Our culture teaches us to villainise our dark side. We see scary masks as evil, rather than fear and anger — emotions which have not yet been expressed or integrated. We are exposed to a desire to prolong life and provide treatments to look younger, rather than embracing death and embracing our childlike plastic minds and acting younger. Yet to fear death is to fear living an unfulfilled life. The scary mask is not the disappearance of your egoic embodiment, but the mask which you are not willing to wear due to fear of breaking your moral code, a code which changes with each breath.
The difference in embracing death and inviting it is to confront your fears, as opposed to killing yourself through avoiding them. We turn to habitual behaviour when we seek to avoid facing our fears. For some it maybe unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking, and for some it maybe healthy habits like working out or reading. Yet the work is done through facing our thoughts and emotions instead of turning to our distractions.
In embracing our childlike curiosity and behaviour, it is not to act in a hedonistic way in embracing all the whims of our undeveloped minds, after all we develop hedonic adaptation in order to learn control. It is to let go of our shame and strict regimen and to dance and play in a way that respects our body and mind.
The moral problem we face is that some jokes are funny when under the protection of the institution of the comedy club, but they can ruin lives if told in the wrong context. The same goes for fighting, yet these things are discovered outside the comfort of our institutions. Much like we discover a new sense of joy when we get out of our daily habitual lifestyle. It seems that most biblical stories are about contrarians finding their own path at the risk of losing their place of comfort, yet religion itself imposes the contradictory function of creating a place of habitual comfort.
Bad jokes, bad fights, bad religion, these all contribute to the development of our culture and ourselves. We all have rough parts of ourselves which we villainise, but they can be honed if only they were brought into the comfortable space offered by those around us.
In the circle of life children are as close to source as old people are. We have no inhibitions when we are born, and are free to express ourselves until we begin developing limitations. In Kleinian psychotherapeutic terms, we learn that the breast can be both good and bad to us. We learn that the stove is hot, and we learn the rules that govern our schools, communities and religions are for the protection of society.
When we edge closer to source towards the end of our lives we begin to care less about the rules which limited our enjoyment of life, and we begin to remember that we came from nothing and shall return there. For some, childlike behaviour means to have a weak bowel function, and for others, it means to say and do whatever we want without fear of consequences, as the ride will be over soon enough.
Spiritual experiences are lightening bolt reminders for those in the throes of life to take a step back and find their truth again amongst all the ideas they have pinned to their persona. It is an opportunity to strip down naked and play in the mud.