We’re all going to die

These words come from a Bukowski poem, which I’ve shared many times.

But it’s true…at least to the ‘me’, i.e. the false self. And, of course, it’s scared out of its tiny little mind.

Hardly news, though!

Possibly not, but what you do from birth until that fateful day should make more of an impression than a resignation to your extant experience, which most people describe as ‘mere existence’. (Actually, most people see their life through work which is a miserable experience; there are few people who’ve followed a calling and are mostly doing meaningless work.)

The thing is, you can’t will anything. You might think you can, but you can’t. Go always to the root of your decision and see what plays out? Soon enough the penny will drop: you can’t explain why you ended up where you ended up and that life is just one big mystery — albeit a tough one sometimes.

Does that mean you should give up?

No. If anything, it should make you examine what you’ve got beyond the hackneyed phrase “Aren’t I lucky” and really feel your way into life — the whole nine yards of your breath, your feelings and your moods.

But of course you won’t. Instead you’ll go running off looking for another hit of pleasure or pain avoidance, and keep doing that despite the fact that it’s an endless cycle.

What am I really trying to say?

Life. Live it. Fill your boots with all your experiences. Look into the abyss of your thoughts, and sit with anything and everything that shows up. Face all your fears and listen deeply to what’s really going on. Stop thinking that life owes you something. And even in the darkest times, remember that life is trying to tell you something, even if it’s as painful as painful can be.

In the final analysis, everything is fine as it is. But more than that, much like the seasons, nothing lasts forever — but you know that anyway.

And no, I’m not trying to give you a message. All I’m inviting you to do is remember that in x years time you won’t be here but in the meantime absent any form of self-enquiry, I can guarantee that when time is called, if you know it, you’ll wonder what the whole work, money, status thing was all about. Arguably it’s no life or not one I recognise.