Is it wise to contemplate our death? (Deliberately open question)

A bit similar to my question on should we view opportunities as rare vs infinite, in which I made 2 different arguments that are opposed to each other:

  1. If we view opportunities as SCARCE and FLEETING, then some people might be more inclined to accept more opportunities and expand their lives and increase their luck....or....
  2. By viewing opportunities as SCARCE and FLEETING, some people might create resistance and stress for themselves, and get into a tragic panic of worry and anxiety about not taking opportunities which would do more damage to them than good.

I am curious about the topic of death, by which i mean accepting a paradigm by which we only live X amountof years. Some self help gurus explain that if one contemplates their death as a tool in of itself and chooses to view life as finite, then one gains more drive, perspective, easiness, clarity and determination about the kind of life they wish to live and the king of feelings or goals they wish to go after. In other words, contemplating death can be a positive tool because it can focus and harness accuracy of desire. It can screen out all the unimportant things in life and get one to only choose to focus on positive desires they wish to seek out. Being a bit of a type A personality myself, it also seems that contemplating death raises one's ambitions. Death contemplation appears to be a method of sharpening desire.

Having said this, I can also see that contemplating death could be a negative thing. There could be a scarcity and pressuring-bully type of mentality behind it, and it could be coming from a place of fear and heaviness or shame. "You NEED to contemplate your death and if you don't then it just means taking your life for granted." I also know of many old gurus who don't seem to care one bit about death, and even welcome its presence when it arrives (as if death is some sort of taxi car that is awaiting them). Some old Sages and Mystics seem apathetic about the subject of death because they have such a strong conviction in how existence works and know without any doubts that there is plenty of time to experience everything (having said that those Mystics usually live very long and easy lives).

I met a person who was a pure, hardcore atheist and had zero spiritual beliefs despite producing an academic paper describing how UFO people come to believe in supra-normal items. Even though he had this set of beliefs, he had a very empowering attitude about life and why he chose to not believe in God:

I don't believe in God, simply because I am unsure of existence beyond our human lives. This uncertainty gives me an authoritarian permission to live my life to the max, how I wish to. This may be the only life I ever get, and to which case, I want to be a hedonist and enjoy life in its full richness of rainbow.

I know Inward Quest has very radical ideas on the subjects of death and life and existence. Obviously I plan to live till I'm 230 and then get cryogenically frozen, so I am an exception to all you mortals and earthly beings.

Is contemplating death an empowering tool? What are your thoughts?

asked 17 Aug '18, 11:22

Nikulas's gravatar image


edited 17 Aug '18, 18:30

My own answer: to contemplate death can be done numerous ways with variety of intentions. I have heard many self-help gurus (salesmen) say that you should think about your death, because it will make you realise how short life is, and because life is short (fear-based), you should buy their products to learn how to enjoy life as much as you can. No....To contemplate death to try and motivate you to take action is fear based. We are eternal beings; why the rush?

(27 Aug '18, 20:20) Nikulas
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we are alive. we chose to be alive. i see no reason to think about's just not interesting. when it comes it comes.


answered 28 Aug '18, 08:55

myself's gravatar image


preparing for existence
without a finite body
removes fear, allows clearer
vision of infinity,

that contextual design
for this life and our
individual place in it


answered 28 Aug '18, 16:04

fred's gravatar image


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