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Whilst I thought I was learning how to live, I was learning how to die..

I spent a lot of time this summer away from home travelling and meeting people.

En route to a meditation retreat living in a forest in France for a week I was accompanied by this gentleman – Amarpal Singh, a psychologist and philosopher from Argentina.

With seven hours of driving ahead of us, I was inevitably asked the question “so why are you doing this?”

I said I want to learn more about myself. I had many questions in life and I said very passionately that I wanted to know what my purpose in life is.

There was silence for a few minutes as Amarpal stared out of the window. I sat turned uncomfortably in the front passenger seat looking at him. Maybe he didn’t hear me?

Then he said “So you must look forward to dying then?”

I was thinking no not really. I just said I wanted to LIVE my life. To the full.

He said in his rather strong American accent “Well, the thing is….you’re dying everyday”. Smiling as he now stared at me.

So what started off as a very happy conversation now seemed quite grim.

I told him I didn’t understand what he meant. He explained.

In order for me to really live, the old me has to die. This is a way of knowing who you are, what you like and don’t like. Your sub-conscious thoughts may not always match your actions. Imagine if your sub-conscious thoughts always matched your actions. You will be living a life of your true self. An authentic life. One that you are comfortable with, not interrupted by conscious or societal pressures.

So everyday we are dying because everyday we are living a new life.

I then understood what he said but disagreed. I asked but why does it have to be so morbid as death? Why can’t you say I am living everyday and I am learning new things rather than dying?

Amarpal explained if you don’t die, you only move side-ways not upwards. All your old aspects remain and you learn new things but don’t get rid of the old. It’s like carrying baggage.

When you blossom in to a new being you create new possibilities with the new you. Ready to die once again.

That made sense to me completely. So for example, and you may be able to relate to this, I used to worry a lot about what people thought of me. We all do. But I realised one day that you can’t and you never will satisfy everybody. All I can do is be the best person that I can be because the relationship is not between me and other people but between me and God. This created a whole new perspective on life for me. Not least immensely lightening the weight on my shoulders. Now I look back and think how ridiculous I was to live my life worrying like that. It almost feels like that could not have even been me.

So welcome death. Learn more about who you really are. Then start life…

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