Church of Euthanasia

The One Commandment:
"Thou shalt not procreate"

The Four Pillars:
suicide · abortion
cannibalism · sodomy

Human Population:

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The Church of Euthanasia

e-sermon #10

Dear brethren, today I would like to share with all of you a letter we received last Tuesday. Our reply was sent out the next day, and so far we haven't heard anything back. It's hard to know exactly what's going on right now, but things are surely coming to a head; obviously this is a very exciting and special occasion for all of us.

    You've convinced me. I am going to kill myself tonight. Or at least, I want to. But I don't know if I can. I've tried before, and I just don't have the nerve. Oh why oh why does it all have to be like this? Isn't there some way for it all to be resolved? Well, I guess that's why people become Christians, so it can all make sense and feel nice. I was a Christian once, and though I wasn't always happy, at least I never felt the anguish I feel now. The anguish of NO FEASIBLE SOLUTION, the anguish of complete failure. It could have been really great, but somehow everybody managed to fuck it up and now all I can think of is killing myself. But WHY? I mean, if I've managed to be selfish for this long, selfish and blind, why can't I just go on doing it? I mean, come on, if there's one thing I lack, it's conviction. I could just forget all about this COE thing and go home and eat spaghetti (hey, at least I'm a vegetarian, right? That's just about as futile as my killing myself) and go to rehearsal for the totally irrelevant play I'm in and then later tonight go to sleep and dream my dreamy dreams. Except that tonight I'm not going to, because I'll also think about Tim and how he's going crazy and I can't stop him, and about how I don't have enough talent to make it in the real world, and how I'll never have enough money, and my friends are all back-biting sons of bitches and everything in the world is beyond reclamation and when I'm numb with despair I'll slit my wrists and lay in the bathtub, just like that guy in Caligula.

    Vivien. it's not even my real name.

Whatever your name is, keep up the great work! You're very close! Wanting to kill yourself isn't quite enough though. You've got to actually DO IT. It's either that or continue to experience the tremendous PAIN of a life lived badly. The only other option, of course, would be to take responsibility for your life, acknowledge your tremendous debt to the Earth, and devote the remainder of your existence to repaying that debt as best you can. Sounds crazy, but there it is. We're all struggling with this here at the church. Self-knowledge is a one-way process: you can't go back to being selfish and blind, because you just can't. What's worse, unlike a less intelligent person, if you fail to change, you'll have to live with the knowledge that you knew better, and wilfully chose death over life anyway. Isn't life fun? Just remember, you CAN change, if you really WANT to. It's the WANTING to that's so difficult, not the changing. Once you really and truly want to change, there is nothing in the universe that can possibly stop you, and quite the reverse, the universe will actually start HELPING you, incredible though it may seem now. I don't pretend to know exactly HOW you should change; I can only speak for myself, and say that if I ever manage to develop any gumption in this life, the first thing I'll do is sell everything I own, move to Arizona, and try to make some kind of contact with the Hopi elders who still live there. From there, who knows where I'd wind up, but I'm sure it would be somewhere different. It's either change or die, and there's not all that much time left to make up your mind. In the meantime, I thought the following quote from Jeremy Rifkin's Entropy: Into the Greenhouse World might cheer you up...

    [An American] is probably the most unhappy citizen in the history of the world. She has not the power to provide herself with anything but money, and her money is inflating like a balloon and drifting away, subject to historical circumstances and the power of other people. From morning to night, she does not touch anything that she has produced herself, in which she can take pride. For all her leisure and recreation, she feels bad, she looks bad, she is overweight, her health is poor. Her air, water, and food are all known to contain poisons. There is a fair chance that she will die of suffocation. She suspects that her love life is not as fulfilling as other people's. She wishes that she had been born sooner, or later. She does not know why her children are the way they are. She does not understand what they say. She does not care and does not know why she does not care. Certain advertisements and pictures in magazines make her suspect that she is basically unattractive. She feels that all her possessions are under threat of pillage. She does not know what she would do if she lost her job, if the economy failed, if the utility companies went on strike, if her husband left her, if her children ran away, if she should be found to be incurably ill. And for these anxieties, of course, she consults certified experts, who in turn consult certified experts about their anxieties.

    -Wendell Berry

Now let us take a moment, and pray for the deliverance of this soul from her suffering, whether by life or by death, so be it.

We have been corresponding with a certain inmate of the Michigan Department of Correction who wishes to be know as R7, and he brings us the following words of wisdom: "...if you feel the need to kill yourself with a gun, insert it in your mouth, use hollow points, and wrap a towel around your head, thereby avoiding the messy aftermath, and have a well-considered death." Many thanks to "R7" for this advice, and also for the following excerpt from Human Diversity by Richard Lewintin:

    The only certainty about the future of our species is that it is limited. Of all the species that have ever existed, 99.999% are extinct. The average lifetime of a carnivorous genus is only 10 million years, and the average lifetime of a species is much shorter. Indeed, life on earth is nearly half over: Fossil evidence shows that life began about 3 billion years ago, and the sun is due to become a red giant about 4 billion years from now, consuming life (and eventually the whole earth) in its fire.

Of course, such facts help us to realize a more universal perspective, but do not in any way lessen the reality of our immediate spiritual problems. Because our time is necessarily limited, one might carelessly conclude that all is lost, and that nothing matters, when, as we have seen, exactly the reverse is true. In the Newtonian world-view of the Octopus, all of the universe is merely matter in motion; every event is infinitely repeatable, and reversible, so much assembly and disassembly of machines. Small wonder that the citizens of modernity lose hope, and compassion as well. How can the soul survive, when its every experience is believed to be repeatable, the mere consequence of deterministic laws? Why should the soul strive to master itself in this instant of time, when another instant will do just as well?

Only when each instant is seen for what it truly is, does the soul begin to feel its power to change itself, and the world as well. With each breath, the mystery of the universe unfolds as a vast web of perpetual change; death is certain, and transformation is everywhere around us. Each moment becomes a unique opportunity, never to be repeated in the life of a soul, or even in the life of the earth. When the passage of time is felt and understood, the smallest deed becomes an act of power, its consequences irrevocable. When the finality of death is accepted, time becomes infinitely precious, and all life becomes sacred. In this extraordinary world, real responsibility begins with proper reverence for the limitations of life.

"Only if one loves this earth with unbending passion can one release one's sadness," Don Juan said. "A warrior is always joyful because his love is unalterable and his beloved, the earth, embraces him and bestows upon him inconceivable gifts. The sadness belongs only to those who hate the very thing that shelters their beings."

-Carlos Castenada, Tales of Power

"No excuses ever, for anyone."

-Albert Camus, The Fall

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