― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: 24 Stories
I'm sick to death -- not literally -- of reading stories about the more of 'me'. You know, the version that says you can be whoever you want to be, without ever knowing who you are. Now there's a paradox if ever there was one!
Actually, I shouldn't be so hard on everyone and the legions of well-meaning people who think that living is about 'more'. I've been there -- at least in my head.
But it's the wrong way to understand life. At least that's my (current) view. Instead, in reliance on the work of Stephen Jenkinson, we should ask what a good death looks like. It's only when we've cracked that nut -- which of course we never do -- that we can understand what a good life looks like.
And still, you might ask, "What's so wrong with the paradigm of the more of me?" Well, for a start, it's selfish, narcissistic and denuded of anything more than a life of excess. Service? Don't be stupid. Serve what? My fear of doing something remarkable with my life. You know, something that fills a whole left by years of wanton neglect.
To be honest, I'm still coming to terms myself with the prism of death. In the beginning, I saw it as particularly morose, but the more I investigate my own realm, one infused with self-intoxicated years of conditioning, the more I realise how little I know about myself, let alone about the lives of others.
I understand that this isn't a topic that most people will be comfortable discussing, but that's all the more reason not to shy away from something that, if better understood, might inform the way we live our lives and how we're seen by others.
If you'd like to know more about the work of Mr Jenkinson, then go and watch the remarkable film "Grief Walker" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLQWM2j3AVg. You may be surprised with how much you don't know about yourself.