we can transcend the limitations of myth and explore new narratives that honor the fluidity of our existence. In doing so, we embark on a journey towards a

Dying Well: Identity

The topic of dying and death is often avoided in Western culture, and yet it is an inevitable part of life. It is a subject that is shrouded in fear, denial, and avoidance. However, there is a growing movement towards dying well and dying wise, acknowledging death as a part of life and preparing for it in a meaningful way.

To die well and die wise means to approach death with grace, dignity, and acceptance. It is about being present in the moment, letting go of fear and attachment, and embracing the mystery of what comes next. It is about being open to the possibility of transformation and growth, even in the face of death.

The tyranny of hope is the idea that hope can become oppressive when it is used as a way to deny or avoid the reality of death. It can prevent people from facing their fears and preparing for death in a meaningful way. Instead, it can lead to false optimism and denial, which can ultimately lead to a lack of preparation and acceptance when death finally comes.

The concept of identity is also intertwined with the topic of dying well and dying wise. Identity is the accumulation of thoughts and emotions that create the feeling of being a separate entity. However, Eastern religions and psychedelic experiences suggest that a loss of attachment to this separate sense of self can lead to a deeper connection with the world around us.

As we age, we have the opportunity to develop the skill of becoming an elder, which involves embracing the wisdom and experience that comes with age. It is a time to reflect on our lives, let go of attachments, and prepare for the inevitable end. However, this skill is becoming more important than ever as we face the challenges of an aging population and a changing world.

In conclusion, the idea of dying well and dying wise challenges us to confront our fears and approach death with acceptance, grace, and dignity. It requires us to let go of false optimism and the tyranny of hope, and embrace the transformative power of loss and change. As we age, we have the opportunity to become elders, to reflect on our lives, and to prepare for the inevitable end. This is a skill that is becoming increasingly important in our changing world, and it is one that we must all strive to develop.