Some existential questions…

“Death is the condition that makes it possible for us to live life in an authentic fashion.” ~Irvin Yalom, M.D.
  • How do you feel about the quality of your life?
  • How would you answer if you knew you were about to die?
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About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

14 responses to “Some existential questions…

  • Anonymous

    No one wants to play with you on this one, huh?

  • adam

    Haha yeah. The angst is just too great, apparently. 🙂

    Had a really good group last night in class with this though.

    Re: the questions, the key is in the difference between the answers, and being aware of what changes we would like to make that we haven’t yet.

  • Anonymous

    Like an angsty version of “The Bucket List.”

  • adam

    More like–what does the insight from question #2 give to our lives under the assumption that we are probably not going to die tomorrow.

  • adam

    I suppose “Bucket List” type things could be included, but it’s more of a “how do you feel about how you have lived your life, or the kind of person you are/have been?” Then, why are you not living your life in that way now?

  • Anonymous

    I think there are things that I would do differently if I knew I were about to die. But I also know that they would be drastic changes that don’t fit in with the way I want to live.
    I think that my need to be safe and secure (and accepting the possibility that I could die at any time) makes me set up a life with quality that has long term goals.
    For example — if I were going to die in the next week or month or what have you, I probably wouldn’t spend so much time at the gym or thinking about what I eat. I would have good foods and good wines and be in the places where I’m most free. But, assuming that I’m not about to die, the time I spend in the gym or otherwise being healthy adds to the quality of my life.
    There are some changes that I make in my life with the thought that “Life is Short” — and asking myself on a regular basis: “is this the life I want to be living?” It gives me some responsibility for my own happiness (or not) and allows for change.

  • adam

    So, in a sense looking back you do not regret exercising or thinking about what you ate, because it has ostensibly made your life better, so those are things to keep doing.

    One of the biggest things for me is not getting caught up in the daily tasks of life without being mindful, i.e. there are a list of things to do almost every day, but sometimes I do them without much thought. I don’t want my life to be filled with mindlessly accomplished tasks. So even if it’s paperwork, doing the dishes, or getting the mail, I try to work on mindfulness and also just being grateful to be alive another day.

  • Anonymous

    Those are things to keep doing, yes, and that I appreciate, and that add value, but they wouldn’t top my list if I had 24 hours to go. I think these things actually bring mindfulness to my life — doing something that requires attention, focus, and self care and make me appreciate having a functioning, healthy body (maybe not so much when my alarm goes off at 5:20 a.m., though).

    It would seem that mindfulness and gratefulness would pave the way to quality.

  • adam

    If you had 24 hours left, would you regret all the time you spent working out during your life, or would you be glad you did?

  • Anonymous

    Would not regret it one bit. I think I would look back and appreciate that I was able to be so good to myself and that I was fortunate enough to have the luxury of working out when I wanted.
    I remember when a friend spent a couple of years in Africa and remarked that ‘going for a run’ was laughed at because it was just expending extra energy where was just enough food to survive the exertions of life as it is. Why add superfluous huffing and puffing and caloric output?

    Actually — just being able to ponder existence and quality of life seems like a luxury.

  • George and WP

    If I had 24 hours… I think all of us have a clock and a course that is ticking and set for this middle school of our existence. If we can listen by crowding out the noise of life and its many petty and trivial distractions then we can start to discipline our souls and tune our clocks to the Creator’s. Once that begins then we might live today as we ought, to be prepared when the time comes to turn in our time card.

  • Papa D

    I would have started my current resolution process at a much younger age.

  • wordsfromhome

    You asked that question the day before Martha died. Interesting or timely?

  • adam

    I don’t know, but it the whole situation made the existential group I did that Wednesday pretty deep.

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