Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Living authentically and fully

Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully.
-- Frances Moore Lappe, O Magazine, May 2004

Various people keep saying this in various forms. But it's BS isn't it? Go to somebody with cold sweat on his brow because he's dying of cancer, and ask him: "but what you're really afraid of is not having lived authentically and fully, isn't it?"

Everybody lives "lived authentically and fully". Everybody does their best. Only in judging the lives of others do we see somebody not living "living authentically and fully".

TTL posted:

INSTANTS

If I could live again my life,
In the next -- I'll try,
-- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full -- than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously,
I'll be less hygienic,
I'll take more risks,
I'll take more trips,
I'll watch more sunsets,
I'll climb more mountains,
I'll swim more rivers,
I'll go to more places -- I've never been,
I'll eat more ice creams and less (lime) beans,
I'll have more real problems -- and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives --
each minute of his life,
Offcourse that I had moments of joy -- but,
if I could go back I'll try to have only good moments,

If you don't know -- thats what life is made of,
Don't lose the now!

I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umberella and without a parachute,

If I could live again -- I will travel light,
If I could live again -- I'll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn,
I'll ride more carts,
I'll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live -- but now I am 85,
-- and I know that I am dying ...

Jorge Louis Borges

Borges (1899-1986) died two years later at the age of 87.


eolake said...
The way Borges says it, it's a lot more appealing.

Me, on the surface I've lived a boring life. But my adventures have been, and are, inward, and I don't regret that at all. (Well, OK, occasionally a tiny bit, but I wouldn't trade.)

Update: Joe "Mr. Dick is my father" Dick points to this:


I have to admit it makes the point. I also want to watch a woman urinate in an opera house before I die.

posted by Eolake Stobblehouse @ Wednesday, December 17, 2008   10 comments links to this post

10 Comments:

At 17 Dec 2008 14:17:00, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter how "fully" someone has lived, they always want more life at the end - I would imagine. Especially if they've lived a full life.

This quote is no doubt by an extrovert, and you know how they also judge anyone who doesn't love crowds, who isn't loud, who isn't always partying in noisy bars and clubs and shit like that - as having not really lived.

 
At 17 Dec 2008 14:39:00, Blogger Paul Kierstead said...

Well, it is BS, but I am not so sure the core sentiment is off the mark. Well, ok, I don't think people are afraid of living "authentically and fully", but they may be afraid of the risks (particularly socially) it might entail.

And I'll bet you'll find a lot of death bed patients that wished they had live more ... aggressively? Not sure what the right word is, but I think we all hesitate to fully embrace living sometimes. Sounds like bunk, but I think there is something to it. Hard to express, though.

And the people I know of who most express that kind of sentiment strongly are not the club going sorts, more like the traveling and adventuring sort. Often not particularly extroverted.

 
At 17 Dec 2008 18:38:00, Anonymous ttl said...

INSTANTS

If I could live again my life,
In the next -- I'll try,
-- to make more mistakes,
I won't try to be so perfect,
I'll be more relaxed,
I'll be more full -- than I am now,
In fact, I'll take fewer things seriously,
I'll be less hygienic,
I'll take more risks,
I'll take more trips,
I'll watch more sunsets,
I'll climb more mountains,
I'll swim more rivers,
I'll go to more places -- I've never been,
I'll eat more ice creams and less (lime) beans,
I'll have more real problems -- and less imaginary ones,
I was one of those people who live prudent and prolific lives --
each minute of his life,
Offcourse that I had moments of joy -- but,
if I could go back I'll try to have only good moments,

If you don't know -- thats what life is made of,
Don't lose the now!

I was one of those who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer,
without a hot-water bottle,
and without an umberella and without a parachute,

If I could live again -- I will travel light,
If I could live again -- I'll try to work bare feet
at the beginning of spring till
the end of autumn,
I'll ride more carts,
I'll watch more sunrises and play with more children,
If I have the life to live -- but now I am 85,
-- and I know that I am dying ...

Jorge Louis Borges


Borges (1899-1986) died two years later at the age of 87.

 
At 17 Dec 2008 18:52:00, Blogger eolake said...

The way Borges says it, it's a lot more appealing.

Me, on the surface I've lived a boring life. But my adventures have been, and are, inward, and I don't regret that at all. (Well, OK, occasionally a tiny bit, but I wouldn't trade.)

 
At 17 Dec 2008 21:50:00, Blogger Magnetic Mary said...

The way I see it, at any point in your life, be it the end or not, if you look back and regret you did this or didn't do that, *that* is not having lived fully and authentically. It doesn't have anything to do with *what you did*, just with if you did what you truly desired to do or not. And if your desire was to live a "boring life", so to speak, then you'll be satisfied.

Not that I think it is such a big deal to die with that feeling. To die unsatisfied is also ok in my book. You die and then what? You're dead. So called satisfaction may mean peanuts beyond this life.

 
At 17 Dec 2008 22:04:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

I'm not sure I think too much of the way Borges said it either, actually. It's still B.S.

I prefer this anyway, much funnier. Of course, really, if most people had the chance to live their life over, or got a second chance at life (like with a near-death experience) they probably would, after the initial euphoria wore off, go back to the way they were living before. You'd end up like Homer Simpson, back on the couch, watching crappy day time TV, and eating pork rinds.

 
At 17 Dec 2008 23:13:00, Blogger Joe Dick said...

Me, on the surface I've lived a boring life. But my adventures have been, and are, inward, and I don't regret that at all. (Well, OK, occasionally a tiny bit, but I wouldn't trade.)

That's what I was talking about - that the majority of people see that as a waste of life when it's not. It's just that you don't live the way they think you should.

Btw, didn't you say you liked Walden? Isn't the quote that started it all, as well as the Borges one, just a variation on Thoreau's advice to "live deliberately"?

 
At 17 Dec 2008 23:19:00, Blogger eolake said...

I don't know, but "deliberately" is very good advice.

"The unexamined life is not worth living."

(BTW, I've updated this post with the Fry/Laurie video.)

 
At 19 Dec 2008 04:21:00, Anonymous Jes said...

This is how I see it. If someone made a movie of my life so far, based on things I've done and said, then yeah, it would probably be boring. But if the movie showed the inner workings of my head, it'd be a freaking blockbuster.

"Me, on the surface I've lived a boring life."

Dude, you make your living from a website based on pretty, nekkid girls. I'm sure most people will agree that's a lot more interesting than factory work.

 
At 19 Dec 2008 12:52:00, Blogger eolake said...

For *me* it is, that's for sure! :-)

 

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