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Death thoughts

In todayâ s morning that keyword suggested itself to me. Early before dawn a dream pr
eceded the waking up to a growl in the intestines and fear. The fear in the inte
stines arose out of a dream-script which was flawlessly executed as though someb
ody had designed it. How can a dream have a well-executed plotline with a beginn
ing, a middle and end with a leading-upto ? Was there in the folds of our mind
a script writer who could carefully wrap up a story where everything took place
according a monstrous execution pre-decided by thought? Are not dreams supposed
to be surreal?

Well that was how the dream was as I re-enacted it after waking up. The horror
was not of a surreal event unfolding but belonged to a real world with real worl
d build-up of action as the dream proceeded.

Forget about it. Prior to the morning walk I thought about a certain Buffalo Bil
l who the poet says was defunct , a certain Buffalo Bill who used to ride a silv
er stallion and break pigeons onetwothreefourfive. At Mr.Death he turned blue
in the eyes. Hello, Mr. Death ,how do you like your blue-eyed boy? Asked the poe
t.

The keyword â death thoughtsâ suggested itself in the morning walk. Was that something t
do with the dream? Not that the dream was about death or even contained any ref
erence to it. The word â defunctâ came from nowhere. Just a coincidence, may be.

A peculiar usage by e.e.cumings, the word defunct denotes a thing not being in u
se or operation. When you die you become defunct. When my mother died she did no
t cease to exist but merely became defunct. Like the old gramophone which played
fine music at one time is now defunct. The gramophone is no longer in use or op
eration but does it cease to exist? No. It is still in the attic and we do not k
now when it will cease to exist. But it is no longer functioning as a gramophone
but is merely sitting in the attic without performing the functions it is suppo
sed to perform. So the thing has become defunct. Is there an intermediate stage
between existence and non-existence when the object does not cease to exist but
is merely defunct?

But in the case of the gramophone, can it not come out of its defunctness if the
circumstances when it was in use are once again re-created i.e. people go back
in time and play gramophones as though disc players have become obsolete and we
are once again using gramophones for some reason? That is a possibility that can
be imagined. An object does not become defunct by itself but by the idea behin
d it.

Extending the analogy, when people die do they become defunct merely, not non-ex
istent as in the case of the old gramophone. Of course death of people is destru
ction which is irreversible, an event which makes it impossible to bring back pe
ople as they existed. But if death is mere defunctness i.e. loss of function, wh
at is dead is merely the phenomena of people as physical beings but their lives
continue to exist as ideas . Just like old gramophones which may not be in use a
ny longer but nobody can kill the idea of a gramophone, once it has taken birth
and existed in time. Yes. Gramophones may no longer be in use and consequently m
ay not be existing except as ideas. Similarly , the moment people are born they
exist in time and they may become defunct in course of time but will always exis
t as ideas.

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