Saturday, July 13, 2013


I watched a superb old documentary about garlic made by Les Blank probably in the 1970s. Very good and well-worth watching. It is available on DVD. Some of the bright and happy young people in the film were of the so-called counter-culture, and perhaps because of that, were relatively deep in philosophy and history at least compared to today. One of the lines stuck with me for several days. I still ponder it when I am lying in bed at night. The film advocated Epicureanism in relation to eating garlic as a way of enhancing the pleasure of food, and to this end, placed text on the screen that read,

"When you're dead, you're done. Long live the living!"

It is not necessarily an atheist statement, but expressive of disbelief in the afterlife. I do agree with the sentiment. There seems no future in death at all. I find it very difficult to believe we possess any substance other than flesh and bone. I don't believe God plays coy with immortality, hiding it from us as some kind of test just to check whether we will believe in it because the Bible says so.

Of course, whether individual consciousness, that is, our own life, matters or not is purely a matter of perspective. I suppose the evolutionary purpose of our ego, which is so dominant in the human psychology, is to ensure we find great value in our individual consciousness and will do whatever is required to maintain and sustain it, even to the extent of conjuring up fantasies about surviving death in one form or another. An unhealthy ego may in turn lead to insufficient or ineffective maintenance--one may eat bad foods or use harmful substances or fail to perform all the little tasks that tend to prolong life. Yet I think a healthy ego may reject belief in the afterlife on the noble ground of reason. I believe truth matters. That is a judgment call on my part, a bias I have for reality. If a thing can not be so, then one should not believe in it.

Getting back to the film, I found it positively gushing about garlic, too enthusiastic by half, but that did not stop me from enjoying it. I do not believe that garlic can cure disease, although it does have antiseptic and antioxidant properties and makes a wonderful spice for all kinds of foods. I have always loved garlic and always will.

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techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions