We are the imagination of ourselves.. everything is imagination.
We are the imagination of ourselves.. everything is imagination.
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Let’s talk about happiness Today..
“State of mind” you will find these words echoing whenever you ask anyone about it. Some will say it is joy that you find once you attain your goals or once you find the people you are seeking. I am still not able to absorb that. I won’t be philosophical but being at this point of my existence, though I might not be experienced enough to conclude that but being so dependent on others remarks and delivering our best to people only to find some recognition should not be the lone source of happiness, which is quite a thing nowadays. That state of mind which gets liberated once you find the words of identification is corrupt one. Liberating ourselves from all the dependencies and formulating our happiness majorly based on our inner self is what will make you achieve that true happiness. Once in a while lending a helping hand without asking for anything in return or having a cup of coffee alone can prove a major source of happiness for moments and all these moments build up your life and the story you are here to deliver. Materializing our happiness is a clear indication of our dependencies. Breaking yourself free of all the things that weigh you down, coming up as survivor all by yourself will boost you inner self and that boost which help you recognise your own self is a source of happiness. Have you found that boost or that inner self yet???
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Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, skills, or objects. By most accounts, knowledge can be acquired in many different ways and from many sources, including but not limited to perception, reason, memory, testimony, scientific inquiry, education, and practice.
Value is the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something.
So, does knowledge have intrinsic value or does it need to have a practical use to be valuable?
I would say knowledge does have intrinsic value, knowledge doesn’t have to have a practical use to be valuable. For example, we could have knowledge of the universe that isn’t practical to be able to be applied to life but is intrinsically valuable to us for our understanding.
But then isn’t that practical if we know something? Oh dear, down the rabbit hole again..
Modern physics tells us that we’re dreaming the world into being with every thought.
“The one perennial truth – rich or not, successful or not, religious, philosophical, it doesn’t matter – you will die. From the beginning of time to the end, death is the one universal inescapable commonality. Kings or peasants, brilliant or stupid, everyone dies or is dead. Some try not to think about it. But for others, the certainty of death is kept at the forefront of thought. Why? So that they might really live.
“Memento Mori,” or translated in English, “Remember you must die.” The point of this reminder isn’t to be morbid or promote fear, but to inspire, motivate and clarify. The idea has been central to art, philosophy, literature, architecture, and more throughout history. As Socrates says in Plato’s Phaedo, “The one aim of those who practice philosophy in the proper manner is to practice for dying and death.”
In this article, we’ll explore the history of this seemingly haunting, but actually inspiring, phrase as well as where it came from and what it means. We’ll show you how it has evolved through its many forms of practice and interpretation in literature, art, fashion, and present day popular culture — where thousands of people carry Memento Mori coins in their pockets or have adapted other physical reminders to keep the thought of death with them at all times.
A TIMELESS CULTURAL PRACTICE
Seneca urged in his Moral Letters to Lucilius, “Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Let us balance life’s books each day…The one who puts the finishing touches on their life each day is never short of time.”
In Meditations, Marcus Aurelius wrote to himself: “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” The emperor considered it imperative to keep death at the forefront of his thoughts. In doing so, the world’s most powerful man managed the obligations of his position guided by living virtuously NOW.
Epictetus would ask his students, “Do you then ponder how the supreme of human evils, the surest mark of the base and cowardly, is not death, but the fear of death?” And begged them to “discipline yourself against such fear, direct all your thinking, exercises, and reading this way — and you will know the only path to human freedom.”
The Stoics used Memento Mori to invigorate life, and to create priority and meaning. They treated each day as a gift, and reminded themselves constantly to not waste any time in the day on the trivial and vain.
Memento Mori is believed to have originated from an ancient Roman tradition.
After a major military victory, the triumphant military generals were paraded through the streets to the roars of the masses. The ceremonial procession could span the course of a day with the military leader riding in a chariot drawn by four horses. There was not a more coveted honor. The general was idolized, viewed as divine by his troops and the public alike. But riding in the same chariot, standing just behind the worshipped general, was a slave. The slave’s sole responsibility for the entirety of the procession was to whisper in the general’s ear continuously, “Respice post te. Hominem te esse memento. Memento mori!”
“Look behind. Remember thou art mortal. Remember you must die!”
The slave served to remind the victor at the peak of glory, this god-like adoration would soon end, while the truth of his mortality remained.
Of the seven ancient wonders of the world, only one remains intact – the Great Pyramid of Giza. How the ancient Egyptians transported over 170,000 tons of limestone to erect the pyramid continues to puzzle archaeologists, but the why is better known.
Preceding the pointed smooth-sided pyramids were bench-shaped mounds called mastabas, built atop the tombs of early kings and pharaohs. The Great Pyramid displays an advancement aesthetically, but not symbolically. An estimated 20,000 civilians contributed to the 20 year construction of the pharaoh Khufu’s burial chamber – a structure memorializing the fate shared by the royals and the common.
