Our attitudes on death dictate the lives we live. This seems like a strange paradox, but our acceptance of inevitable death provides the perspective that drives the actions we choose to experience life.
There are those who live their lives cautiously, without risk, who prioritize longevity over loving the life lived. There are also those whose zest for living a large life accelerates their untimely death. Both of these types of people, dictate their actions with the mindfulness of a linear timeline in which to maximize the moments, either in quantity or quality.
Then there are those who pay no attention to neither the quality of the life they are living nor acknowledge their limited quantity of time on earth. They simply languish through life, apathetic to the contemplation of their timespan from birth to death, their actions mindlessly distract from such thoughts. Absent of meaning or purpose, they accept whatever life brings them, content with the continuous passage of time without care.
The rarest of individuals have vision that transcends the logical linear bounds of time. They possess a relaxed relation to both life and death, without desperation. They simply walk through life with the spirit of a visitor. Constant curiosity empowers them to enjoy the experience, knowing that the moments encountered will only occur once, and can not be recreated. They cherish the moments, but do not struggle too hard to keep them. There is a calm balance in their presence. A realization that without accepting death, they could not appreciate life. And without appreciating life, they could not accept death.
Time is the only resource that matters, its quantity expires with consistent precision, its quality is entirely up to you.
Between birth and death,
Three in ten are following life,
Three in ten are following death,
And men just passing from birth to death also number three in ten.
Why is this so?
Because they live their lives on the gross level.
– Tao Te Ching Ch 50
“Casting aside other things, hold to the precious few; and bear in mind that every man lives only the present, which is an indivisible point, and that all the rest of his life is either past or is uncertain.
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.
– Ecclesiastes 3:11