As I Am Now

It’s something of a cliche to observe that modern society typically avoid thinking about death, and live their lives less meaningfully, and urgently, as a result.
Our denial of death can be seen in our addiction to the news cycle. We stay hooked from the fear of missing out on something important . . . none so much as the breaking story that science has finally found the cure for mortality.
We attempt to slip the inevitability of death through productivity hacking too. If we can find a way around the normal limits of time, if we can get more done than seems humanly possible, perhaps we can change our state, secure a bit of omnipotence, trade our finite humanness for immortal godhood.

And then there’s the way we dehumanize those who are older and already passed on. To a man of 20, a man of 50 seems to be a shallower, less emotionally complex being. At any age, we think the people who populate black and white photographs lived lives that were qualitatively different, inferior, from our own. For, if we are somehow “real-er” than they, we won’t meet the same fate, won’t watch our bodies wrinkle and sag, won’t eventually vanish from the earth.
Alas, we are not a slightly different species than the billions who have come before us. Nor can we alter ourselves to become such. And the best antidote to this death-denying thinking may be found in wandering a centuries-old cemetery. There, you’ll often find gravestones inscribed with an epigraph well-worth reflecting on.

It reads:

Remember me as you pass by,
As you are now, so once was I,
As I am now, soon you will be,
So prepare yourself to follow me.

2 comments

  1. of course it’s very valuable to have broad perspectives of life, of our existence, as broad as possible, by keeping in mind that we come from noise and go into noise. Like a radar signal, right? A signal that came from and after noise and then it goes back into that
    It will make us, hopefully, appreciate and make better use of our time.
    But I have something that to me it’s maybe even more important: that during the time we exist, and especially the time where we have the energy and are pretty awake, to make the most of it, and also do things that will increase (in intensity and longitude) that time.
    Because I find too many people seem to be in a rush to return to noise.
    Let’s make some noise 🙂

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