percipience of mortality

The transient nature of our short life in this world is a recurring theme that I usually write about here. In an earnest effort to keep my thoughts and spirits grounded, I try to humbly ponder on it quite often. The following exchange between a sage and a guy whose death was near that I read about recently has had a profound effect on my thought process.

I’ve compiled it in a way, thinking from the mind of the sage’s point of view. In other words, it’s written from the perspective of the sage’s intellect. This discourse is written through the sage’s eyes. I genuinely feel that it all comes down to perspective and how we think about things. May this inspire a soulful rediscovery in us all. May we find the fortitude to put aside trifling concerns and thoughts and engage deeper into much more significant realities.

Photograph of beautiful bougainville flowers at office garden |

O learned man!, I have an issue and I want to talk to you,” stated a young guy. “Go ahead,” I said. So we spoke about it. “My first worry is that my death is definite,” he explained. “I will undoubtedly die as a result of a problem.” “No, with God’s grace,” I said. “God controls the duration of one’s life. Many people have died as a result of the deadliest sickness…” “No, this is different,” he responded.
Maybe it was my first time meeting someone who was dying. “So he won’t be living for long?” I wondered. It was an odd sensation. “I’ve accepted this,” he said. It was difficult to embrace this fact at first.

When I woke up one morning, I told myself, ‘You’re going to die.’ Live in the now. Go out. Work. Talk. Interact with others. You’re going to die!’ So I got up and started living. After that, if someone harassed me, I didn’t get irritated. ‘I’m dying!’ I’d exclaim. I wasn’t disturbed at all. I was not envious. ‘I don’t want anything,’ I would say. Let others acquire these items.’ If a car carrying a bride and groom passed by, I was as thrilled for them as their moms. ‘Aww, it’s their wedding,’ I would remark. I hope they’re content.’ I would pray for young people in the same way that I pray for the elderly. If someone stomped on me to go ahead, I’d respond, ‘It’s fine.’ Let him have it.’ I wasn’t seeking to become famous if I helped someone because I wouldn’t live long enough to benefit from such recognition. I’ve gotten quite calm. I don’t see anything wrong. My grasp of good language has improved.”

He went over them one by one. He seemed to be referring to the characteristics of pious individuals from the past that we respect. “I see,” I said. “Will God accept these if I die?” he asked. “Yes,” I answered. “But I’ve gotten this way because of my fear of dying,” he explained. “Do you not believe in God?” I inquired. “Yes!” he said. I do. However, I have not improved as a result of this. I adore God as well. God is the only one I have today. No one will stick around for me. But it was death that taught me a lesson. Is this all right? “Won’t they tell me, ‘When you discovered out you were dying, you rectified yourself?'”

“No, it has been stated, ‘Death is enough to counsel one,'” I replied. You were warned and adjusted yourself.” [He said,] “Thank you. I’ll go.” “Wait!” I exclaimed. Let’s become pals. I’ve discovered a genuine individual.” “No, I don’t want to fire you,” he said. “No, sit down.” I’d want to chat to you more. “What is your illness?” “I’m not sick.” “But you said you’d die.” “I claimed I’d surely die, but I didn’t mention I was sick.” “What? “What do you mean you’ll definitely die?” “I asked whether there was someone who could assist me so that I wouldn’t die, and they answered no.” “So, when?” “One day, thousand days, thirty thousand days from now.” I’m not sure.”

I gave it some thinking and realized that I, too, would die – whether in a day or a thousand days… “So you’re not sick,” I explained. “No.” How many days before you die?

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