4 Quotes on The Importance of Remembering Death

After reading these quotes, let me know, comment about what the thought of death inspires within you.

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
-Buddha 

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
-William Shakespeare

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
-Michel de Montaigne 

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
-Marcus Aurelius

To Blame or Not To Blame

“They blame those who remain silent, they blame those who speak much, they blame those who speak in moderation. There is none in the world who is not blamed.”
– Buddha

This Buddha quote reminds me of an Aristotle quote: 

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”

We live in a hyper critical world of insecure projections. 

^This makes it hard for any of us to live. 

Because when we go against the grain – when we don’t conform to how they say we should live – we get criticized & blamed.

The crabs in the bucket try to pull us back down into the bucket with them – for whatever reason – mostly fear.

But we weren’t meant to live in that bucket. 

We we meant to live free.

We Are meant to live free.

So let’s do a little less blaming, and a little more living.

To Break or Not To Break?

“The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”
—Ernest Hemingway

Personally, I’m just thinking about whether to break from writing every day to writing once a week – or something like that.

But in relation to the Hemingway quote, yes, the world breaks us all. 

“Life is suffering” said Buddha.

& it’s true. Life hurts. We all go through it. Your pain is valid.

The question is, where will you go from here?

What did you learn from your pain? 

What are you still learning from it?

We are never too old to learn something new.

An old dog can learn new tricks. 

It’s a matter of patience, persistence, and humility, to name a few, but the list goes on.

The Power of Your Imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”
-Albert Einstein

Einstein knew it.

Buddha knew it.

Jesus knew it.

& not only did they know it, they realized & embodied it – Imagination.

They of course had their own unique methods for sharing one of the most misunderstood truths within humanity, but they shared it.

It baffles me sometimes that we never learn about this in school – The Power of Imagination. We are almost always taught the opposite – Conform. Don’t question your teachers & adults because they are right! yea, that’s a big joke.

Ego has dominated the 20th century but it is loosening up in the 21st century. What we need now is Soul. Real Soul. & it’s happening.

Imagination comes from the Soul – True Imagination, & all the great spiritual teachers & great scientists understood this. That Imagination is not just some surreal & futile function of the human mind, but that it is playing a huge role in the manifestation of humanity & the lives of all beings.

“The human mind is our fundamental resource.”
— John F. Kennedy

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
— Romans 12:2

You have been gifted with the power of imagination. You can let it go to waste or you can learn more about it & play a role in the evolution of humanity.

The choice is truly yours.

Memento Mori

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.”
—Michel de Montaigne

Memento Mori is Latin for “remember you will die”

This may appear to be a frightening remembrance, and it is to the ego, but Memento Mori is liberating to the human Soul.

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
—Buddha

Meditating on the thought of death can help loosen & release the ever so tightening & clinging grasp of ego in our lives.

Death of the ego gives birth to the Soul, and this world could use some Soul right about now.

“While I thought that I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die.”
—Leonardo da Vinci

Intro to Stoicism

Oxford Dictionary defines Stoicism as “an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

At its core, Stoicism is about trusting life as it is, not how we think it should be. 

It’s about focusing on what’s in our control — our lives, and acting virtuously, not being pushed and pulled by our emotions.

Practicing Stoicism helps us see life objectively, giving us an understanding that we are not the center of the Universe — That the Universe is indifferent to our thoughts and feelings, and that that’s perfectly okay. This knowledge helps us live less selfishly and more cooperatively.

Stoicism has been practiced for thousands of years by numerous people. Other than Zeno, a few famous early practitioners of Stoicism were Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, and Epictetus, about 2,000 years ago. The modern day leader in Stoicism is Ryan Holiday, who gave me the opportunity to intern with him; a modern day apprenticeship. There were many events that led to this, it didn’t just happen, which you can read how it all came to be here on Thought Catalog.

During this time Holiday deepened my knowledge of Stoicism, inspiring me to apply these practices into my life — which doesn’t make someone perfect, it just makes us more Stoic, which you can decide if that’s good or bad.

I contemplated Stoic ideas before knowing they were Stoic ideas, thinking they were just far-out thoughts. Then, when reading Holiday’s book recommendations, I came across Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and devoured it. It was one of those books that I got pulled into and didn’t want to leave. I highly recommend reading the whole book, but here’s a link to some of Meditation’s main ideas for now.

Below are 4 fundamental Stoic principles you can begin practicing today:

1) Asking, “Is this within my control?”

