by the virgin terry
just caught part of a segment of pbs’ newshour on the topic of the apparent connection/correlation between creativity and ‘mental illness’ or ‘mood disorders’ like chronic depression. made me think that maybe i need to get more ‘mentally ill’. who knows, it might make me a better writer (it sucks to suck!).
anyhow, my mind was already orienting upon ‘doom’, as always seems to be the case in the early evening when, alone, i get a little high off my medicine. it makes me want to think of consequential matters, and makes me feel well enough to deal with the ‘doom/gloom’ of doing so. so it made me also think of our late dear friend mike ruppert, the brilliant courageous fiercely independent whistle blower, journalist, and writer who reportedly made a mess of his own head with a self inflicted gunshot earlier this year, sunday, april 13, who had long battled depression and spoken of suicide. i think mike was creative as hell with both how he lived, and how he died, a prolific teacher and hard boiled philosopher who never sold out.
some may view his suicide as a selling out. i don’t. i view it as an act of immense courage/will. a fitting end. some may argue it was precipitous/premature, that mike had a lot to live for still. maybe. no one knows all that went on in his head, why he chose that day when he might have waited. maybe he wanted to make a clean break while he felt strong enough, determined to do so. maybe he had worked long and hard to make peace with such a hard choice, and wasn’t going to be deterred by anything when he finally made it and had the first opportunity to fulfill it while alone in the setting he had chosen.
i can only speculate, because despite having thought of suicide probably hundreds of times in my 55 years, i’ve never come close to making peace with those thoughts. it’s one thing to ponder or speak of death, quite another to embrace it.
ABOUT CHERI: Cheri has worked in media for more than 20 years in one capacity or another. Her media years were spent mostly in broadcast radio. her writing focused on the topic of ruppert’s suicide and events leading up to it. since it is so long, and i am not a fan of attributing this particular suicide or suicide in general to ‘mental illness’ or promoting ‘suicide prevention’, i suggest u skim by/through most of it, all the way down to the big number 16, at which point it gets to the nitty gritty. listen to ruppert’s final ‘lifeboat hour’ podcast if u haven’t already done so. there is a link provided in cheri’s essay in it’s nitty gritty section to his next-to-last podcast, done the week before, which if u click on takes u to a page where u can not only listen to that one (which i also recommend, particularly for the part featuring renowned consciousness explorer/writer philosopher terrence mckenna), but can also click on the calendar date of the april 13th one.
from the timeline provided in cheri’s essay, it appears clear that ruppert killed himself within an hour or so of finishing his final broad/podcast, and that while doing that final show, it was with full awareness/knowledge that he would be killing himself very shortly. he didn’t sound at all perturbed or morose. it seems he fooled everyone, or, much more likely (imo), he was completely at peace with the decision. i find that nearly incredible, and wish to explore to whatever extent possible, the hypothetical path he journeyed to reach such a place. at this point, i can only come up with some broad ideas, such as it would be necessary to cleanse oneself of virtually all regrets, resentments, and attachments in one’s life. i imagine this could take years, as it must have for ruppert, or mere moments, depending on the situation. and it may simply be impossible for many to do. so i much envy the manner in which ruppert ended his life, and can only hope that i may, unknowingly, be stumbling down a similar path to a similar conclusion. being able to face death with serenity may be the ultimate achievement in life.
this is my single question to pose to nbl readers, as per daniel d’s idea: can u imagine facing death with the same equanimity that mike ruppert displayed in his final hours, and if so, what do u think it would take to do so?