After your death you will be what you were before your birth

After your death you will be what you were before your birth.Arthur Schopenhauer

She's got a lot on her mind. I wonder what part of her she is trying to improve? Is it all classwork, or is she working on other issues?

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 :
Photo by JuditK

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8 Responses to After your death you will be what you were before your birth

  1. Michael 17 December 2015 at 2:24 am #

    hi there friend,i have some family issues that made radical things on my brain and my way of feeling life and death, my mother is stage 4 breast cancer, she is 48 im 32 she gave me life when she was 16, i never met my father, i m single child,i lived normal life sometimes much beter then some people around me, have good health im natural born happy and friendly persona,i studied lot of books on buddhism meditation etc, reading nitzche, freud,jung etc. trying to understand life and mind and death and the role of having chance to experince what is caled life. i never atanded any geterings any sects etc, im on my own thinking, lone wolf as i like to say. seeing others that i love, suffering badly without any possible chance of helping them to survive, puted me on the ladder starting from normal human emotions like sadnes crying, then anger etc. after 1 year of this rolercoasters, i got to to point where all became matrix, the form where all material world and its hard rock solidity is interconected and reversed with form of fluidity of thinking and senses. my mother is still alive i dont know when she will die or she will not die i dont know nothing. like as we dont know what dead really is, we dont know what life is, death and life are the 2 sides of the same rope. the point is, our mind or what is it in our head body soul, is playing a very tricky game with our selfs, things go much deeper beyond humans life death and all we can understand. i wish you health and luck and to find answers no matter how far they are. Michael.

  2. moerstaal 12 October 2014 at 2:25 am #

    I like the girl, who is she?

    Btw; Sounds very well written!

    • philosiblog 14 October 2014 at 5:42 am #

      No idea who the girl is. Got the photo from Flickr, and the link is at the bottom of the post. You could contact the photographer for more information.

      Thanks for the kind words. I hope you take a few moments to search for your favorite quotes or authors in my existing list of quotes (over 1200 as of this time).

      • Choo 18 November 2015 at 8:48 pm #

        I think soons we die, we go to being a baby again,get older and realize about life again. If the earth is like 5 billion years old we been born a lot. Another thing I believe we be born again through our dna our family.say like if I die and my daughter gets older have a child that child could be me.

      • philosiblog 23 November 2015 at 5:14 am #

        Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving a comment.

        That is one of many possibilities people have put forward over the years. Sadly, no one I have heard of has a compelling story to prove one possibility is true, or that the others are false. Until then, I hope this is something intelligent people can agree to disagree without having to resort to force or violence. I wish you well on your journey.

  3. rwmcjazzrw 20 May 2014 at 8:08 pm #

    sounds like self help psychotherapy taken directly out of a poorly written book


  1. After the game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. | philosiblog - 19 March 2012

    […] Why is the motivation of your life important?   Whether you believe in life with a hereafter, life revolving on a wheel, or death with nothing to follow, all we really have (for the moment, at least) is what we have. All we are is what we make of ourselves. It’s similar to another quote about which I talked a few months back. […]

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