"What I do is me," said Gerard Manley Hopkins, "for that I came." There you are. Don't let anyone talk you out of being who you are, doing what you do. The world is saved by ordinary people daring to be who they are, daring to do what they do. The Old Taoists realized as much sometime between 5,000 and 2,000 BCE. They talked about being true to our original nature and to our innate virtues. We lost that path somewhere along the way, and the focus has devolved into making money, and getting what we want-- at any price. Gerard Manley Hopkins would not be impressed.
How are you preparing to die? Trying not to think about it? Pretending it isn't going to happen? Hoping someone develops an anti-death pill? Denial and obstruction all the way? We are born to die. Every living thing dies. To hang onto life and push death away is unnatural. Unheard of. Far beyond the standard, routine and ordinary. Native Americans could say, "It is a good day to die," because they had lived every day up to this day preparing to die-- doing everything as it needed to be done, when, where and how it needed to be done, as it came up in the normal course of events throughout their life time. Their usual and customary thing to do was to do the thing that was called for in each situation as it arose moment by moment no matter what. This is the practice of all living things. Taking care of the business of the day each day makes every day a good day to die, because nothing has been missed anywhere all along the way. We are always "caught up." Everything is always in order. Nothing is left undone, through all of the stages of life. We meet the day every day, and do what the day requires of us every day, and are not surprised and unprepared when death comes. All living things approach each day with no expectations, no agendas, no plans and no opinions, just doing what is called for by the times and circumstances of its life. Except for modern human beings. We have nothing but expectations, agendas, plans and opinions. And live to impose our will upon the times and circumstances of our life our entire life long. Until, oops, the unthinkable happens and we die.
We prepare to die by living consciously every day, doing in each moment what needs to be done, when, where, and how it needs to be done, for the joy of doing it and the satisfaction of having done it, no matter what. By living transparent to ourselves, which naturally, automatically, spontaneously makes us "transparent to transcendence" (Joseph Campbell), and guarantees that we live out of our original nature and the innate virtues that are ours to serve and share, with integrity, sincerity and spontaneity in each situation as it arises all our life long. This brings us forth to meet our circumstances with fealty, liege loyalty, and filial devotion to being true to ourselves in doing what is ours to do in the times and places of our living, and letting that be that, with nothing to gain and nothing to lose, day by day all our life long. So that when death comes, we are ready to receive it with arms wide open, and to be received by it as those who are looking forward to the next step in the adventure of life. May it be so, for us and for everyone!