Dying Well: Identity

The topic of dying and death is often avoided in Western culture, and yet it is an inevitable part of life. It is a subject that is shrouded in fear, denial, and avoidance. However, there is a growing movement towards dying well and dying wise, acknowledging death as a part of life and preparing for it in a meaningful way.

To die well and die wise means to approach death with grace, dignity, and acceptance. It is about being present in the moment, letting go of fear and attachment, and embracing the mystery of what comes next. It is about being open to the possibility of transformation and growth, even in the face of death.

The tyranny of hope is the idea that hope can become oppressive when it is used as a way to deny or avoid the reality of death. It can prevent people from facing their fears and preparing for death in a meaningful way. Instead, it can lead to false optimism and denial, which can ultimately lead to a lack of preparation and acceptance when death finally comes.

The concept of identity is also intertwined with the topic of dying well and dying wise. Identity is the accumulation of thoughts and emotions that create the feeling of being a separate entity. However, Eastern religions and psychedelic experiences suggest that a loss of attachment to this separate sense of self can lead to a deeper connection with the world around us.

As we age, we have the opportunity to develop the skill of becoming an elder, which involves embracing the wisdom and experience that comes with age. It is a time to reflect on our lives, let go of attachments, and prepare for the inevitable end. However, this skill is becoming more important than ever as we face the challenges of an aging population and a changing world.

In conclusion, the idea of dying well and dying wise challenges us to confront our fears and approach death with acceptance, grace, and dignity. It requires us to let go of false optimism and the tyranny of hope, and embrace the transformative power of loss and change. As we age, we have the opportunity to become elders, to reflect on our lives, and to prepare for the inevitable end. This is a skill that is becoming increasingly important in our changing world, and it is one that we must all strive to develop.