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"Only Death is Real"...Really?

"Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 09:02:55 AM

Maybe "Only Death is Real" is just tossed about because it's a badass-sounding slogan from a legendary band; it's exclusive, lethal, definite, and pure.  If so, stop me here.

I suspect that the slogan began as that, but it seems certain Hessians have integrated it as a motto for the culture. 

If it is meant as an actual ontological statement, then how is it valid?  Everyone will die, so only death is real? Is only death real because everyone experiences it, in which case only birth would also be real? 

For those of you who have experienced a dead body (no necro jokes!), I trust you'll agree that the 'death'ness was real, intense, illuminating, and struck you with a certain awe.  However, it wasn't real at the expense of all other things.

A more accurate and useful phrase might be, "Death Alone is Certain" (which Stephen Bachelor pulled from Buddhism, I think).  For me, that is more empowering as a goad to action. 

How do YOU interpret/use "Only Death is Real"?

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 09:35:29 AM
"Death Alone is Certain" is how I interpret it.

Give Hellhammer a break, man.  They're Swiss or some shit.  It's not like English is their first language.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 10:10:42 AM
Cargest, HAAA...I'm not busting Hellhammer at all.  Just investigating what the phrase has come to mean!

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 10:45:40 AM
I think no-one here could take it to mean that the only real (qualify "real"...) thing in existence is death, because there would have to be something real to die, which would require that the statement be changed to "only death and stuff that dies is real".

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 11:16:01 AM
Only Nothingness is Eternal.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 07, 2010, 04:32:55 PM
"The most violent thing of all for us is death which jerks us out of a tenacious obsession with the lastingness of our discontinuous being. We blench at the thought that the separate individuality within us must be suddenly snuffed out... We cannot imagine the transition from one state to another one basically unlike it without picturing the violence done to the being called into existence through discontinuity. Not only do we find in the uneasy transitions of organisms engaged in reproduction the same basic violence which in physical eroticism leaves us gasping, but we also catch the inner meaning of that violence. What does physical eroticism signify if not a violation of the very being of its practitioners? — a violation bordering on death, bordering on murder?

(...)

Eroticism always entails a breaking down of established patterns, the patterns, I repeat, of the regulated social order basic to our discontinuous mode of existence as defined and separate individuals... The stirrings within us have their own fearful excesses; the excesses show which way these stirrings would take us. They are simply a sign to remind us constantly that death, the rupture of the discontinuous individualities to which we cleave in terror, stands there before us more real than life itself."

Georges Bataille

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 07:38:11 AM
Hmmm... I do prefer Sepultura's "A sad image of everything, everything so real Who.. who, who who..."

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 08:30:01 AM
"Death" is the only universal outcome, and as such has a "reality" unmatched by any other.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 02:26:26 PM
"Death" is the only universal outcome, and as such has a "reality" unmatched by any other.

Couldn't have said it better myself. It is the ULTIMATE reality, since everything and everyone will experience it, regardless of what happens during their life.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 04:08:09 PM
everything and everyone will experience it

Hmmm. If there's no afterlife, could anyone truly experience death? A true atheist couldn't experience death, only the unbearable pain preceding it.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 06:01:43 PM
Perhaps it's better to say "we will observe exterior entities dying".

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 06:52:38 PM
I dunno man, I just read the phrase, thought the implications were cool, and moved on with life.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 07:20:41 PM
TGF explained somewhere what he meant by these words but I don't remember where - in Are you morbid ? or Only Death Is real or in his blog(s) ?



Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 08, 2010, 07:27:19 PM
A more accurate and useful phrase might be, "Death Alone is Certain" (which Stephen Bachelor pulled from Buddhism, I think).  For me, that is more empowering as a goad to action. 

How do YOU interpret/use "Only Death is Real"?

For me (physical) death is just a door to pass through.

Re: "Only Death is Real"...Really?
November 10, 2010, 03:51:08 PM
A more accurate and useful phrase might be, "Death Alone is Certain"
That's how I always interpreted the phrase, and I assume how everyone else has.

For me (physical) death is just a door to pass through.
A door to where / what? If you don't mind my asking.