Memento Mori — a salesman’s view
It seems to me, I have the impression, that what existed forever, finds pathways online and becomes trendy, and gets many followers, that “rediscover” what has been said in the past.
Old wisdom comes to give answers to modern problems.
In today’s post, I want to comment on an ancient (probably stoic) trope acting as a reminder of the inevitability of death. The concept has its roots in the philosophers of classical antiquity and Christianity.
In some accounts of the Roman triumph, a companion or public slave would stand behind or near the triumphant general during the procession and remind him from time to time of his own mortality, “Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal”. — Memento Mori
For those of you who even know me in person, or follow me here online, you should already know about my “spiritual reawakening” here in Spain.
The story is like this.
In my attempts to lose weight, and although I made excellent steps forward in that direction and was able to lose more than 10kg within a year, there was a point where I reached a plateau. Although I continued to do all the right steps, and eat healthily in the right proportions, it seemed impossible to break through.
It was then that my nutritionist, an exceptionally smart Spanish lady, identified the problem as my inability to control my compulsion, in what regards eating. She recommended I take meditation or better said “mindfulness lessons”.
For those of you that are not familiar, mindfulness is a western approach otosome aspects of Buddhism, is the practice of gently focusing your awareness on the present moment over and over again.
Mindfulness was the key for me to control my compulsiveness, control my emotions, and thoughts. Most importantly it was my “spiritual reawakening”, the understanding that there is a differentiation between my thinking mind (emotions & thoughts) and my observing mind (my spirit).
Some years ago, I was watching a documentary about how Japan used young pilots as Kamikaze (divine wind), to stop Americans in the pacific during the second world war.
The most interesting part of the documentary was the deep dive into the mindset of those young pilots. Generally, Buddhist teaching views life and death as a continuum, believing that consciousness (the spirit) continues after death.
Consciousness is your observing mind, bounded to the form of your physical body and (probably) continuous to “live” after your body’s death.
Memento Mori in the west.
Westerners see death as the end because they don’t separate their consciousness from their thinking and feeling mind. If you identify your consciousness with your thoughts and your physical body, “memento mori” makes sense, once however you differentiate your consciousness (your true self), from your thinking mind (and of course your physical presence), then you will understand that memento mori, does not make any sense since it refers to your physical death, and not the one of your spirit.
The observing mind, (your consciousness) lives in a sanctuary that cannot be entered, attacked, or doubted. Your thoughts, opinions, and emotions can, but not your consciousness.
Realizing that, is the key to becoming a better person, a better professional, and certainly a better salesperson.
Realizing that, lifts the fear of death as it does not refer to “you”, your spirit, that exists without your physical presence.
The avoidance and “denial” of death in our western societies, exponentially increase the importance of insignificant matters in our lives.
“Memento Mori” to see the real weight of your problems in life, or even better, observe your life from the sanctuary where you (your spirit) live.
Relax and have a beautiful day. Things are not that bad after all.