Excavated mummies, tombs, and pyramids reveal that remembering death was entrenched in ancient Egyptian culture. Egyptologists maintain the preservation of dead bodies and the building of elaborate death chambers were an act of celebrating life, and a reverence for its ephemeralness.
Michel de Montaigne, known for creating the essay as a literary genre and regarded as the Father of Modern Skepticism, wrote in an essay titled That to Study Philosophy is to Learn to Die of the ancient Egyptian custom where celebratory feasts concluded with the raising of a skeleton to the chant, “Drink and be merry, for such shalt thou be when thou are dead.”
In the height of celebration, Egyptian custom was to set remembrance to the frailness and fleetingness of festival. Through the visual of the skeleton and the pronouncing of the chant, celebrators reeled in the jollity to acknowledge the moment would soon pass so not to take it for granted.
Mindfulness of death is a central teaching in Buddhism. The meditative practice maranasati, meaning “death awareness,” is considered essential to better living. It brings recognition to the transitory nature of one’s physical life, and stimulates the question of whether or not one is making the right use of their fragile and precious life.
As Buddha put it, “Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
The Bible is the most read book in the world. The most read book of the most read book is the book of Psalms from the Old Testament. It is also the longest book of the Bible, and the most quoted book in the New Testament. Theologists attribute its reverence to capturing human emotion, not just in the joys of life, but in the struggles as well. C.S. Lewis, devout Christian and one of the 20th century’s most influential writers, wrote Reflections on the Psalms because the Psalms were an aid in the “difficulties I have met” and the “lights I have gained.”
Lewis devotes a chapter to the transitory nature of life. Death in the Psalms centers around immortality and that “death is inevitable.” He references Sheol, “the land of the dead,” Hades, god of the underworld, and Plato’s “vivid and positive doctrine of immortality,” before citing Psalm 89:46 as the “clearest of all” reflections, “O Remember how short my time is.”
The fall of the Roman empire in the fifth century lead to a tumultuous period of conflict, plague, and political crisis. Without a strong central government to maintain order, the Catholic Church surged as the most powerful institution. Kings, queens, and other leaders derived power through their allegiance to and protection of the Church. Devotion was proven by the building of grand cathedrals, churches, and other ecclesiastical monuments. Funerary art displayed to compel visitors to reflect on the gift of life. Crucifixes and tombs were most common. Remembering the inevitability of death is a core Biblical theme. It remains prevalent today far beyond the written word.
A REMINDER THROUGH ART
The Late Middle Ages was a period of devastation. A catastrophic plague, the Black Death, devastated Europe, killing an estimated 25 million people – one-third of the population. Out of the grim horrors and fight for survival grew an art genre called Danse Macabre, meaning Dance or Death. Like plague, Danse Macabre illustrates the all-conquering power of death. Paintings include kings with peasants, young with old, to convey that death comes for everyone.
Life is fleeting so best to not waste it on meaningless goods and pleasures. That’s the message behind vanitas art. Inspired by the first chapter of Ecclesiastes (“vanity of vanity, all is vanity”), Dutch Golden Age artists of the 17th century used still-life as moral instruction. Artists emphasized the emptiness and futility of earthly items. Skulls, candles, hourglasses, watches, rotting fruit, wilting flowers, and fraying books.
Plagues, wars, and massacres aside, people of the Regency and Victorian eras dealt too with some of the highest infant mortality rates in history. Without vaccines to control illness, mothers lost the life of their newborn, and sometimes their own, at an alarming rate. Documentation started to be kept in a yearly Bill of Mortality. To say death was on the public’s mind would perhaps be an understatement.
The haunting reality of life’s uncertainty showed itself in many forms: art, literature, architecture, and a new trend, jewelry. Memento Mori rings were worn by everyone from Queen Victoria to the impoverished. Skeletal bands and skulls wearing a crown reminded wearers that death is the master of all.
A MODERN RESURGENCE
While Memento Mori has fallen from consciousness compared to its historical relevance, mortality motivation is practiced modernly in fueling successful entrepreneurs, artists, athletes, authors, among others.
Steve Jobs famously said:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Writer and media strategist Ryan Holiday carries around a Memento Mori medallion to remind him of his mortality.
“It’s easy to lose track of that mortality, to forget time, to think that you’re going to live forever. The idea that you’re gonna die and that life is short is only depressing if you’re thinking about it wrong. If you’re thinking about it right it should give you a sense of priority. It should even give you a sense of meaning; it should let you know what’s important, what you’re trying to do while you’re here on this planet.”
Billionaire author, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and life coach Tony Robbins has said:
“There’s something coming for all of us. It’s called death. Rather than fearing it, it can become one of our greatest counselors. So, if this was the last week of your life, what would you cherish most? How would you live? How would you love? What truth would you tell today?”
