After your death you will be what you were before your birth. – Arthur Schopenhauer
What does that mean?
This is one of the most logically true discussions of spirituality I am familiar with. It takes no position on what that condition might be, but addresses the issue in an almost circular reference.
Those who believe we come from nothing cannot argue that somehow, by having lived, we will go on to be something afterwards, per the First Law of Thermodynamics.
Those who believe we have a ‘soul’, something other than our physical bodies, that goes on after we die, admit that we had to have had a soul prior to birth.
And those that believe we are on a wheel, going through life again and again, understand that we are what we always have been, and will continue to be, when we’re not busy living our lives.
Why is what we do with our lives important?
I don’t know what we were before birth, nor what we will be after death. The way I see it, there are three potential paths through life: nothing to nothing, something once through to something, and something repeatedly thorough to something.
Nothing to Nothing: In this case, you start as nothing before you are born and return to nothing when you die. One pass through life, so what you do here is all that matters.
Something once through to Something: In this case, you start as something, take one shot at life, then go back to being what you were before, and reap your eternal reward. Again, one pass through life, so what you do here is all that matters.
Something repeatedly thorough to Something: In this case, you start as something, take your turn at life, then go back to being what you were before, then repeat. In this case, with multiple passes through life, what you do here really matters.
This is why what we do with our lives is important. What we do here, while we are in the world, is all that we can be sure of. By definition, because we exist, we change the world. The only question is will you change it for better or for worse?
Where can I apply this in my life?
In my opinion, it all boils down to doing the best you can with what you got. I see there being two parts to this: how can you be the best possible you, and how can you help others. In this post, I want to focus on becoming your best possible self.
What can you do to become the best possible you? Grab some paper and write down a few of your biggest flaws, the biggest obstacles to becoming your best possible self. They could be attitudes, beliefs, habits or what ever you think is holding you back.
Select one (for now, you’ll want to work on the others eventually) and think about why that part of you exists. Then take some time and consider what you would like it to become. What will you have to remove, and what will replace it?
Now let’s get the change in place. Start with some leverage. How bad will your life be if you don’t make this change? While the future has infinite possibilities, the scarier the future is, the better leverage you have and the easier it will be to make and maintain the change.
Consider what ‘facts’ back up your present flaw. What might you have ignored or misinterpreted? Could you find another story to go with the facts, one that is supportive of the new you? If you can’t, do you believe that your past has determined your future, or will you change things and become a better person?
With leverage and a new story, a compelling future to move towards and a terrifying future from which to move away, it’s time to take the first step and do something that is in keeping with the new you. Start making the new you a habit, find something you can do every day that reinforces what you have become, or are working towards. Now all you need to do is work on the repetitions.
Once you have managed to make some progress with this flaw, you will probably want to move on to other flaws. In just a few weeks, you’ll be flawless. Not really. Besides, if you ever think you’re getting close to perfect, ask someone else. They’ll help you find something to work on. Trust me.
From: Twitter, @philoquotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/arthurscho155438.html
Photo by JuditK