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So as not to piss to many off it
So as not to piss to many off it
What is a “legacy of a life”? What is that “thing” that we all, every once in a while, think about when we realize our own mortality and face it eye to eye, seeing it for what it is: an end to life as we know it? The memory of our self after death does not seem to suffice; it is too short lived and temporal, and we dream of a more lasting life, beyond our death, even though it seems so impossible. So what is this immortality that we all search for? Although we may not believe that our soul will march on through eternity, haling the angels and bowing down before our creator, and even if we do, it is not enough for there is no victory for us in the unknown; we still dream of an action, yes… an action that we will be remembered “throughout time” for.
Offspring do not fulfill the requirements of such a desire. Parents know that the memory of their own family fades as the years separate them from their own children, and their children’s children. It is not that far down the family tree that the tree ceases to be clear but rather a vague, foggy memory, and then merely a whimsical thought until at last: nothing at all. Many times we try to forget the family that we have when they get old or in the way long before they have a chance to become a memory through death. Bloodlines have no meaning for there is no consciousness involved merely evolutionary genetic bi-ways spreading life for life’s own sake. As true as it may be it is of no help to our ego or to our desire for a legacy, commemorating our life.
Some are backed into the corner of a life that they spend a great deal of time and energy trying to forget. What do those people say when asked the question of legacy: what will they leave the world? Of course, we do not want to leave a legacy such as Hitler: evil, maligned in every way, and a mangled memory of what humanity is capable of. Nor do we want to be remembered as simply a person of means. The search for answers to what our legacy would be defined as, if we had our way, leads us blank and staring out into the infinite space that we know surrounds us, but cannot comprehend. Writers hope for the legacy of their writings, their impact on those who peruse the pages that they created while they were alive and thinking, but most of us are not writers, and never realize graphical eternity. Musicians hope that their music “lives on” in the minds and ears of future generations but most of us, even if we are musically inclined, know that most music will (and should) disappear with time. We are aware of the temporal nature of most arts. Painters, sculptures, poets are all the same: fighting a losing battle with the only tools that they have: their minds. And furthermore, is art-as-legacy enough? What possible legacy is enough?
So what of the mind? The mind is a legacy. The mind, full of ideas and caprice, our legacy to the world: our ideas! Think of the great minds of the past, think of what they have given the world however thankless the world might have been. Think of where we would be without the free-thought of, and curious wonderings of scientists throughout the ages. Think of where our understanding would be of our self, the self without the ponderings of philosophy and psychology. The names escape us but their ideas surround us like clouds in the sky. The writer’s writing is important because of the ideas portrayed. Music is important when it adds to the idea of musical creation itself. We live within the legacy of those idea-inventors, and there are those minds around us that continue the search for their own legacy of all legacies: an idea.