“Memento mori- Remember that you must die,”

Written by: Vishesh Gupta

We, humans, are sometimes so stupid that it’s beyond our own comprehension. We strive for things. We pray for them to happen and when they happen we desperately try to find a way to get out of them. Why do we cry out for an answer in an unknown world? What are we ignoring in the known world?

The essence of the worldly things

What is the world composed of if not articles of mysterious magical natural forces? Every other thing is man-made; stories, laws, facts, intelligence, secrets, beauty, virtue, vices. And throughout our life we try to: uncover the truth, solve the mysteries, gain knowledge, be lovely, avoid ugliness, distinguish between the good and the bad; while we keep our secrets hidden, jumbled in righteousness we forge ahead, creating a unique memorable story through which we can live forever. But, we confuse ourselves to be the only creature on this planet. We name curiosity as a reason for our escapades.
We exploit the magical forces until they cannot be exploited further for our temptations and once the magic begins to fade to a dangerous extent, then these become sacred. Why we can’t see their importance beforehand and only when the lack arises thereof?
We never try to be free from the illusion of life rather we continue to live solely for them until we’re gone. Chasing things that would never free us; we meet our ultimate fate.

Everything natural is fluid, ever in flux

Your ultimate fate is Death. How people perceive death is based on their encounter(s) with it. But the standard view is that it’s sad. Albeit how intimidating it may seem, it frees the soul from a constant aware state to an insentient world i.e. sentient life ceases to exist. Your body returns to dust and your memories, what you experienced, perish. Your wealth will pass to another. The unconsciousness does not pass into oblivion. Your values, characteristic loves and hates, beliefs are immortal simply through the fact that these will continue to live on in our species, as a whole, lodged here and there, outside of their present home(you).

Unlike your fate, your being is also man-made. Your psyche runs on laws, norms and other intellectual stuff. Your psyche shapes your soul. Here, you must note that there’s a very thin line of distinction between them. However, they are intrinsically linked.

A soul can be defined in two ways: one is your character; your conscious attempt to express the complex qualities that define you. The other one is “the spiritual part in the context of God.” We will discuss the question ‘Did God make us or did we make God?’ some other time as it’s a topic for some other day(plus I’m on the path to figuring it out myself).

Psyche, on the other hand, is the totality of your conscious and non-conscious mind: the centre of your body. The two words can be interchangeably used at certain times when opposed to the body. For example- your body is not left when you’re gone, it is mortal, what’s left of you is your soul(or psyche) that transcends through the known and the unknown, it is not mortal. It is ever-changing, remoulding like the ebb and flow of waves.

‘Ego Cogito, ergo sum – I think, therefore I am’

Your soul is a corollary of consciousness(inclinations, behaviours, temperament) and unconsciousness(an impelling force in your life.) The impelling force is your emotions. All emotions are impulses to act, the instant plans for handling life that evolution has instilled in us. Emotions create habits and lead to actions that are further influenced by man-made things. (I will mention prominent theories on emotions, throughout history, in the next part.)

Why do we decide which emotion is good or bad? How do they impact our core beliefs that further determine our temperament?

One of many categorization of Emotions.

To conclude

   When I(a conscious being) will die, I would be void of such formless forces …so why sooner? Why die before death. Remember that you [have to] die. We don’t know where we go when we die but, wherever it is, surely it would be a world nothing like this.

I leave you with a plethora of questions:

How are man-made things(culture, wants, identity) related to cognitive aspects(joy, fear, anger, surprise)? How about love and sadness? Do emotions intimate immortality? Is life a simultaneous result of our choices or is it a result of our predestined fate? Is fate involved in finding the “purpose” of our life or do our choices matter in the real world?

In the next part: “Memento Vivere- so remember to live.”

I will give you the answers to all the above questions and until then give me an answer to “What is the best example of oblivion, emptiness?”

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5 thoughts on ““Memento mori- Remember that you must die,”

  1. There is nothing known as emptiness.You can’t completely empty anything.Your mind will never get empty. To go into oblivion you have to try that nothing distracts you.This can be achieved only through complete dedication & meditation.
    Many people feel that when they are doing meditation they forget everything,very few achieves this.We must remember the one who is born will die one day so best is remove the fear of death

    1. Hello, Vishesh here. Thank you for commenting. I think you’ve certainly taken another meaning of emptiness. Here, what I mean by emptiness is by a void, a state where one can feel nothing. He/she is apathetic or indifferent towards other person’s feeling(s). Mind can become empty if one is emotionless, oblivious. He/she just has to remind himself/herself that ‘one day I will die, so why die before death?’
      I also want to add that mediation doesn’t make you forget your memories or thoughts, it makes you acknowledge them and live with them, however punishing it may seem. Remember death; don’t be afraid of it as in a sense we’re immortal.

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