Our Mortality is our Gift to the Future, Episode 149
How would we live our lives if we understood our mortality to be a gift – one we were given by all those who came before us, and that makes possible the lives of those who will come after us? What kindness and forgiveness might we bring to our lives if we understood that each of us – especially those with whom we are in difficulty – is a brief flash of life in a universe-sized unfolding process? Episode 149 of Turning Towards Life is a conversation about how we might stop trying to be unaffected by our lives and instead turn to our losses and what’s next with grace, creativity and compassion – with Lizzie Winn and Justin Wise of Thirdspace.
This is Turning Towards Life, a weekly live 30 minute conversation hosted by Thirdspace in which Justin Wise and Lizzie Winn dive deep into big questions of human living. Find us on FaceBook to watch live and join in the lively conversation on this episode. We’re also on YouTube, and as a podcast on Apple, Google and Spotify. You can find videos of every episode, and more about the project on the Turning Towards Life website.
Our source for this week is chosen for us by Justin.
Mortality is the gift the living give to the future
Words by Bradley Shavit Artson,
excerpted from his book ‘God of Becoming and Relationship‘
The wonder of life, awesome and terrible, is that it renews itself constantly by sloughing off the old and embracing the new… Just as we thrill that babies, infants, and children refuse to do things the way they have always been done, bringing a relentless energy to their lives and to ours, so too we know that what is old breaks down and gives way before the young. Life, in this cascading process of endless renewal, splashes across the millennia towards greater diversity, experience, relationship and connection.
Human beings, like all living creatures, are events.
Moment by moment we shift and change and move with time, created anew each moment. We may be dying, but we are not yet dead. In that sense, mortality is the gift the living give to the future.
Awareness that we are dying should serve to focus our attention on living. It should make what is unimportant less important. We do not have time to waste: not on people we do not enjoy being with; not on activities that are not compelling, necessary, or worthy. That time is brief. Because we are all under the same sentence, it ought to be easier easier to forgive each other. The one who has wronged us is not some all-powerful divinity who will outlast the ages, but, like each of us, a brief and ephemeral flash of life in a sea of roiling sameness. We ought to know that our identities are not simply that of solitary individual beings. We are part of something larger than ourselves… [We are always] in relationship, a component of that living organism called humanity, which itself is a component of the biosphere as a whole.
Everything is a manifestation of becoming-in-relationship