How to spend your last moments is a decision we all have to make eventually. The time in which we approach the threshold of the unknowable is our last chance to speak words we always wanted to say, right old wrongs, or use our dying breaths to reveal long-hidden secrets.
Many leave this world in quiet reflection, but some go out in grand style.
Aldous Huxley Trips Into The Other Side
Aldous Huxley is best known for his sci-fi dystopian world book Brave New World. After the book’s success, Huxley traveled to Hollywood to attempt to become a screenplay writer. His silver screen aspirations proved less than fruitful, and his focus quickly became less material and more spiritual in nature. He wound up traveling down the rabbit hole, as it were, into how psychedelics like LSD could unlock higher planes of existence. Interested in mysticism, he documented his experiences in his book, Doors of Perception.
Einstein’s Investigates the Mind of God
Einstein died as he lived. He was a man of science, but also of the philosophy of human existence. His last days were spent absorbed in his work. The day he died, Einstein had been finishing a speech for an Israeli Independence Day event. The contents of his speech stressed that he was human above all.
But the great desire of Einstein was to create a unifying theory of everything. It was a battle he was ill-equipped for, since at the time, not all the fundamental forces had even been discovered. Einstein’s quest dragged him further away from his contemporaries, as he had rejected many of their ideas in favor of what he saw as more promising answers for the unifying theory. It occupied his thoughts even at the end, where he set aside his speech and asked that his notes be brought to him, so he could ponder the mind of God even as he went to meet whatever awaited him beyond the threshold of the reality he had struggled to comprehend.
A Lung Cancer Patient Speaks to Save Others
John Wiseman was dying of complications from smoking. He was in pain, hooked up to machines, his heart and lungs failing, and doctors could no longer even operate on his bleeding ulcers because his intestines had become too soft to sew back together. He was on his deathbed with the knowledge that he only had hours left to live.
Wanting to bring about something good from his situation, he decided to make a video warning others about the dangers of smoking. He told others about his pain and how he wished that no one else would start smoking. His sister recorded it and uploaded it on Facebook to share with the world. She also shared her own message about how smoking doesn’t just hurt just you, but your family.
Oscar Wilde’s Deathbed Conversion
Oscar Wilde had a reputation for most of his life as a decadent pleasure-seeker. He scorned traditional societal values, and was notorious, even feared, as someone who would “corrupt” those around him. A sexual relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas and an ensuing feud with his father, the Marquess of Queensbury, led to him being imprisoned for sodomy, which was illegal at the time.
But while Wilde was known for bucking traditional values, he retained a deep interest in the Catholic faith since his childhood. He had even considered becoming a priest at one point. During his imprisonment, Wilde engrossed himself in Biblical study and claimed to have a spiritual renewal. Soon after his release, he applied for a six month retreat held by the Society of Jesus.