Memento Mori: Remember You Are Mortal


“When you don’t over resist-change, you see that the changing world is no different from the nirvana world.” -Alan Watts

I have come across an important phrase which is, “Memento Mori” which means, “Remember your mortality”. This phrase was found in the video “Willing to Die” by Alan Watts. Recently, I have listened to as much Alan Watts as I possibly can. I think to myself, “what a great mind, and such a brilliant philosopher”.

I am here to discuss the video “Willing to Die” because I believe it shares insight on a positive way of thinking.  Alan speaks about accepting death. He tells us to look at death unafraid, which is very difficult for many of us to do. We spend our entire lives fearing something that is inevitable. This fear forces us to “swim against the tide” and in turn causes stress throughout our lives. Of course, we all understand that swimming against the tide will soon wear us out, and we will grow tired. After we grow tired of swimming, the tide will take us wherever it pleases. Therefore, accepting the tide or current allows us to become peaceful. When death becomes close, we withdraw. We say, “no, no, not yet”.   Alan Watts believes you can only die well when you understand how to swim with the current, and not be afraid to go over the waterfall when the time comes.

It is very important to understand that Alan is not preaching, and telling people to have an ego about dying. Instead, realize you can only die well when you “understand that your disappearance as this particular organism is seasoned”. You are just as much that dark space beyond death as you are the light we call life. These are just two sides of what you are.  Alan further explains his theory with examples in the video.

Learning about living life without being fearful of things we don’t understand is something we can all benefit from.  Life will continue to exist with or without you. It will exist when you think about it and when you do not.   Swim with the stream, and you are now at rest. When you allow life to take its course, you will realize that life is a pretty incredible thing.  There is no reason to fear death. It is only important to remember that it will come. When you fear death, you allow yourself to be controlled. Understanding on a deep level what is here and now, and enjoying that moment knowing that the next great moment will come. When the next moment comes, we can be confident that we will exist wonderfully in that moment as well.

“We have designed a culture fundamentally resisting death.” -Alan Watts

“We are the Young Life Perception”

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2 thoughts on “Memento Mori: Remember You Are Mortal

  1. Pingback: Shlomo & Alan Watts – Natural Satori/ Sink | ObeytheGrind

  2. Pingback: Back in the day . . . | Episyllogism: Phil & Lit

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