I finally got my brothers art framed… – @commixturedesigns (Instagram)
I had him draw up copies from Ryan Holidays – Daily Stoic store,
These two Pictures
‘Memento Mori’ & ‘The Dance of Death’ could seem pretty morbid to the outside world, But when you break down the meaning they are very motivational…
‘Mento Mori’ – Meaning Remeber Death
‘The Dance of Death’ has a skeleton holding a crossbow with the caption
‘“Ma flesche (asseure toy) n’espargnera personne
Vous danserez trestout ce balet, que je sonnne”
Which translates to
“My arrow (I promise you) spares no one
You will all dance the ballet of which I sing”
– Meaning that we are all dancing to the ballet of life, Avoiding the Arrow… But one day as promised we will not be spared.
Like I said it can be pretty morbid out of context.
Why Meditate on your own mortality?
Many of us (I used to and can still drift into this state from time to times) Live each day as if we’re guaranteed a tomorrow As if we’re going to live forever.
Yeah the thought of death itself is scary… What’s scarier is living in this state,
We live like we have a tomorrow, In which we put off what we should do today, Till ‘tomorrow’ We treat the people in our lives like we are guaranteed to see them tomorrow.
& That’s where the beauty of ‘Memento Mori’ Comes in
Memento Mori so that you Memento Vivere.
(Memento Vivere. This means, “Remember to live.”)
As stated I sometimes fall into the dream of thinking I’m immortal
(Hense why I got the photos made and hung in my room so they are what I see as I roll out of bed every day. And this coaster made (Also done by the Little Brother) so it sits on my desk in my Peripheral Vision to wake me up.))
Memento Mori – It allows you to let go of all the small shit that does not matter,
Like when I post something with a typo on it and the way people react is like I just killed someone in front of a live audience… Its like
‘Cool thanks for pointing that out’ – Then you get on with your life…
One time someone was like
‘Change it please’ –
Like that’s going to make a difference in your day to day, The fact that I was even asked to change it The fact that someone took time out of their day because it bothered them that much says a lot about the importance of the things in their life.
(Unless its absolutely major I couldn’t really care less about a couple of spelling mistakes – The only reason I bought this up is to make a point)
But other than typos – It allows you to let go of the small stuff that can easily consume your day if you let it.
‘Remeber that you could leave life right now, so remember that when all you say, do and think’ – Marcus Aurelius
In Marcus Aurelius ‘Mediations’ there is loads of Memento Mori Quotes like the one above where he reminds himself constantly of his own mortality & Now Us…
The one above (not word for word btw) is a reminder to treat others and his thoughts and actions as if they were his last actions.
You could leave life right now – Remeber that when your speaking to a loved one because so could they… (The arrow spares no one remember)
There was a photo on Facebook a month or two back of a child and an old man (Looked like grandparent and grandchild) The granddad looked fed up and disappointed as the child sat playing on a tablet –
The caption was ‘Your running out of time kid’
Now obviously a child doesn’t understand the concept of death or appreciate the time with loved ones but as you look around that photo is happening all the time with grown-ups sat with their parents or their partners.
Spending time with loved ones but yet your still not together – Your bodies are there but your minds are disconnected…
Years back I used to spend hours at my Nans – I would go round to chill out, I spent most of my time watching friends If only I could turn back time…
Remembering your own mortality and your loved ones let you appreciate your time with them more and not waste being disconnected with them – A concept I discussed here >>>Negative Visualisation<<<
‘Live Each Day as If It Were Your Last’ – Marcus Aurelius
This does not mean go out partying all the time and blowing all your cash on Cocaine and Hookers or whatever you would spend it on if it were your last day on earth…
Including the above examples, It means don’t waste time on small things or living other peoples lives.
I Video on Instagram (I think it was of Steve Jobs) saying he read a quote similar to the one above (It may have actually been that quote) and he said that it stuck with him…
He went on to say that if he found himself answering ‘No’ to the question ‘If this was my last day on earth would I be doing this’ more than one or two days in a row then something has to change.
That’s what live each day as if it was your last means (Well what I mean by it anyway)
Its one of the reasons (Alought prematurely) quit my job – I felt trapped and I was literally watching the seconds tick away, So I quit.
The only downside of that is that now Whilst I get to work on my companies which I love, The cash flow is slow but could I go back to sitting in that powerless cabin for 12 hours a night and be too tired to spend the cash when I wasn’t or not have the time to spend with the people I want Whilst my soul slowly second by second left my body…
Sorry, let me rephrase…
Absolutely fucking Not.
You work to your higher purpose and do your best at everything Because you’re not doing anything you don’t want to do for too long and you remember that this action, Could be your last…
Living each day as if it was your last as other benefits too.
Whilst everyone is glued to their phone waiting till tomorrow to do something, My heads looking around at the everchanging world…
Honestly, if someone looked up for a second and saw me they would probably see the human equivariant of a dog with its head out of a window on its way to the park…
You get too appreciate the ‘small’ things in life – I have a favourite tree – Seriously it’s on my train journey, Its this little tree that’s out of place from the others in the middle of a field. You see it for a split second and then its gone.
When I first heard about this concept – I dismissed it as it was too morbid (It wasn’t long after I lost my Nan so Death was a very touchy subject) but since reading the work of the Stoics like Marcus Aurelius, Seneca, Ryan Holiday, and Dr Jade Teta and slowly started to practice this form of ‘Negative Visualisation’ – Its been pretty life-changing concept,
As stated its sometimes easy to get lost in the world of others and forget to practice this and the Ego takes over…
But I try not to let this last more than a day or day.
I’ll leave with this quote from Gladiator…
“Death smiles at every man, and all a man can do is smile back.”