December 31st 2016
“There is no doer but the deed
There is no experiencer but the experience
Constituent parts roll on” – Unknown (concise version from Vissudhi Magga)
I know I write about death often. I do this because we are all mortal. What more important subject is there, than the ending of our existence? Compared to any crisis a person may encounter, if that person thinks “at least I am still alive,” then what does the crisis matter? Because we will all die and we cannot avoid it, shouldn’t we all learn how to embrace death and die peacefully? That’s why I study death, so I can be more accepting of it when my time comes.
The quote above is an ancient quote, possibly dating back millennia. The quote relates to death and is a mindset to have as a peaceful approach to dying well. Basically it states that there is no “Me” or “I” or “You”, instead when you have an experience you become that experience. You are but that moment, that event, that sensation, but never “You,” since you are always changing. Since there is no “You” to begin with, you cannot die, instead what happens is you enter the experience of dying which you should embrace and accept wholeheartedly.
It takes reflection to fully understand what that means. I read paragraphs that go deeper on the quote’s meaning but I summed it up into one paragraph. It’s normal to think “I don’t want to die,” but we should also accept it and enter death serenely.
“Suffering is caused by clinging, grasping, and holding onto; things, people, and ideas. To die artfully is to die thinking of nothing, wishing for nothing, clinging to nothing. Just fading away like clouds in the sky.” – Philip Kapleau
Ooh I can just imagine it. Lying in bed, eyes closed, unable to move or perform any actions. Millions of thoughts running through the mind. It must feel like the sensation of drowning, but you’re unable to communicate any last words or any last thoughts. You only have yourself and your mind while you lie for the last few seconds of your life. Would you panic and think “No! One more day! I need one more day in this world!” and fight to live, or like the quote; think of nothing, want nothing, hold onto nothing, then silently fade away.
As a youngster in a healthy and able body, I want to live on. I’ll fight energetically to live. In a fragile body full of sickness and ill health, I will most likely just want to surrender because it is easier to. I’ve been through sick health before where I wanted nothing more than to just die because the pain was too much and it would have been so much easier to die.
Today was basically a repeat of yesterday. I woke up around 8, exercised, ate food, then watched movies and videos, and thought about death a lot. I’m writing this at 7 PM but there will be some New Year’s celebrations later tonight with the family. I also want to write and create this post first and publish it before the year ends. I might meet up with some friends in town in a little bit later before shortly heading back home to celebrate the New Year with my parents.
I don’t think it matters how many times I hug and talk to my parents. I will always think it wasn’t enough. I hug my parents daily, almost every time I see them. For example whenever my dad is on the couch watching television, I would go up to him and hug him and his legs and body. I have gotten really close to my parents that they’re comfortable with me touching and hugging them at any point throughout the day. They would let me touch any part of their body, not that I would intentionally touch private areas, but they’re just comfortable with me doing anything.
Anyway, again, no matter how many times I hug them or feel them or share emotions with them, I don’t think it will ever be enough. That’s why I cherish every second I have with them. I will definitely miss them when they pass. I wouldn’t know what to do. Maybe cry and grief for days? Weeks? Forever? Still, they’d want me to live on. I know they would be happy with me even if I griefed for just one second and lived the rest of my life without hindrance.
I also got them to sign a piece of paper saying that I would get all their inheritance and I get to decide to do what I want with their bodies. My dad doesn’t care, he says I can eat his body if I wanted to, but I’ll most likely go with cremation for him. My mom, I’m sure she only wants the standard Christian casket burial, and she will be angry if I choose another method.
I just asked her, both of my parents got angry and started yelling that I would even bring up death today because it’s the New Year’s. But she said she’d only like a Christian casket burial, and my dad gave the same answer saying he didn’t care again. They get angry whenever I bring up death, even though I think about it a lot, I never talk about it with them if I can help it.
For myself, any answer I give now wouldn’t be taken seriously because I’m 23. If I die, let’s say at 50, and no I don’t want to die at 50 but I’m giving a hypothetical scenario here, any decision from my 23 year old self wouldn’t be taken into consideration. But if I were to give an answer right now, I would say I’d like my dead body to be thrown into a forest and allowed to be consumed by carnivorous animals. There’s only around 3000 tigers left in the world, there’s less than 10,000 cheetahs left in the world, there’s very few sharks left in the world, and very few wolves left in the world. So if my body can be given up to these animals to continue the cycle of life, then I’d like that over any kind of human ritual.
I’d worry about poachers though. What if they want up and cut off some of my deceased body parts and kept them as souvenirs? Some people have no respect for the dead. But my choice would still be to be fed to the animals.
Anyway, I am heading out soon. I’ve been invited to meet some people in town. So I’m going to answer some 2016 Year in Review questions I sent to Obs so we could both answer it, but we talked and she said she most likely wasn’t going to be able to.
2016 End of the Year Reflection
- What are your biggest accomplishments this year?
