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The Wisdom of Alan Watts: Our Fear of Death 💀

More often than not, many of us try to prolong our lives because of the fear of death — as opposed to accepting how inevitable it really is. I think sometimes we fail to realise that death has been a part of life since the dawn of time. All living beings and things will pass on so new generations can live on.

I don’t think anyone really wants to die. At the same time, I don’t think anyone wants to live forever, either. I’m not sure what we want, but I know it’s not death or immortality. To cope, we just find a way to make ourselves more okay with the concept of passing away.

There is slight comfort in knowing that after you die, you’ll always hold a special place in the heart of those who loved you. Frankly, that doesn’t make death any less scary, because it is still unknown.

No one knows what happens when you get to the other side. Once you’re gone, you can’t come back. You never get the chance to tell the living all about your experience with death. You don’t get a do-over either. We must accept it. Whether we like it or not it will happen. Death is the only thing that is promised in life.

Be resolute to deny the fear of death from keeping you from living your life before it’s even begun. To live is to go about life as though any day could be your last. Remember that all you have is the present. Every day that your alive should be a celebration of life because you conquered death that day.

The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of the thing is that when such facts are present, we circle, buzz, writhe, and whirl, trying to get the “I” out of the experience. We pretend that we are amoebas, and try to protect ourselves from life by splitting in two. Sanity, wholeness, and integration lie in the realisation that we are not divided, that man and his present experience are one, and that no separate “I” or mind can be found.

If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a desire that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death.

You should ask why happiness can’t happen now. In the present. Why is the future always so prominent yet you still haven’t achieved that happiness? Problems that remain persistently insoluble should always be suspected as questions asked in the wrong way.

Death is a daily occurrence, we are just blind to it most the time. We notice only what we think noteworthy, and therefore our visions highly selective.

Indeed, one of the highest pleasures is to be more or less unconscious of one’s own existence, to be absorbed in interesting sights, sounds, places, and people. Welcome all change. We have frustration because we are fighting the changing of things. Death might be how we wake up from the dream called life. This whole world is a phantasmagoria, an amazing illusion.

Your destination in life is death. To travel is to be alive, but to get somewhere is to be dead, for as our own proverb says, To travel well is better than to arrive. Life is meant to be experienced. Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be had.


Published by Rochdalestu

I’m a 38 year old male who has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I have found it as a new chapter in my life that has opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on myself and everything around me.

5 thoughts on “The Wisdom of Alan Watts: Our Fear of Death 💀

  1. “If happiness always depends on something expected in the future, we are chasing a desire that ever eludes our grasp, until the future, and ourselves, vanish into the abyss of death.”

    I am sure I am not alone when I say that this is probably my biggest fear. Excellent analysis of our common destiny.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m with you on this. I’m going to put 2 reasons why to you;
      The first reason for myself is because it is simply something I have no control over.
      Secondly, the predilection and precursory explanations instilled in to you of what happens to you et al from a purely subjective perspective that is plain and simply just the preferred thesis.

      Finally remember that the first rule of Thermodynamics is that energy can’t be created or destroyed, only transferred. We are limited by our understanding to see past the notion of everything having a beginning and an end.

      Liked by 1 person

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