Love Spreads


By Liam Flanagan

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash


I ask is there something wrong with peace and quiet
Riots
On the streets
Due to inequities and injustice
Money causing the rise of self-interest and selfish reward
War and conflict causing the disruption of the mind
Kindness
A commodity costing nothing yet often times so hard to find
Compassion and Humility
Values to be admired and encouraged
Goodness and Quality ideals to be strived for
Acts of altruism applauded and admired
Tired
We have all become of a world of materialism and profit
Love makes the world spin around no matter how much value
Is
Put
On
The
Pound

Liam Flanagan is a 48 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics

An Unnatural State Of Being


By Liam Flanagan

Photo by Fabrice Villard on Unsplash


Trees
Jeez
I can’t get any inspiration from writing about leaves
Flowers
With the power to inspire others to put pen to paper
Nature
Unable to provide a source creativity or metaphor
Therefore
I stare out the window with inquisitive eyes
Skies
Above
Provide no urge to write about the absence of clouds
Or houseplants
Dancing branches in the wind blowing a chill cold enough
To envy a bear finding a cave to hibernate from the winter gloom
Soon
The face of nature will change from scours and showers
To a spring full of life and colour
Another opportunity to write something about our natural mother

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics

Wishing Well


By Liam Flanagan

Take this coin and hold it tightly in your hand
Carefully and deeply contemplate a wish you would like to see granted
A desire for peace in a world becoming more violent as each day passes
A request for good health to accompany you on lives journey
A wish loved ones karma allows for long and joyful lives to be lived
You may choose to put value on materialistic objects
To bring joy and happiness
Realising this to be a decision made by the futility of youth
So delve deep inside to find something which is really worth wishing for
Toss the coin into the water heads you win tails you lose

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics

Metamorphosis


BY LIAM FLANAGAN

Sitting quietly with oneself contemplating the essence
To be found in the body and in the mind
An identity formed from a combination of genes and experience
Or is there another part of being which defines who we are
A spirit which wanders and weaves through the corridors of life
Each change of direction requiring an adjustment to who we are
Not a constant like a rock which cannot be reshaped
Or a river which flows and refuses to be redirected
We are never always the same and so often the opposite

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

Vincent


By Liam Flanagan

Photo by Elle Lumière on Unsplash

So neglected in your life even now people struggle to pronounce your name
Tortured you were turning to alcohol to ease the pain
Relief found from painting nature and flowers
Finding inspiration from roses/lilacs/lilies and sunflowers
Whilst engaged in a constant battle with an illness which refused to allow sunshine into the mind
You must have been living in a world more identifiable as hell
Cut ones ear off to quieten the incessant noise disturbing the self
Rest easy knowing a legacy of beauty and genius has been left
A life so short leaving us behind thirty seven years old

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

War And Peace


Photo by Kier In Sight on Unsplash

BY LIAM FLANAGAN

War and Peace
Remember Tolstoy an author of your times
You too were invaded by a foreign power
Napoleon marching with menace into
your land
Forgotten now how one man can bring so much horror and death to Russian homes
A refusal to allow your country to succumb to the distorted ambition of a dictator who knows
psychosis all too well
He set Moscow on fire and lay siege to St. Petersburg
Remember now how much suffering and devastation one man brought
To your country/your cities/your people/your friends/your family
Stop these abhorrent actions being done in the Slavic name
Read the words of the possibility of living a moral life in an imperfect world
You too have a culture of religion
and spirituality
Knowing the difference between Right and
Wrong
Rise up now a proud history of uprising and revolution
Putting an ending to the atrocities and mass exodus of your neighbors from their lives and their
peaceful homes

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

Apocalypse Now


BY LIAM FLANAGAN

Apocalypse Now
Four Horsemen come riding in
Each one carrying a prediction from the Book of Revelation
A White Horse under the command of the Anti-Christ
Bringing Conquest and Destruction
Following on from a world already suffering from the spreading of a Plague
A Red Horse representing the waging War on all those who cross his Path
A Black Horse rider spreading hunger and famine
No longer enough money or food to go
around
As a Pale Horse arrives on the scene
Screams
Of horror and terror as all he brings is death and murder

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

How To Die Gracefully


The art of dying well

BY Y.K. Goon

Learning how to die is the domain of philosophy. But doing it *gracefully* is largely an engineering issue. There is largely only one chance to get it right, so there's some value in learning the how.

Consider how awkward it is for another person to advise a dying man how to die with grace who is otherwise completely clueless about it. The time to learn this is when you are cognitively sound.

While I'm not at all qualified to talk about this, those who do are no longer around. So let's settle.

## Genres of death

Death is either an event (sudden) or a process (prolonged). You should wish for a sudden death, not a prolonged one. This is setting aside the pain that loved ones will have to endure but in either case it amounts to about the same.

