“A lot of people like being dead.
They aren’t really dead.
They are just backing away from life.”
Maude (from Harold & Maude)
“Unbeing dead isn’t being alive.”
“There’s nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.”
And … well … not backing away from Life.
Maybe it is about living Life in a weird way … being undead <kind of a gray area in living Life>.
And, no, this is not about regrets … or having regrets.
This is more about how we sometimes subconsciously back away from life.
“If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy dying.”
And, consequently, it is also all about the importance of seeking to continuously reinvent ourselves while … well … mostly we are actually just going through the motions <it’s a version of living Life by being dead>.
It is, unfortunately, human nature that we are constantly distracted by what we have accomplished, completed, succeeded at … or failed at.
It is a major distraction for one of two reasons:
- You purposefully seek to replicate what you have done in the past
- You purposefully seek to break away, and break new ground, from what you have done in the past
Basically this suggests you are not really living Life … just constantly looking in the rear view mirror trying to make sure you replicate the good and avoid the bad.
I will point out … that would be the past good and the past bad.
It’s kind of like defining your usefulness and worthiness not by actually living your Life to its fullest but rather by measuring it in increments versus the past.
While some people may call it ‘incremental living‘, to me, that is ‘being dead’ … you are basically backing away from Life.
Eckhart Tolle <who in general I think is a philosophical nutcake> said … the secret of life is to “die before you die” – and find there is no death.
<that always made my head hurt if I thought about it too much>
I am not really sure what the hell he is talking about but what I do know is that while we may not consciously back away from Life and living … we certainly settle for a shitload of incremental maneuvering under the guise of “this is what it is going to take so that one day I will make it.”
Talk about sucking the life out of life.
If you develop such a mindset, no matter what you achieve or get … the present will never be good enough and the future will always appear better.
This is a perfect recipe for permanent dissatisfaction.
It is kind of like a ‘waiting state of mind’ although I could argue that is “people like being dead.”
Basically it means that you want the future but you don’t want the present.
You don’t want what you’ve got and you want what you haven’t got.
I mentioning a ‘waiting state of mind’ because with every kind of waiting you unconsciously create inner conflict between here and now, where you don’t want to be, and the projected future – where you want to be. This greatly reduces the quality of your life by losing or sacrificing the present.
All that philosophical mumbo jumbo aside and let me just say … well … “for some the most difficult thing in life is knowing what they are surviving for.”
It is true some people just don’t live life.
They are just surviving <albeit … it is actually ‘being dead’>.
The problem is they even forget why they are surviving. Most people inevitably fall into a rut and in that rut they confuse living Life & survival with purpose … mostly because they are constantly looking backwards trying to move forward incrementally better than what they had done before.
Survival, to me, at its most valuable self-core is about purpose.
For once I will go with the crazy pop culture bullshit and say “why we don’t have more discussion on purpose driven life?”
We sure as hell do it with business <which I think is crazy>.
To be clear … purpose doesn’t have to be religious.
I think we don’t because it is tough. I am fairly sure it is not even anything tangible and it it sure as hell will not be found in any book or “chicken soup for the soul” type thinking.
Unfortunately it’s not really about “things” … like being ecofriendly or fighting poverty. Or even making sure your kids have it better than you do. Or doing anything actually <those are simply reflections or outcomes of attitude>.
That means if what I am writing is true then there is no measurement or none of the easy status comparisons <who has more stuff or more success>.
This mean the only measurement is good versus bad, the dark side and the lighter side of moments, and the inevitable task Life then demands of us — to find meanings in the moments.
I imagine I could point out here that each moment has value … if you look hard enough. But that is hard to find so people end up creating meaningful Life moments in a variety of ways — some good & some bad, some healthy & some unhealthy.
But if you are busy being dead <or, conversely, just not being undead> that kind of means you don’t really know how to enjoy life, or the moments within it, so you either end up by finding meaning in <a> incremental improvements versus the past – replicating good, avoiding the bad, or <b> creating closure moments – fake closure.
I could point out here that ‘death’, or being dead, is one way we seek to find meaning. “Live life like you are dying” or “want to do something before I die” or anything like that.
I imagine we will use any tool in the Life toolbox to try and create some comparisons to judge how well we are doing or not doing <that is called “assessing the value in our Life”>.
Just think about that a little … an how much that sucks.
Suffice it to say that people find value in Life in a variety of creative ways … mostly because they can’t seem to find value in purpose. Purpose is simple yet complex in the innate knowledge of people’s fear, hopes and desires in life combined with desire to ‘do something’ … whew … try measuring or judging that on a weekly basis.
Had I not known
that I was dead
I would have mourned
my loss of life.
Ota Dokan <his last words>
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so life well used brings happy death. “
Leonardo da Vinci
I do believe people would be a shitload happier if they could stop thinking of our way of life, capitalism driven culture, as a … well … way of life … but rather maybe think about Life as a way of living in which capitalism is just one part.
I do believe people would benefit if we understand that we humans are egoistic … we like things & we like to feel good about ourselves & we actually like to do some good in the bigger picture.
I do believe people would be happier if they understood that we always will struggle to get the best for our selves <emotionally and tangibly>.
“Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live … before they know it … time runs out.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
I do believe people would be happier to look forward a little more often and worry a little bit less about ‘replicating good shit I have done in the past and avoiding the bad shit I did in the past’ <mostly because most of us don’t need a guidebook for what to do in the present if we just try and do our best – which is most likely representative of all our experiences up to that point>.
Here is what I know about Life and death.
Life does not stop at death.
Of course it doesn’t.
Someone is not dead until they are forgotten. So maybe we should all worry a little less about replicating & avoiding and just try and do shit that matters when it matters.
“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away…”