The Simple Ingredients to Achieving a Satisfied Mindset Regarding Human Mortality
Why do we have to die?
Death is the affliction which plagues us all, no matter which course we take in life or how lucky we simply are. The years tick away as our biological clocks wind down towards a complete breakdown. Senescence, or biological aging, happens to every human, but some species don’t follow the rules. Creatures like the Turritopsis dohrnii –the immortal jellyfish– have been observed to only die from disease and other natural causes besides aging. By looking at these organisms, we can get a sense of how reversing biological senescence might be feasible in humans one day.
It might be possible to edit the genetic framework across the entire body simultaneously to prevent senescence in humans in the future. But what if this never happens, or occurs when our current generation is long gone? How are we to face the ominous gloom of a forbearing death at the end of our lives? In the 21st century, the average mental palette of ideas and thoughts diverts from this question due to its unsavory taste. While people are young, there is a sense of invincibility and ever-expanding progress. The reality is that as the body leaves youth, it will break down and wither away.
Gone will be the vigorous stamina of adolescence, the glowing cognition of a nimble mind, the body born fit and healthy. Humans evolutionarily were only required to survive for ten to fifteen years after reproduction. It’s clear that evolutionary forces in Mendelian selection have arbitrarily imposed on us an exchange of long life and immortality for death, but for a reason. One of which being how resources were always scarce for upper level trophic chain animals like humans. By sacrificing the ability to live forever, newer, more evolved generations could reap the benefits of the remaining resources to sustain the 4-billion-year chain of reproduction of DNA.
How do I tolerate impending death?
Some people have psychiatric issues, others psycho-social-economic issues. It is clear the average person has tons of problems in their lives. Even so, it is important to remember the context of death. All will be alleviated once life is gone, but life itself will never come to you again. It is certain that in our biological universe, when you die your “consciousness” and subjective experience dies along with your brain.
Death is too compromising, and life is too short, to not take any risks. The choice is between mild survival and facing the extreme unknown, the peculiar fate of mankind which countless philosophers have described. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates. We are left with the choice of living a life wholly unfulfilled or living a life worth living through examination.
Here is the recipe for living well.
With death looming over our shoulders, there is no choice but to live the best life we can. To do the best things which will please us and let us survive, given our capacity to learn and work. We must take our own standings in life.
Past success will never be an indicator of how you will achieve in the future. Everything you do requires immediate dedication, effort, and passion. With an ever increasing and branching workload, research and questioning are the nutrients which will feed the drive towards success. Of course, too much of this mindset without a balance will engender stress and detract from the experience that life has to offer. Sometimes, for as long as you need to, you must destress and indirectly think about the propagation of the self into society through leisure. Leisure can bring about scientific revolutions as well as intrinsic enjoyment.
That idea you spent hours trying to figure out at work could come to you when the gears of the mind are lubricated with freedom and time. The rush hour mentality of day-to-day life may not allow the proper growth of inquiry and discovery. In your down time use your brain in a productive yet tranquil manner. Whatever you think of in leisure, be it pleasurable or challenging, let those thoughts help you grow as a person in discovering yourself and validating your life as it passes by you.
Once you learn to be successful; inner peace, health, and love are to be focused on. Money is only as important as what it can buy. Work hard, balance mental/physical health with stress, and your life may be the most well-lived yet.
Overall, hold it close to your heart. View the world around you in a refined light, one of gratefulness and acceptance. Remember: Your existence gave death himself a sucker punch, and so run as far as you can, live as big as you desire, before he catches up.
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