Hi, my following piece on life and death is not intended to make you feel pessimistic or doomed, but to put the greatest fear of our lives, i.e., death, into perspective and leverage it to live by our values…..by what really matters.
When any near and dear one dies, we become philosophical and our values transcend to exceedingly good, and the importance of love, empathy, selflessness and so on suddenly dawns upon us. In those deathly moments we ask ourselves: does it really matter- this pettiness, this selfishness, this anger, hatred, ego, this one-upmanship, this attention grabbing and status seeking ? In the face of death, we realize the futility of it all, and the ultimate truth hits us hard: I may not exist next moment and nothing will matter once I am dead, not to the “dead me” at least !
But these transformational thoughts are temporarily caused by death of some one close and evaporate soon. Therefore, does it make sense to make the temporary permanent ? Is it wise to think of death consciously and continuously, so that we remain transformed, so that we are naturally good…not artificially or by design, so that our values are not blurred in the hurly burly of life and we can be in command of our priorities? Remaining forever conscious of death may not be such a bad idea after all….. not in a forlorn, despondent, or pathetic manner, but in a life-defining, positive and reinforcing way.
In those few moments when we are aware of death, we let go of the superficial, the shallow and the sinister. This awareness then allows us to embrace the good, the beautiful and the worthy. Therefore, it logically follows that keeping knowledge of death as our constant companion, even if in the subconscious, simplifies and untangles everything…..from owning responsibility for “what a mess my life is” to ridiculing and rebuking myself for my sense of selfish entitlements, from accepting failures and rejections to allowing myself to be at peace with myself and others…warts n what not!
Change is the only constant and death is the only certainty. Our birth too was not a certainty…it could have been or would not have been…depending on so many factors. But once we are born, death is a certainty….the only absolute absolute in life…and it comes at a time and place of its own choosing.
We can appreciate life more, live life more by being aware and accepting of death. Once we come to terms with our death (which is inevitable), we can let go of our fears as well as false values, dogmas, anxieties, and stupid sense of self-importance. It lifts us up from being mean, narrow and petty. That’s life in its true sense and in its magnificent glory. Death takes our lives away, but its knowledge makes our lives worthy by making inhuman humans humane !
So, shall we be in cahoots with death always while being alive ?
Yes ! if all that’s written above is true, then it is also true that:
Meaning of death gives meaning to life !
Death therefore define us, our values !
Death become us, for in death alone we live honestly and honourably and we do not become living dead !
Let’s not be in denial of death then, let us not lose sight of our destiny defined by death !
In this game of life n death, life is by death….so live by death !
And try Death by Chocolate…to sweeten it : )