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  • Writer's pictureDeric Hollings

Life After

 

On his 2020 album Lost Kingz, rapper Tha God Fahim featured a song entitled “Life After” which contains the following chorus (repeated twice):

 

It’s only one way out of life, and that’s death

Gotta watch your back after each and every step

Only time I find peace is when I’m laid to rest

Live by the code of honor ‘til my last breath

 

I appreciate the existentialist nature of Fahim’s words, as I frequently evoke the inevitability of death when practicing Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). As an example, you and everyone you know, have ever known, and may ever know will certainly die.

 

There’s no need to self-disturb regarding this fact, because death is inescapable. Stated with far more eloquence, one source expresses of death:

 

From that point onward, death is as enigmatic as the meaning of life itself — wrought with senselessness and anarchy, with no regard for an individual’s significance or reputation. Death pays no mind to accolades or honors, nor does it care about how much we have struggled already. Death is indiscriminate.

 

The inescapable, indiscriminate process of death is what Fahim acknowledges in “Life After.” Whether or not there is indeed life after death is another matter altogether.

 

I have no confident answers to offer in this regard. For those claiming that they definitively know there is an afterlife, I don’t waste my time with unfalsifiable claims such as this. Consequently, I’ve no dogmatic or mystical input which I may share with the reader.

 

The late psychologist Albert Ellis, who developed REBT, once stated of dogmatism and mysticism, “[D]ogmatism means that you say something and it’s absolutely true for all time because you believe it is and mysticism says that we know the essence of it all, we can’t tell you what it is but we know it.”

 

With this understanding, I devote what time I have remaining in life to what is, not what I believe ought to be. For example, Fahim describes what is when expressing that there’s “only one way out of life, and that’s death.”

 

However, he prescribes what ought to be when stating, “Gotta watch your back after each and every step.” Here, “gotta” is another way of expressing that you ought to watch your back after each and every step.

 

When mixing description and prescription in this way, Fahim’s message becomes muddled. On one hand, he accurately describes that death is inevitable. However, he prescribes that one ought to use caution, presumably as a means to prolong the inevitable.

 

Because I rationally consider what is without assuming what ought to be, I don’t live in fear of the inescapable and indiscriminate process of death. As such, I practice unconditional life-acceptance.

 

Similarly, while others describe what they irrationally believe will occur following death – similar to what a mystic may express, I don’t dedicate remaining hours of my life to behaving in a manner prescribed by others – similar to what a dogmatist may demand.

 

Although mine is undoubtedly a lifestyle many people will reject, I find contentedness with how I live. Unlike Fahim’s declaration, “Only time I find peace is when I’m laid to rest,” I currently live in relative peace.

 

Still, similar to how Fahim expresses, “Live by the code of honor ‘til my last breath,” I live in accordance to the principles of REBT and plan on doing so until my last breath. If you would like to know more about living in peace until your inescapable and indiscriminate death, I’m here to help.

 

If you’re looking for a provider who works to help you understand how thinking impacts physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral elements of your life, I invite you to reach out today by using the contact widget on my website.

 

As the world’s foremost old school hip hop REBT psychotherapist, I’m pleased to help people with an assortment of issues from anger (hostility, rage, and aggression) to relational issues, adjustment matters, trauma experience, justice involvement, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety and depression, and other mood or personality-related matters.

 

At Hollings Therapy, LLC, serving all of Texas, I aim to treat clients with dignity and respect while offering a multi-lensed approach to the practice of psychotherapy and life coaching. My mission includes: Prioritizing the cognitive and emotive needs of clients, an overall reduction in client suffering, and supporting sustainable growth for the clients I serve. Rather than simply helping you to feel better, I want to help you get better!

 

 

Deric Hollings, LPC, LCSW


 

References:

 

AEI. (n.d.). About Albert Ellis, Ph.D. Albert Ellis Institute. Retrieved from https://albertellis.org/about-albert-ellis-phd/

Bandcamp. (n.d.). Lost Kingz. Retrieved from https://thagodfahim.bandcamp.com/album/lost-kingz

Gem, L. (2019, January 25). Death becomes you. Medium. Retrieved from https://poetalunam.medium.com/death-becomes-you-8adc58f4812d

Halasz, G. (2004, December). In conversation with Dr Albert Ellis. Australian Psychiatry. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227984238_In_Conversation_with_Dr_Albert_Ellis

Hollings, D. (2022, October 31). Demandingness. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/demandingness

Hollings, D. (2022, October 5). Description vs. prescription. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/description-vs-prescription

Hollings, D. (2022, March 15). Disclaimer. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/disclaimer

Hollings, D. (2024, April 21). Existentialism. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/existentialism

Hollings, D. (2023, September 8). Fair use. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/fair-use

Hollings, D. (2023, October 12). Get better. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/get-better

Hollings, D. (n.d.). Hollings Therapy, LLC [Official website]. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/

Hollings, D. (2023, May 18). Irrational beliefs. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/irrational-beliefs

Hollings, D. (2023, September 19). Life coaching. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/life-coaching

Hollings, D. (2023, April 24). On truth. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/on-truth

Hollings, D. (2022, March 24). Rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/rational-emotive-behavior-therapy-rebt

Hollings, D. (2022, November 1). Self-disturbance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/self-disturbance

Hollings, D. (2022, October 7). Should, must, and ought. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/should-must-and-ought

Hollings, D. (2022, December 14). The is-ought problem. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/the-is-ought-problem

Hollings, D. (2023, March 11). Unconditional life-acceptance. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unconditional-life-acceptance

Hollings, D. (2023, October 22). Unfalsifiability. Hollings Therapy, LLC. Retrieved from https://www.hollingstherapy.com/post/unfalsifiability

Last.fm. (n.d.). Tha God Fahim. Retrieved from https://www.last.fm/music/Tha+God+Fahim/+wiki

Sound Recipe. (2020, February 22). Tha God Fahim - Life After (Lost Kingz LP) [Video]. YouTube. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/Eei48qLEzWk?si=H-lcgVy53jvOCYzf

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