I haven’t written in the space in over a week, I am currently reading the bare minimum of pages each day in my current book, and a whole lot of other parts of my daily routine have been lost because of Elden Ring. But tonight I had to write about it because Elden Ring taught me something very important about my faith.
We recently celebrated Easter which is the biggest holiday of the year for Christians. It is when Jesus was resurrected and defeated death. It is that last part that has always gotten to me. Jesus Christ defeated death. I have long struggled to understand what exactly that means. Is it a literal thing as he had the power to raise the dead and he, himself, was resurrected or is it more talking about the afterlife?
The concept of the afterlife is something I’m not so sure about. I once heard it said that you don’t die until the last person that remembers you dies and I like that thought. I like the idea that if we do good in this world and follow the path of empathy, kindness, and understanding we will be well remembered on our passing. That our afterlife is how we live on in the memory of others. This can easily fit in with the idea that Jesus defeated death. He gave us the path of empathy and love to follow to be well remembered. Jesus, himself, is resurrected in this way.
I don’t think that’s what pastors mean when they preach on Easter Sunday though. Jesus Christ defeated death. Here is where Elden Ring comes in. Part of the storyline is releasing Destined Death which is an actual character and boss fight in the game. Your character gets to defeat death and do you know what happens when you defeat death? Destined Death returns to the world.
Elden Ring takes place in The Lands Between. The Lands Between what exactly you might be asking yourself. for my understanding it is the lands between life and death. They are lands torn apart by the shattering of the Elden Ring and the war that followed for it. Their god has abandoned them and her children had a war of succession that decimated the lands. Now they are filled with all sorts of horrible creatures that wander them unable to die.
This is where my understanding of Jesus defeating death comes in. Be not afraid. How many times does Jesus say that to his disciples or to people he heal? Be not afraid. That is the key. Whether we believe that the afterlife is a paradise we go to to spend eternity with our loved ones or a more metaphorical return of our essence into the dust and dirt that nourishes this planet we defeat death by not being afraid of death.
It has been said that without death there is no life. Think of The Lands Between in Elden Ring. The lands are dying but can never die. The embodiment of this for me are the wandering nobles. They are an extra pathetic lot. They never pose much of a threat to the player character and just kind of passively wanter around. It is like they are living a life that no longer exists. They are stuck in a past half remembered and mostly forgotten. They walk through the ruins of ancient cities and palaces. Thinking things are still grand.
In order for the world to be born anew, to be resurrected, there must be death. It is through embracing and understanding death that we defeat death. Jesus defeated death because he wasn’t afraid of death. Jesus knew his fate and went to it willingly. He showed us what it means to defeat death, and the only way we can defeat death is to understand it as the natural and final stage of life.