On death and impermanence

A too-short essay on a far-reaching concept

Buddhists have a rather unique view of death: it’s not to be mourned. Indeed, some even celebrate it. This doesn’t mean we desire or seek death, it means we refuse to fear it.

The premise of this belief doesn’t necessarily revolve around death. It’s about refusing to let your life be defined by fear. Fear does funny things to people. Sometimes when someone is terrified, they do things they wouldn’t normally do. It can change your personality in very ugly ways, or cause you to vent stress inappropriately. It can make you argumentative, angry, spiteful, and a great many other things that you might not normally choose to be.

But if you choose not to fear death, you take away its’ power. If it is inevitable, as it always eventually is, then you get to spend your last moments in peace. It is a matter of choosing to secure your inner peace, not a matter of hurrying it along. Frankly, it’s quite liberating, and has the enjoyable side effect of causing one to appreciate the present moment more thoroughly. If you have accepted that the good times will pass, they become something to be savored. If you have accepted that the bad times will pass, it is suddenly easier to put aside the emotions involved and view them in the most useful way possible: a chance to learn.

Thanks so much for reading, and I wish you peace.