When entrepreneur, author and speaker Gary Vaynerchuk was asked to give three words of inspiration to someone, he said, “You’re gonna die.” Gary explains this later by saying:
“The reason I believe in it(death as motivation) is because it’s ultimately practical. It’s the guiding light and the fire and ambition that drives me toward legacy and living my best life.”
Tim Ferriss,best selling author, entrepreneur, and host of one of iTunes most listened to Podcasts, shared an image on Instagram of his Memento Mori coin, with a caption explaining how he reminds himself to not take any day for granted:
“I’m enjoying having this Memento Mori (remember you will die) coin in my pocket as a reminder: there is wonder all around us, but we are ephemeral. I’m trying to note and enjoy the small things that expire quickly.”
In 2007 Damien Hirst created one of the more famous modern art examples of Memento Mori with his For The Love of God, featuring over 8,000 diamonds laid out on a human skull. The piece sold for a reported £50 million.
In 2014, Disney added a store called Memento Mori to their Magic Kingdom Park. The store features “haunted mansion themed merchandise.”
The world-renowned fashion brand, Gucci, recently used Memento Mori as a theme in their Gucci Cruise 19 show. The show was held in a graveyard in Arles, France.
The multi-platinum and three time Grammy winning R&B singer The Weeknd, titled his 2018 radio show “Memento Mori,” featuring his favorite music that is inspired by late nights.
And Mac Miller, whose promising music career ended prematurely, let us with the reminder. Just 8 weeks before his tragic passing, he shot his final music video which included a scene of him carving the words Memento Mori in a coffin. The screenshot below captures the moment before Mac punches through the coffin. The scene progresses to Mac freeing himself from the coffin, climbing atop a pile of dirt, to the verse:
I got all the time in the world
So for now, I’m just chillin’
Plus, I know it’s a, it’s a beautiful feeling
Talk about art getting real.
Today, the typical person doesn’t think about death at all because it’s uncomfortable, sad or scary. Fortunately, we’re no longer cavemen afraid that we’re going to be eaten by a lion, or ancient Romans afraid we’ll be murdered by a gladiator, or Medieval sires afraid we’ll fall victim to plague. Unfortunately, however, as the world has gotten safer and better, we start to think that we’re going to live forever and that things are always going to go exactly our way. The Stoics would say that death is what gives life meaning – it’s the cap at the end that helps us make the most of the time we’ve been given.
Dr. BJ Miller, a hospice and palliative care physician, and a triple amputee survivor of a near-death electrocution accident, says meditating on death has become taboo in our culture but is the secret to living:
“For those of us who work in the field of hospice and palliative care, it can feel like you’re sitting on a secret…Sure it is loaded, emotionally laden work…But, you pretty quickly get a real sweet hit that paying attention to this zone of life is very nurturing. The secret is that paying attention to the fact that you die can help you live a lot better. My colleagues and I are very aware of the clock. We’re aware of our finitude and so, we’re just a little more likely to be kind to ourselves and others, and we’re a little less likely to squander that time.”
The truth is, we have all been given a fatal diagnosis. The doctor who pulled you out of your mother knew for certain that you were going to die, he just didn’t know exactly when. And neither do you. So keep the reminder of Memento Mori with you. Don’t waste your time on trivial, pointless things. Don’t take for granted the time you have.”
“Life makes a frame, but you paint a picture. If you don’t take responsibility for the painting, others will write it for you.” – Unknown
“It’s like you took a bottle of ink and you threw it at a wall. Smash! And all that ink spread. And in the middle, it’s dense, isn’t it? And as it gets out on the edge, the little droplets get finer and finer and make more complicated patterns, see? So in the same way, there was a big bang at the beginning of things and it spread. And you and I, sitting here in this room, as complicated human beings, are way, way out on the fringe of that bang. We are the complicated little patterns on the end of it. Very interesting. But so we define ourselves as being only that. If you think that you are only inside your skin, you define yourself as one very complicated little curlique, way out on the edge of that explosion. Way out in space, and way out in time. Billions of years ago, you were a big bang, but now you’re a complicated human being. And then we cut ourselves off, and don’t feel that we’re still the big bang. But you are. Depends how you define yourself. You are actually–if this is the way things started, if there was a big bang in the beginning– you’re not something that’s a result of the big bang. You’re not something that is a sort of puppet on the end of the process. You are still the process. You are the big bang, the original force of the universe, coming on as whoever you are. When I meet you, I see not just what you define yourself as–Mr so-and- so, Ms so-and-so, Mrs so-and-so–I see every one of you as the primordial energy of the universe coming on at me in this particular way. I know I’m that, too. But we’ve learned to define ourselves as separate from it.” – Alan Watts
“If you were not so insane I’d think you were crazy.”