Hmm. At the beginning of the year I created this program called Canvy that allowed you to automate some of the processes in the old job I used to have. I was able to lose maybe ~30+ pounds this year and exercised often. I learned a lot about programming this year. I met a lot of awesome people and went through some awesome experiences. I had deep talks with several people throughout the year and got to understand them on very deep levels. And I made a new friend for life which made this year overall amazing.
- What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
There’s nothing bigger than death. I’ve relearned facts about death, relearned that life is short and finite, and studied several topics surrounding death near the end of the year. It’s something I’ve kept at the back of my mind for the longest time, and that I never thought about until it just resurfaced recently. Now I think about it often and write about it often. I write honestly in my entries no matter how personal the subjects are, because none of this will really matter when I’m gone anyway. Also, I still keep a lot of things to myself, but I still write openly.
A minor lesson: That I can’t do multiple things at once. If I want to do one thing, anything, I have to put all my focus into that activity with as fewest distractions and other future tasks to do as possible or else I wouldn’t finish.
Big lesson: Vision ‘loss’ is actually just the refocusing of the eyes towards a shorter distance due to adaptation from constantly doing ‘close up’ work. Vision improvement is possible when the eyes are refocused towards a further distance by adapting to constantly doing ‘far out’ work.
- On a scale of 1-10 how satisfied are you and why with this year in these key areas:
- For someone with my credentials, I got really lucky with the current position that I have. The company is also looking to promote me again, to a more advanced “Solutions Engineer” position, and I’m currently going through training for it. Hopefully I’ll start this new position in 2017. Do I have any complaints? No. So this is a perfect 10.
- Because I started studying death and thinking about death more frequently, despite my parents getting angry at me and yell each time I bring it up, I got closer to them than ever before. Knowing that they are still alive as of this writing, fills me with unlimited satisfaction.
As a teenager, I used to write angry journal entries about them, about how much I disliked them and I would state all their flaws and why I hated them so. Now I have no hatred for them at all. I can’t have any hatred when I know they’re mortal and they’re not going to be here forever.
This is a 10 for sure. There is nothing I am unhappy about in terms of my family.
- I made a friend for life this year and we both enjoy supporting and taking care of each other. This has never happened in my life before and I’m eternally grateful, especially because we share so many things in common and complement each other so well.
I’m not technically in a relationship right now, but we are planning on being in a relationship in the future. So technically right now we can date whomever we want, and we’ll still be there to support each other. Do I have any complaints? No. This is a perfect 10.
- I can’t be satisfied with this. I am definitely pleased that I lost weight this year, but it wasn’t enough. Despite exercising to try and lose more weight, I often end up eating too much food way too often. My health isn’t anywhere near satisfactory levels. Also my vision is terrible, but I learned that vision improvement is possible. I can’t help but be disappointed in terms of health and try better next year.
I’m grateful that I’m alive, but I have complaints and dissatisfactions in regards to health. This is a 5.
- I had so much time this year to accomplish anything. Yet I didn’t do anything. Barely anything. With so much time wasted, I can’t be happy with my productivity levels this year. This is a 3 or lower.
- What do you want to accomplish next year, such that it’s your best year ever?
- Lose weight and drop down to 150 pounds minimum, go for 130 pounds if possible.
- Pay of all debts and end the year without any debts
- Finish my full stack developer nanodegree by May 2017
- Improve eyesight, revert back to a higher vision level
- Finish book with Obs
- Find at least 1 client to do website contracting work for
Small steps and small goals. These are all possible and not difficult to accomplish. This is what I want for 2017. Nothing dramatic, just minor improvements to my life.
I just came back from hanging out with a friend. I guess everyone else was busy so it was just me and him. We visited my office first and I showed him around, he’s been there before but not since it was newly renovated. He says it’s 10x nicer than his office, he described his office as looking like a regular office like in the show “The Office” while my office was like the most fancy and creative place he’s seen. It is a pretty luxurious looking place.
Anyway we talked for a while, grabbed some beers from the fridge, and drank. We ate some of the foods that were available there. Then we went out to some bars and went bar hopping. We both didn’t drink anything though since we had to drive back home and one beer was enough. We just ended up talking about different things, and after visiting the bars we went back to the ‘homebase’ which was the office. Where we talked some more for a bit over an hour, he ended up drinking another beer there.
The drive home felt surreal. The streets were practically empty. There were just a few cars that I saw out in the roads when normally there are tons of cars out at this time of the night. When I got back home, I was surprised to see all the parking lot visitor spaces filled, just cars everywhere.
I’m home now making updates to this. It is the last post of 2016 so I want to make it count. I don’t have too long before the year ends, this year will never happen again. It is all surreal. Just a few months ago, it felt like 2016 would be here to stay forever. Now, it’s already over. I bet 2017 will feel like it will never end too, and yet, it will end surprisingly quickly. New Year’s 2018 will be here soon enough.
Selfie for the day