How to Deal with Death.
What make us human? Do you think about death?
I guess unlike any other animal, we are aware of our impending death.
I believe our awareness of death is one of the greatest driving forces of our behaviour. We may not think consciously about it often, yet it is subconsciously, driving our small and large life decisions.
Part of being conscious is this striving for growth & realisation of your potential. Yet part of having this level of consciousness is the realisation that you want to live. This usually creates a fear of death.
Becker says that when we reflect on this it creates deep anxiety so we find a way to deny or repress our mortality. We do this by transcending ourselves physically through activities or creations that live on, giving us a form of immortality. Say a great artwork or piece of music. Or we create meaning through money, fame, status or the role we play in society.
In a world of endless possibilities & competing interests, we need principles to direct our choices. It is this awareness of death, that guides our choices & the awareness grows as you have less time remaining.
Without death, would we live life as fully? Without constraint, how would we make decisions? Without death, nature wouldn’t sustain its cycles.
No matter how influential or accomplished you are, you die twice. Once, when you physically pass & again, the last time your name is mentioned. So trying to be immortal makes no sense.
Yet your ideas, the influence you had on others around you, the part you played in this interconnected universe, means you lived. You made your mark whether you know it or not. You were able to experience life from a perspective no one who ever lived has.
At the end, whether you accept or regret how you lived is likely related to how close you came to achieving your potential.
Did you remain an acorn or become an oak tree?
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