About Death Training

Death Training is not new; Socrates was recovering from one of his epileptic seizures when he was asked what in the world he was doing. "Practicing dying," was his reply.

You might not think that practicing for death is important, but it is, and I'd like to tell you why.

When The Time actually comes, you'll want to pass gracefully. At the very least, you'll want to say a few well-chosen words, or wave, wink and nod out with the last outbreath.

On the surface, that sounds easy enough, but be at a few passings, and you'll be in my Death Prep Class the next day.

It's harder to die well than you might think. The panic at losing your breath comes upon you, and you gasp, or try to gasp, air into your lungs, but it doesn't come. No air. You begin to sink, knowing that you're dying, that this is really IT.

Then you black out. Time passes, uncountable time. Then you wake up. Things are happening all around you. Couples are mating all over the place. You feel unaccountably drawn toward one of the couples; next thing you know, a doctor is slapping your ass and you're crying and breathing and once again feeling the pain of oxygen and a body tingling with raw sensations. It's cold. You want your mommy. You suck on the breast, comforted for the moment.

If that's how you want to spend eternity, hey, it's entirely up to you. But if you want the freedom necessary to perform work tasks, you'll have to outgrow that infantile approach to reality. You'll have to wake up.

Life, death, life, death, endlessly around, around and around. You call that living?

I’m about to tell you how to learn not to fear death. Back in the 20th century, actually early in 1994, Claude Needham, Ph.D. and I were under contract to Id Software to produce music for Quake and to help with certain gaming issues that we’d already worked out on the GODD Engine, and my friend John Carmack, who is a proponent of Open Source and has released all his games as Open Source. John had sent his lead programmer, American McGee to my home for ten days. McGee brought the Secret Software for Quake on his own desktop gaming computer, which we kept in a locked area on a “safe” desk, used only for game development computers. Remember, this was Back in The Day, so we didn’t have more than a few megs of memory and slowwwww chips, and internet gameplay was just brand-new and slow at that time, with an average “ping” of well over 10,000, no kidding.

We worked with a maximum of 256 colors, mostly browns, blues, greens and greys, and everything was minimized, especially the display graphics and HUD. My internet connection at that time was at best 16k baud rate, meaning you aimed not where you wanted to go, but where you wanted to be in a couple of seconds from now. DeathMatch was far more challenging than it is now, because nothing on the internet was anything close to Real Time. You’ll see a number of Claude’s and my suggestions in the Q2 levels, and Claude and I made dozens of very popular maps for Team Fortress I, which was a Quake Mod originally.

Jimmi Accardi does most of the work on this Gorebagg & the Grunts release, and does an exceptional job on the slide guitar, which he’s playing here for the first time. One big surprise to me when we did this video was that you could dive down into the lava and survive, coming up on the other side with a special weapon, such as the Lightning Gun, or a Quad Damage Charm.

That’s me, dying again and again in the gunsights of McGee; I got him twice, total. He was an amazing player, but as he pointed out, he spent thousands of hours making the maps and knew them well. This was all new material for Quake, and naturally, I’d never seen it before, so I was “mapping” the whole time.

There were secret doors, tunnels, exits and passages everywhere, and I doubt that players ever found all of them. The unlocking methods were varied, and complex, and some things he used were available only because he was Admin on the server, he explained with a little chuckle.

The Big Threat in Quake was not the monsters — them you could beat, with patience and skills. It was LAVA. Slime was bad, very bad, but easily survivable. Lava sucked you down, and it was unexpectedly in the worst possible places, where a slight miss on a fast tight turn could land you in the Hellishness of Lava Meltdown.

The sound the avatar makes when hitting the lava is disturbing, and it’s of course meant to be disturbing. It sounds as if you’ve died, but if you learn how to maneuver under the lava, you discover that you’re only taking about 1/5 of a critical hit, giving you more than enough time to travel under the lava and emerge in a safe spot, like a Lightning Gun alcove or a +100 Life medkit.

In Passing, when you hit that “lava”, meaning the scorching effect of the Blackout Stage as you exit the body, you’ll note that it feels EXACTLY THE SAME — as if you’ve been sucked down into hot lava.

If you don’t push the “panic” button, you’ll discover to your amazement that you’re largely unaffected — it takes very small “bites” or “chunks” out of your hide, and you can easily slip through to the Other Side.

But that’s if you don’t panic.

Right now, you’re probably fairly calm, but when the thing happens, you equally probably won’t be calm at all — you’ll probably panic, unless you have experience at dying, combined with a terrific memory of all the times that’s ever happened to you. This is what it’s like in a game. You go over and over something until you can either survive it or use what you learned in the next respawn.

If your memory doesn’t currently include past lives, you need my Past Lives Rehab Course, and you need to game with me online to learn how to handle death and rebirth.

How can you do that?

Simple. Call or email me and sign up. Yanesh is taking the reservations, and space is very limited. If you’re afraid to die, this is the course for you! It’ll cure you once and for all on the subject of death and rebirth.

The 4-week BEGINNER course is held once per week — you can choose your time and day, and we’ll organize a class at that time and day. The course is called “Dead Again”, and costs only $15 per two-hour class, same as my art classes. We meet online, even if you’re sitting right next to me.

Graduation Day will leave you fearless.

Be prepared to learn some things you never would have known had you not taken this “to die for” course. It’ll kill ya. But then, so will just sitting around.

See You At The Top!!!