What if a swift death robs you the chance to complete unfinished business? You should've thought about that earlier and take care of them before it's too late.

In the event of a sudden death, there's nothing much to explore. Circumstances are outside your control, there's no sense of grace to aim for. But not everybody is that lucky. Most of us don't have wars to fight, swift death is a privilege.

It's when death makes a long and drawn out process that it becomes a problem.

## When to call it

When the end is coming the worst thing to do is to overstay your welcome. [Most doctors](https://www.zocalopublicsquare.org/2011/11/30/how-doctors-die/ideas/nexus/) know this and choose to do nothing with their terminal disease. They have been around the block enough to know when to call it quit.

At this point the only factor left is courage. Would you have earned enough courage-credit to declare you're done? Acquiring this courage is a big deal but is beyond the scope of this piece. Spiritual guidance are plentiful out there.

When courage is taken care of, the next thing is having to recognize when the end is near.

What if you're not given a terminal illness, how do you know when to call it? That's the hard part. Do you measure only bodily failure? What about the wetware, the cognition?

We can start with a simple scenario: when you can't control your bladder anymore. At which point we're talking about total reliance on another human for simple bodily function, where it's fairly certain there's no getting better from there on. This is a good point to mark the last chapter.

## Cognitive decline

Going one step further, what if your body is running fine but the mind shuts down, be it from coma, dementia or any form of brain decay?

One of my worst fears is for me to regress slowly to a teenager state of mind. I'll be dumb like a brick, self-conscious enough to realize it, yet have absolutely no ability to rectify it.

In the midst of it you can't be there to make the decision to declare you're giving up. This decision has to be pre-made and made known to dependents.

Example of an algorithm: if you show no sign of recovery from Alzheimer's disease in another six months, someone should find a way to put you out.

I'm a proponent of the [dead man's switch](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_man%27s_switch). If I'm debilitated for over say three months, have no ability to stop the trigger, a message would be sent to the chosen person with clear instructions of how and when to put me out, along with my crypto-assets as inheritance.

Decision like these are easier with a sound mind than in distress.

## Calling it a life

What does it mean to execute end-of-life after declaring it?

At the basic level it means putting a stop to painful attempts at recovery.

If life is suffering then death should attempt to be a delight. There's no point making the exit more painful than it has to be. This is the moment to indulge in every possible pleasure agent there is. I imagine drugs, alcohol, anything that rocks your boat.

Finally, we end the show with euthanasia. Bring the party to where it's legal and make it a celebration.

Think of it as dessert after a lifetime of existence.

## Conundrum of god's will

If you're religiously inclined, there's another level of complication where the will of god is involved. Taking active steps in ending one's life is strictly frowned upon.

Sure. In that case may I persuade you that continuous medical intervention is also violation of god's will, delaying the divine inevitability. Perhaps if you stop doing just that you'll still be staying on god's good side.

## Conclusion

There are many details left unaddressed. How is euthanasia performed? What about edge cases like multi-year coma with a chance of resuscitation (like Steve Rogers)?

In domains where there are established expertise (euthanasia) I'll defer to them. Where there are none I'll leave it to your imagination.

I reserve the right the change my mind about any of these. Perhaps you can tell me how this framework could be invalidated. If I'm wrong, how would I know?

I'll end with a heuristic that I've never heard of but the irony make it feel true: those who control their death gets superior control over their lives.

Y.K. is a software engineer; investor; a man blessed with curiosity
attempting to learn the art of being, in search of antifragility.

The Crossroads


BY LIAM FLANAGAN

Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash

Standing at a crossroads
No sign posts in sight
Do I turn left or right?
In danger of getting lost in the middle of the night
Dark clouds loom on the horizon
Gathering in the northern skies
Halting progress forward
The distance from home can be measured in miles
I take a look over my shoulder
Gazing back over the journey
I’ve been on
There is no going back now
The time to go backwards
is gone

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

Forbidden


BY LIAM FLANAGAN

Are ye trying to kid me?
Do you think we are all idiots
Fix it!
The world is going to go up in flames
Or drowning in rising sea tides
Hide
The truth is the most important thing is to make money
Big business continue to be allowed to mass produce harmful pollutants
To get their greedy grubby hands on as much cash as possible
Impossible
To believe anything coming out of the mouths of politicians
Lie as you try to pull the wool over the eyes of the people
So fake in your minds eye is to let them eat
cake
You should be forbidden from showing yourselves in public
Power will be taken away and a discovery will be made of exactly what it means to be a part of
a republic

Liam Flanagan is a 47 year old living in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. Degree in English and Philosophy. Teaching Diploma in IT. Ten years experience working in the IT industry. Likes Sport, Music, Film and Politics 

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