Monday, April 29, 2013

On Being a Bag O' Bones

I'm not generally a morbid person, but it is healthy to reflect on our mortality. It makes us appreciate the fleeting beauty & infinite mystery of Life much more consciously.
Death & violence are glorified in our culture, but nobody really wants to examine the transience of their own existence.

I came across these meditations on the human condition, in the unlikely form of playfully-drawn cartoons.

The first comic is based on a story about the Greek philosopher, Diogenes.

 "Diogenes and the Bones" by John Porcellino

This is a more direct commentary on the eventual fate of every human being:

It's reminiscent of the skull racks of the Mayans & Aztecs, in which the heads of victims were stacked up in a gruesome display of power.

Most of historic death cults were controlled by people that we would consider to be psychopaths today. However, the fear and awe associated with The Great Beyond has been around since humans became self-aware, in both an individual & social context.

Awhile back, I saw this gallery of dignified portraits of terminally ill people, before & after their passing. As their faces begin to sink away, the bones of the face become more defined. It is obvious why the skull is such a powerful symbol in the human mind.


 Finally, Salvador DalĂ­'s famous photo (taken by Philippe Halsman) of a skull formed by the bodies of living women:

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