Death is an Adviser

Back to Blog · 5 years ago

The one certainty in life is death.  This basic fact of our existence scares most people to the point that they’d rather not deal with it all. They consider the concept of death depressing or negative. Nothing could be further from the truth! 

Learning to come to grips with our mortality is the purpose of life. How can we be having this experience called life and then it’s all gone? 

To live without acknowledging death is what makes us unhappy.  We start acting like we have all of eternity at our disposal and then become bored and frustrated with our lives and the world around us. On the other hand, if we realistically assess that every day may be our last, it clarifies what we do and what we find important.  It puts us in a situation where we strive to enjoy and get the most out of every moment. 

That is the reality: we have no idea when we will die so we need to embrace life to the fullest at every moment.  In Carlos Castaneda’s book Journey to Ixtlan, his teacher Don Juan, explains that “death is an adviser”: whenever we are trying to make a decision, we can simply consult with our death to help us determine what to decide. 

When you come to terms with the reality that you will die at an unknown day and time, this should drive you to do the things that are most important to you now, because you may not have the time later. 

Death also teaches us that life is transient: this is a good thing, because otherwise we’d be the same limited person we are now forever. Death allows us to change and transform: not the part of us that is the body and personality, which of course, dies, but the deeper part of ourselves. “The universe is our friend because it kills us”. 

The practice of meditation takes us further: we can experience freedom now in this body and in this life – the freedom of being eternity itself. We can then step back into transience, and enjoy it: these moments will never be again, so let’s make the most of them. 

The confusion of self is that we mistake ourselves for where we are. 

We’re the formless. 

“That which is us is forever. We are that”

We are the dream of eternity – meditation allows us to wake up from the dream as eternitry.