Why rush through the fields of lavender?
Mortality liberates us from the shackles of time.
Imagine a life that is lived with the cognizance of morality and another without.
Of course, you might argue that a life can never be lived without the cognizance of mortality because mortality is all around us. To that, I would say yes, that is true but the difference I am focusing on is between a life that sees mortality but does not quite register it in its consciousness and contrast it with a life that not only sees mortality, but over time also internalizes it as a personal destiny.
With that understanding, the question I am pondering is how would two lives differ?
The intent is not to make a judgement as to which life may be better but is to query a hypothetical scenario: if two such sets of populations were to exist then how the average lives of individuals between them would differ.
Since I now transitioned over to the set of population in which mortality is recognized and internalized, I can share a few thoughts about the influence the internalization of mortality has on living.
The internalization of mortality brings a sense of humbleness. The touch of mortality reminds that the arrogance of “I” will eventually be subdued by something bigger than “I”.
“I”, after all, am not the master of the universe. The arms of the galaxy do not revolve around us.
The realization of mortality also alters perspective on various aspects of life. It makes us question the aspirations we have and goals we so ardently pursue. It makes us question the point of carrying on grudges forever or pushing ourselves beyond necessity so as to climb another rung on the ladder of success at the expense of other experiences in life.
One day no matter how many sacrifices one has made to reach the sky, mortality would politely ask to please climb down and follow it.
The realization of mortality suggests slowing down to feel the pleasure of engaging in activities a little more mindfully. It tells us that there are a billion things to see and do, however, the time at our disposal is finite. Given that, there is no need to try to check as many boxes as we can because no matter how many are checked, there will still be a billion more to be checked. Instead, mortality suggests that checking boxes should not be the goal, it should be enjoying the ones we do check.
Mortality tells us that it is the enjoyment of engaging in activities that is going to matter and will be remembered. Not much would be remembered when rushing through the fields of lavender at a mad pace.
The internalization of mortality speaks to us about the importance of the present and of the limited time that is given to us. The boat we are on is slowly, but inadvertently, drifting with the current towards a waterfall. A month lost in trivialities is never regained, it says.
A life with the presence of mortality is sobering, humbling, calming, grounding. Even more so, and in a strange way, by reminding us of our limits, it also liberates us from the shackles of time.