What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.
Men come and they go and they trot and they dance, and never a word about death. All well and good. Yet when death does come—to them, their wives, their children, their friends—catching them unawares and unprepared, then what storms of passion overwhelm them, what cries, what fury, what despair! […]
To begin depriving death of its greatest advantage over us, let us adopt a way clean contrary to that common one; let us deprive death of its strangeness, let us frequent it, let us get used to it; let us have nothing more often in mind than death. […] We do not know where death awaits us: so let us wait for it everywhere.
To practice death is to practice freedom. A man who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave.
Photo by Pedro Flores.
To experience the everyday sublime one needs to dismantle piece by piece the perceptual conditioning that insists on seeing oneself and the world as essentially comfortable, permanent, solid, and mine. It means to embrace suffering and conflict, rather than to shy away from them, to cultivate the radical attention that contemplates the tragic, changing, empty, and impersonal dimensions of life, rather than succumbing to fantasies of self-glorification or self-loathing.