When a person approaches old age, he begins to regret that his time is up, that is, that it is the end of his life. In fact there are those who think about this starting even in childhood and constantly check themselves precisely in relation to this point of death.
In the end, they either sink into depression or the opposite, they become inflamed with a strong desire to succeed and buy an eternal place for themselves in the eyes of others.
They hope that the point of death will not reach them personally, except in this worldly life. These are great people who leave their mark on the history of humanity, like Alexander the Great, Archimedes, famous scientists and leaders who changed our view of the world and the face of human society by making special discoveries and passing them on to the world.
We remember these people and read their biographies. Historians pass this science on from generation to generation and tell us about them. These great people are like marks along the entire axis of history. Basically, we count historical time not according to the years, but according to those special people, by saying, “This happened in the days of Julius Caesar,” and the like.
A person understands that it is not time itself that is the marker of human society but the people who played particular roles in those times in history. And so a vital need appears in a person to enter into eternity himself, into the same pantheon where all the central pillars of human society are gathered.
There are people who work their entire lives from a young age only for the sake of this, and in truth, there are individuals who succeed in leaving their mark on history.
But if we are talking about people who are not great but ordinary people, in old age these people feel that soon their lives will end. And even though through the methods of modern medicine it will soon be possible to extend human life significantly, no matter how much it will be lengthened, even to the age of 200 or 300 or even 500, in spite of it all, it will end. And that is how it truly will be. We will live much longer than now, but the same problem will remain.
The idea is not in the number of years. There was a time in previous generations when a person did not live past the age of 30 on average, and 200 years ago, to the age of 40. Only among the elite did the lifespan move between 60 and 70 years, but the masses lived 35 years on average or a maximum of 40 years. You remember how Pushkin wrote about this, that a person entered old age with white hair at the age of 38. At that time, it was normal to consider a 40-year-old man as old.
In our day we live twice as long, but the same fear of death remains. It depends upon human development. The more a person develops, the more the question of death concerns him. There was a time when human life was not valued and it was possible to send an army of a 100,000 soldiers to be killed in a single day. But today, the life of every person is of great value.
Presently, instead of a billion, there are seven billion people living on the face of the Earth. Humanity is investing a great deal of energy and money in order for machines to fight instead of people. This suggests that the life and death of every person is very important.
Today, it is impossible to send a person to fight as a gladiator in the arena to entertain the crowd as was customary in ancient Rome or even in America where no more than 200 years ago there were still slaves. Then it was possible to beat a slave and do with him whatever arose in the mind of the master. But in our day, the life of every person has a higher value.
From KabTV’s “A New Life” 4/22/14