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Thursday, January 16, 2014


There is a certain fear of death that comes from not having lived yet.
- Richard Rohr

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.
- Jesus

You may think death is not the most inspiring thing to be mentioning here at the beginning of a New Year.  Isn't this the time when we should be thinking about beginnings, about new things as we look toward the coming year?  Then again, death could be the best thing to be considering, especially if we do so from the perspective of the two quotes above.

Most sages, mystics, and prophets of the ages have taught that in order to truly live one must first come to terms with the fact that death is inevitable. One of the best places to see this dynamic at work is in the cycles of nature where death, decay, fallowness, and seeds are all necessary for new life.

We can also see the same process at work in our lives as we either hold on to past ideas, beliefs, and practices or allow those ideas, beliefs, and practices to die, adapt, and evolve into something new.  Sometimes an unfulfilled or fallow dream must die in order for a new dream to be formed.

There is still another way to view this death/living paradox.  If we have hopes, dreams, and ideas that we "keep" as Jesus says, and they never even have a chance of becoming real, then we end up with Rohr's feeling of "not having lived yet."

In a more amusing way a friend of mine use to say, "We're all going to die of something. Let's just hope it's not boredom."

So, perhaps a couple of good New Year questions for us would be:  What things of the past do we need to allow to die in order to make room for something new?  What hopes, dreams, and aspirations are we "keeping" from becoming real in our lives?

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