—If yes, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”
—If not, ask, “How can I act virtuously in this moment?”

Most of life isn’t in our control, but our response is.

2) Sympatheia

—This is the idea that all things are connected and mutually interdependent. 

Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, in Meditations, wrote: 

“The universe made rational creatures for the sake of each other, with an eye toward mutual benefit based on true value and never for harm.”

Here is a YouTube video speech given by Carl Sagan to view life from a perspective outside of yourself, thus, growing in the practice of Sympatheia.

3) Amor Fati

—The idea and practice of loving your fate. 
—Things often don’t happen as we’d like them to happen, but we can learn to appreciate all that happens to us by practicing Amor Fati.

Here is a link to an ancient proverb, telling us a story that shows us how when we think something “bad” has happened, it can be good in disguise, and when we think something “good” has happened, it can be bad in disguise. It’s one of my favorite stories and has broadened my way of thinking.

Nietzsche is quoted saying, “my formula for greatness in a human being is Amor Fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it, but love it.”

Epictetus, born a slave, said: “Demand not that things happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do, and you will go on well.”

4) Memento Mori

—Remember you will die.
—This idea scares some people, but it inspires Stoics.  

“If everything is ephemeral, what does matter? Right now matters. Being a good person and doing the right thing right now, that’s what matters and that’s what was important to the Stoics. Be humble and honest and aware.”
Ryan Holiday

We all know we are going to die one day, but it is a subject rarely talked about. We’d rather ignore the fact of death instead of embrace it, so it ends up scaring the hell out of us. Let’s start discussing the topic of death. Let’s let it inspire us to live life wholly, focusing on what’s important, keeping in mind we won’t live forever, and that’s okay.

Here are some inspiring Memento Mori related quotes:

“Every third thought shall be my grave.”
William Shakespeare

“People who are excited by posthumous fame forget that the people who remember them will soon die too. And those after them in turn. Until their memory, passes from one to another like a candle flame, gutters and goes out.”
Marcus Aurelius

“So this is how a thoughtful person should await death: not with indifference, not with impatience, not with disdain, but simply viewing it as one of the things that happens to us. Now you anticipate the child’s emergence from its mother’s womb; that’s how you should await the hour when your soul will emerge from its compartment.”
Marcus Aurelius

“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
Marcus Aurelius

“To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.” 
Michel de Montaigne

“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
Buddha

These are just a few Stoic principles you can begin practicing today. I recommend checking out dailystoic.com for more articles on Stoicism, reminders to:

Act virtuously.
Trust the unknown.
Love your fate.
Remember death.

Change Your Life By Changing Your Thoughts

You have the power to change your life by changing your thinking.

Is it easy? 

No, here’s Goethe:

“Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.”

It may be one of the most difficult things to do, but it can be done. 

Da Vinci, Einstein, Buddha, Jesus, Shakespeare, Bruce Lee, and countless others have spoken on this truth.

You have the power, but it requires responsibility: 

“You may believe that you are responsible for what you do, but not for what you think. The truth is that you are responsible for what you think, because it is only at this level that you can exercise choice. What you do comes from what you think.”
― Marianne Williamson

You may have heard “with great power comes great responsibility” but looking at the state of the world we can all see this isn’t true. 

What’s true is that great responsibility leads to great power, which begins with taking responsibility for your thoughts. Da Vinci defined this truth as “Science”.

Your world won’t change until you change your thinking.

How?

Begin by thinking about your ideal life.
What does it look like?
What’s your financial situation?
How are your relationships?
What’s your living situation like?
How is your health?

Visualizing your ideal life plants seeds into your subconscious mind, which when repeated begins to manifest in the physical world.

When a thought arises that doesn’t have to do with your ideal life, change it. This is humankind’s superpower, “giving birth to evolution” Einstein said.

Disciplining your thoughts is a practice. The more you work on it, the stronger your mind becomes, the more in control of your life you become.

The path of your best life awaits you, what are you waiting for?

Get to it.

Use Imagination to Create Your Life

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”
— Einstein


Einstein said imagination is the preview of life’s coming attractions, and imagination comes from within.


Our minds generate imagination, but are we doing the generating?

We are.
Our thoughts are shaping our future. 

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”
— Buddha

So how do you begin training your thoughts?

Begin by thinking about the life you want.

Check out this 3-Step Process to learn more! 

Sending Thoughts&Love Your Way.