Mortality or immortality? Given the choice, which would you choose? Those who regularly buy lottery tickets dreaming of untold riches might think living forever would be the most fabulous gift of all. Provided the money didn’t run out, of course. That view might change as the body begins to creak and groan. Nevertheless, certain events in life can – and should – make us reflect on our own temporality. Such thoughts are not always happy, hence the burgeoning market for anti-ageing serums, Botox and the like. But perhaps mortality is not something to fear and could bring a sense of freedom, even joy.
No end, no beginning
When a tree dies, we know that all the materials that made that tree simply change into something else. There isn’t an end, just change. In fact, it’s very hard to say when the tree began. Was it when the seed sprouted, or the seed itself – perhaps the flower of the mother tree? It’s the same with us. The chain of events that led to our appearance is without beginning. Remove one ancestor from any generation and we would cease to be.
Embracing mortality can be a blissful release
Instead of resisting life’s natural flow, we can embrace the ephemeral nature of life. That doesn’t mean simply accepting the obvious fact that one day we are going to die. Rather, it involves understanding that our appearance on this Earth, and that is what life is, is a miraculous product of constantly changing conditions. Our body didn’t suddenly materialise out of thin air. There are causes which put it together, maintain it and change its form. That’s all mortality is – impermanence of form. Not only that, our body is made entirely of recycled material. It is actually recycling all the time and the body we had in our youth simply doesn’t exist anymore. That’s pretty amazing. Don’t resist the changing face in the mirror. It’s meant to change. Cheers!
See more in The Art of Not Doing
Free guided meditations