Remembering my mortality gives me the needed motivation to make change, hold everything more lightly, and have compassion for my self and other people.*
Nietzsche said that a man’s worth was determined by how much truth he could tolerate. You are by no means only what you already now. You are also all that which you could know, if only you would. This you should never sacrifice what you could be for what you are.**
Here is meaning.
What we know becomes who we are and what we can do.
A life time doesn’t seem enough but it’s all we have:
Our life times are specks in the universe, but they are the longest and only spans of time we will ever now.*
This is a mighty advantage, as Rainer Maria Rilke contemplates:
Hier zu sein is so vies – to be here is immense.^
As specks in the universe, we will never know everything. Neither is there a list of what we must now in order to live meaningfully.
The aim to know more is what matters most of all, by which we each make a path into knowing that will unfold before us.
The truth depends on a walk around the lake.^^
*From Beth Pickens’ Make Your Art No Matter What;
**From Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules For Life;
^Rainer Maria Rilke, quoted in John O’Donohue’s To Bless the Space Between Us;
^^Wallace Stevens, quoted in Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways.