It’s Not If You Die, It’s How You Face the Inevitability of Your Death
It is said that Japanese Samurai warriors reminded themselves of the inevitability of loss by using the phrase, "Die before going into battle." This practice allows a warrior to enter combat without fear of death because he has brought himself to the acceptance of death ahead of time. Because death is an inevitable outcome, and by accepting the absoluteness of that inevitability, the warrior fully gives himself to his mission without concern for survival or victory.
Tracy Goss wrote a book called The Last Word on Power (1996), and talks about the paradigm most of us live in. It goes like this: if things are going great – Yay for us! If things are not going great, there must be something wrong with them, it, or me!
Goss points to the fact that there is very little room in our current paradigm for the Isness of life. She says life doesn’t turn out the way it “should”, but rather life turns out the way it does. Most of us don’t like that message, and so we avoid the whole subject completely until we can no longer deny the inevitability of life ending in death.
There is so much we cannot control in life, but that doesn’t stop us from trying! Death is just one of those fates that, although undeniable on a very obvious level, tends to lead to humans creating a tremendous amount of fantasies of “beating the odds”. I find that fascinating.
What would life look like if we, like the Samurai Warriors, admitted that death is inevitable? I suspect we would get on with the task of fulfilling our mission of bringing about the vision we imagine for the world. I believe we would stop living in fear and begin expressing compassion for ourselves and others. I don’t really know. But it beats living in fear for the rest of my time on the planet!
In the end, life will end as it does, not as it should. That’s a big fat be-with! So now what? For me, I’m going to get on with letting go of how life should be and how life should end, and just live one day at a time, making it the best day ever.
How are you with the topic of death? Let’s talk about it over on Facebook!
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