31 October 2009


I'm not afraid of my own so much, anymore – at least, that's what I think in my safe room. This has something to do with middle age: the saying has it that when you're more afraid of old age than death, that means you're middle aged. It holds for me. Still, it's rather too easy to say.

I did some work on this as well. I took to heart Seneca, who said that to be afraid of death is worse than dying.

Better than that is the exercise outlined in the Hagakure, Yamamoto's handbook for the samurai. Yukio Mishima wrote a commentary on it. The exercise is to start each meditating on your own death; more specifically, you visualize the circumstances of your dying a heroic death. This is an excellent way to begin the day, better than a cold shower.

My visualizations tended to be garish, like the climax of some cheesy 70's cop drama. But this practice did reduce the gnawing angst of my inevitable death.

No, what I fear most is the death of the people I love.

I have found no meditation, no motto, no religion or faith to overcome this.

painting: The Race, by Albert Pinkham Ryder

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