The Art of Lucid Living — Learning Death’s Secret
“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked! There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs (1955–2011)
As this famous quote clearly illustrates, Steve Jobs understood Death’s Secret and was a master of what I call Lucid Living. Let me explain…
As a lifelong seeker, I’ve studied the teachings of mystics, saints, and sages who are often referenced in our cherished spiritual texts. I have discovered a common theme––a thread that connects all these great teachers. The notion that ‘we must learn to die while we are alive’ is taught by them all. Obviously, they don’t all use the same language, but the idea is the same. For example, Jesus said “blessed are you who came into being, before coming into being.” As excited as I was to uncover this universal message, it was confusing as hell! To be completely honest, there was a time when these mystical teachings really made me angry. If these teachers wanted to enlighten humankind, why speak in riddles? Die while you are alive. Seriously?? That’s a real mindbender.
Fortunately, as I’ve evolved on this journey, I have developed a clear understanding of these teachings that once eluded me. I would love to say that I woke up one morning and it all made perfect sense. Or this would be more dramatic––I was struck by lightning and the mystery was solved! Hah. No such luck. The truth is rather boring. The more work I did (study, self-reflection, meditation, etc.), secrets were gradually revealed. The School of Life is often a long, slow, painful process. Although none of us can skip school, maybe I can share what I’ve learned and help others graduate early.
I find it easiest to explain Lucid Living in 3 steps:
1.) Let’s first imagine having a vivid dream. I’m sure we can all relate to this experience. Your heart is racing because you hear footsteps in the attic. Or you are sweating because someone is chasing you. Maybe you are laughing with an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Okay, whatever the dream sequence, when your alarm awakens you in the morning, it’s almost embarrassing how real the dream felt! Your shirt is soaking wet, or your partner asks, “what were you laughing about?”
I believe we will all experience this same type of ‘awakening’ when our soul leaves the body at the time of our death. Like your alarm going off, you will quickly discover this life was a vivid dream. Similar to your sleeping dream, everything that seemed so real, everything we were clinging to––vanishes in an instant. In this moment, we will realize how much energy was wasted on anxiety, fear, and worry. Yes––on our deathbed, the veil will be temporarily lifted. Death’s Secret will be revealed. Most of us will gasp and think… if only I had known! GOOD NEWS. This won’t happen to you. Because now you know, and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. We don’t need to wait for our death to benefit from this awareness. Let’s lift the veil now. Better yet, with this awareness, the veil becomes transparent (lucid). We can begin living a Lucid Life today.
2.) To better understand this concept of lucidity, let’s take a moment to explore a lucid dream. You are asleep having a dream, but not fully absorbed by the dream state. In other words, you are aware you are having a dream. Personally, I love lucid dreaming. It’s fun! Knowing you are in a dreamworld gives you the freedom to be courageous! We can enjoy the experience because we are aware of the illusion.
3.) Similar to this lucid dream, we can enjoy lucid living NOW. When we live a lucid life, aware of the illusion, we can enjoy this temporary adventure without fear or attachment. Lucidity gives us the freedom to live big and bold! Don’t let your alarm go off only to discover you never had the courage to express your True Self. Sorry, no snooze button on this alarm.
This is what Steve Jobs was referring to when he said, “Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked! There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Now that you know the secret, it’s time to live a courageous life. If you like this simple message, please help me share. I’m sure most would agree, we need more awakened beings on this planet now.