“I DON’T like the use of the word “allowed.” Mankind is given free will, but in a measure that is qualified and restricted. It is not an unfettered free will enabling individuals to do everything they would like to do. The bestowal of free will is part of the divine plan so that people have the opportunity of cooperating, of living in harmony with the natural laws, the infinite processes of creation, and achieving health, understanding, realisation and fulfillment. Killing is wrong, though there are qualifications. Because you have not the power to confer life, then you should not have the power to end it. There are qualifications because there are other considerations to be met. The more you evolve spiritually the more you realise that you must act in accordance with clear principles that are based on a knowledge of spiritual realities.” – The Silver Birch Book Of Questions & Answers
“A man’s stomach is the reason he does not easily take himself for a God.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
“Just as one spoils the stomach by overfeeding and thereby impairs the whole body, so can one overload and choke the mind by giving it too much nourishment. For the more one reads the fewer are the traces left of what one has read; the mind is like a tablet that has been written over and over. Hence it is impossible to reflect; and it is only by reflection that one can assimilate what one has read. If one reads straight ahead without pondering over it later, what has been read does not take root, but is for the most part lost.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
“Here’s another metaphor for thinking about the ultimate nature of reality:
Imagine, if you will, an infinite chameleon.
Oh, common on! It’s not as ridiculous as it sounds. Put on your thinking-cap and play along.
A regular chameleon is only able change itself in one way: by changing colors. Which equals one degree of freedom. But imagine a creature which is so flexible that it’s able (somehow) to be a chameleon in every way possible. Meaning, it has infinite degrees of freedom. Imagine it could freely morph its size, shape, texture, temperature, smell, bones, cells, molecules, atoms, and even the physical laws which govern its entire being.
How could it do that?
Well… it would have to actually be limitless. As in: without limit. As in: an unlimited, all-powerful chameleon. (Don’t worry, he’s only a danger to pesky flies.)
What would such a creature look it?
Well, not much like a standard chameleon, that’s for sure. It wouldn’t even be right to call it a creature because a “creature” is a label we invented to refer to a set of certain constrains upon infinite degrees of freedom. To be a “creature” precisely means that you’re not free to be something else, like a coffee table. So this thing is not really a creature. But it’s also not a “thing”, because to be a “thing” is also a set of constrains upon infinite degrees of freedom. So this infinite chameleon would most closely resemble no-thing. Why nothing? Because, imagine that every property sort of cancels itself out by its negation, like the positive and negative integers might if you tried to add them all together.
But notice, this would not be your ordinary notion of nothingness, like some kind of black, lifeless void. Instead, imagine this “nothingness chameleon” as having infinite degrees of freedom, allowing “him” to masquerade as everything. He would be bursting at the seams with infinite potential, ready to actualize into something concrete.
So why bother calling it a chameleon then?
Because, the essence of its nature is chameleon-like to the Nth degree. Its very structure exudes illusion and misdirection, for which I think the label “chameleon” is apropos. Plus, everyone knows chameleons are cool.
Could a monster-sized infinite chameleon be hiding right under your nose right this very second?
Impossible! Unscientific! Illogical! Just a silly thought experiment! Mere philosophy! Balderdash!
Maybe. Or maybe… if you stop for a second and consciously look around you, you’ll notice that you’re inside the infinite chameleon right now! After all, where else could you be?
Perhaps you are the infinite chameleon, hiding from itself!
Granted, such a discovery would be rather implausible, outrageous, and embarrassing to admit. After all, how could a chameleon hide himself from himself? But then again, it is a chameleon we’re talking about here. Have you seen how regular chameleons hide in the jungle? They’re pretty good at it. And they’ve only mastered 1 degree of freedom. Imagine what an infinite chameleon could do to hide himself from you.
Maybe you can spot his hoof-prints in the sand 😉
P.S. The nice thing about chasing down infinite chameleons is that there can only be one of him to find 😉
P.P.S. Please don’t poke or worship the infinite chameleon. It makes him cry ;)”
The branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space.
“Spirited Away is a 2001 Japanese-animated fantasy film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, animated by Studio Ghibli for Tokuma Shoten, Nippon Television Network, Dentsu, Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Tohokushinsha Film, and Mitsubishi. The film stars Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takeshi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tsunehiko Kamijō, Takehiko Ono, and Bunta Sugawara. Spirited Away tells the story of Chihiro Ogino, a 10-year-old girl who, while moving to a new neighbourhood, enters the world of Kami. After her parents are turned into pigs by the witch Yubaba, Chihiro takes a job working in Yubaba’s bathhouse to find a way to free herself and her parents and return to the human world. Miyazaki wrote the script after he decided the film would be based on the 10-year-old daughter of his friend Seiji Okuda, the movie’s associate producer, who came to visit his house each summer. At the time, Miyazaki was developing two personal projects, but they were rejected.”