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Death Part II - Into Death

from Beyond by Barry Schrader

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And there was silence.

And again we asked the question.

And the answer came: You believe that by asking questions you will receive answers. But often answers are not understood; they merely cause more questions. And many enigmas have no solutions. But I shall entertain three final questions from you, and if you do not understand my answers I shall clarify nothing, for I shall not be here.

And we asked: What leads to death?

And the answer came: Life leads to death. For everything that lives must die. That you can escape death is an illusion. The entrances to death are many and disparate. That you have control over how you meet death is also an illusion. For death may come quickly or slowly. But often, as you are converted to death, for there is no greater transformation than from life to death, you will recall your life and how it has led you to this final moment.

And we asked: What is death?

And the answer came: Death is the absence of life. As the point of living is to live, so the point of dying is to die. Yet, as life has its stages, so does death, and the colonies of living things that constitute you subside each in their own fashion until all have passed. When this is done, you are complete and at one with the universe.

And we asked: What is after death?

And the answer came: After death is nothing. After death is everything. After death is the realm where all hopes and fears collide and dissolve. For in disappearance there is absorption, and in dissipation there is renewal. But the fate of everything is nothing, and in nothing is everything.

And we asked: What does this mean?

And there was silence.


from Beyond, released September 27, 2005


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Barry Schrader Los Angeles, California

Schrader's compositions for electronics, dance, film, video, mixed media, live/electro-acoustic music combinations, and real- time computer performance have been presented throughout the world. In 2014, he was given the SEAMUS Lifetime Achievement Award. He was a member of the Composition Faculty of the CalArts School of Music from 1971 to 2016. His web site is <barryschrader.com>. ... more

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