Embracing Death: Choosing Wisdom Over Fear

death, embracing death choosing wisdom over fear, choosing wisdom, choose yourself the wits and wisdom of john obidi, choosing god's best wisdom for lifelong romance,

Death is an inevitable reality that we all face. While we may not know when or how it will happen, the anxiety surrounding our mortality lingers deep within us. It surfaces when we experience the loss of loved ones, when we question the purpose of life, or when we grapple with despair. To cope, we often try to distract ourselves from the study of death, immersing ourselves in the pursuits of life. We meticulously plan our days, make arrangements, and set goals, hoping that our endeavors will succeed. Yet, life is unpredictable, and not all our plans come to fruition. Despite the uncertainties, there is one event we can be certain of—our eventual death.

The paradox lies in our tendency to meticulously plan our lives, which are fraught with uncertainties while neglecting to plan for death, the only certainty we have. Our life plans depend on numerous variables beyond our control, but planning for death is a personal matter that involves only the present reality and is, therefore, easier to execute successfully. Would it be wiser to plan to pluck stars from the sky or to pick apples from a tree nearby?

Although some may argue that death is just as uncertain as other events in life, there is a significant difference. While the timing and circumstances of many anticipated events may never come to pass, death is inevitable and always happens in the same way—by the cessation of breath. Everything in life is in a constant state of change, except for death itself. We can be absolutely certain about nothing except for our eventual demise.

Knowing the exact time or manner of our death is beyond our control, but how we face death when it arrives is within our power. Our inner attitude and preparation determine how we confront this significant event. While we cannot choose the external circumstances surrounding our death, we can choose our internal response. We do have some agency in the matter. There have been historical figures who exemplify this choice. Socrates, for instance, refused an opportunity to escape his captors and embraced death with unwavering conviction, knowing that compromising his values would render his philosophy meaningless. Sambhāji, the son of Hindu king Shivāji, also chose a martyr's death rather than compromise his principles.

These examples, along with countless others throughout history, demonstrate that while we may not have control over the external circumstances leading to death, we have the power to choose our internal response. They show us that joy and wisdom mark the deaths of those who hold firm to their principles, while suffering and surrender accompany those who choose self-destruction. Self-destruction is not a true choice; it is an act born out of desperation, a futile attempt to escape unbearable burdens. Unfortunately, death is no escape; it only adds another burden if it comes from our own hands.

While we may not always have the opportunity to choose the external circumstances of our death, we do have the freedom to choose our inner disposition before death chooses us. The key lies in "dying" before dying, as suggested by various wisdom traditions. By renouncing worldly attachments and identifying ourselves as already dead to the world, we can neutralize the fear of death. Detaching ourselves from the lure of the world allows us to experience peace within.

Just as the vampire in the story refrained from eating the fish, thereby freeing itself from the pursuit of crows, we too can liberate ourselves from the relentless chase of death. As long as our attachment to the world persists, death will continue to haunt us. However, when we consciously detach ourselves from worldly desires, death loses its power over us. The world, in this context, refers to the internal realm rather than external circumstances. It is the identification with our own body and worldly possessions that we


Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post

Contact Form