[ Note : The post is about death. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, or have been suicidal at some point in your life or bear some raw wounds around death, this post might have some statements that can appear insensitive and provocative. Perhaps you can skip this post. ]
Imagine you had no death. You know that you have a 1000 years to live your life. And Imagine everybody around you also lives to be a 1000 years.
Would your despair over not being with the perfect partner still make sense? You have all the time now to start afresh I imagine.
Would your struggle with your career still make sense? You have the time to sort it out now. Maybe you could even start studying all over again (at the age of 75 if need be) and start a new career in a whole new field! You have till a 1000 remember?
Perhaps everyone of us now would have the opportunity to become a multi-millionaire. It is just a matter of time.
I believe a whole lot of our struggles and challenges might not appear as significant if death weren’t in the picture.
The reality is that we all know, deep inside, that our time is running out. And this is the deepest reason why many of us get anxious, get worried and sometimes give up on life.
“It is too late now”, they say. “Of what use is it to work on this now?”
When somebody cannot finish college because they were dealing with a personal loss, they feel they do not have the time to start over again because time is running out. They tell themselves that they need to move on and find a job.
When somebody’s relationship/marriage breaks at the age of 40, they give up on love, because they feel it is too late to start again. “There is no time to let the wounds heal and then make space for new love”, says the voice within.
Life then becomes a constant battle with time. One cannot stop. One cannot rest. Relentless and Strong, one must walk on.
“Time running out” is really a subconscious reference to death. And death is our deepest unconscious fear.
The ancients say that the only way to deal with this fear is to make this phenomenon conscious. Become aware of Death…YOUR Death.
See yourself Dead. You will die one day.
Try not to get stuck with the grimness of this reality. This is not an exercise in pessimism or melancholy. This is an exercise in grounding yourself into reality.
The truth is that you have only about 80 years to live. And if we eliminate the first 20 years of our lives as the growing up years, we have about 60 years of active living. And if we estimate that you would retire at the age of 70, how much time of active living have you got from today? Do your own math and figure out your time.
Work backwards from there now.
1. What is really relevant in your life if you know life has a time limit?
2. What do you need to be doing so that when death comes to greet you, you are willing to leave behind a good and meaningful life.
3. What do you need to do now so that you are willing to rest in peace when death comes to take you from life?
4. What if death were to come and get you tomorrow? Would you be dying bitter & sad?
5. What if death came to you only when you were 80? Can you live without drudgery till then?
These are questions to ask yourself often. Confronting this aspect of reality is to confront your own death. Meditate on your death. And I believe it is from here that one can find a deeper meaning and purpose to life.
I remember one of my Spiritual Teachers say that “We don’t need to live a Great Life. We only need to live a Good Life.”
Dying is an art, just like everything else.