Memento Mori | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

Memento Mori | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

Life is short. It’s ticking away and seems to pass by faster
as we get older. Despite of this, many people waste their lives
on trivial things. But there’s an antidote. Thinking about death not only reminds us that
we have a limited amount of time to do the things we want to do; it also teaches us to
accept the reality of death itself and that it’s all around us. In this video, I explore the Stoic philosophy
behind memento mori. This video is animated by the YouTube channel
BD Design. For more philosophy videos like this, you´ll
find a link in the description. Now, let´s dive in! Memento mori is Latin for remember thou art
mortal. On the famous painting by Philippe de Champaigne
from 1671, you see the three essentials of memento mori. The hourglass stands for the notion that life
is ticking away second after second. The rose stands for the truth about vitality,
which is that, at some point, we all decay. The skull represents death. We are going to die. And not only us: the people around us including
our loved ones as well. This means that today could be the last day
you walk the earth. “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and
think,” wrote Marcus Aurelius in his meditations. So, if you’d die today, what would you do? Well, some people would certainly go on a
hedonistic binge, getting whatever pleasure they can think of before they die. But if you lead your life according to Stoic
principles, that would not be a preferred option. Rather, you’d probably live your last hours
as virtuously as possible. Do you want to show appreciation for your
loved ones? Tell them you love them. Do you have unfinished business? Now is the time to take care of that. So, memento mori is a great antidote to one
of the nastiests habits of mankind: procrastination. Because procrastination can only take place
if we believe that we have an abundance of time. When we take that belief away, we face the
necessity of doing our task now, because tomorrow we might be dead. Now, thinking about death may evoke feelings
of fear and sorrow along with the motivation we get to take care of our business. This isn’t caused by death itself but by our
opinions about death. Here is a quote by Epictetus: Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the
principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else
it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death
that it is terrible. End quote. When we stop fearing death and we see it as
nothing more than the insurmountable consequence of life, we can be appreciative for the time
that is given to us and not squander it doing petty things. Another dimension of memento mori is preparation. Yes, we will lose the people we love and sometimes
in the most brutal ways. Just look at human history or look at what’s
happening in the world right now: the world is full of death. Not being affected by loss is, of course,
easier said than done. Even though the Stoics propose this ideal;
most of us are still human and will have to deal with grief when someone they love dies. Now, reminding ourselves of the possibility
that we can lose a loved one as we speak, helps us to be less shocked when that happens. For most people I know, losing someone they
love is excruciating. Humans are often so attached to each other
that they cannot bear the loss. But if we are mindful of the truth of death,
we can cultivate a healthier mindset towards the possibility of loss. Instead of clinging to a person, wishing that
we will never get separated, we can embrace the reality that the day of separation will
come. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t grieve
and mourn; it means that we were prepared all along. We can be more functional
and helpful human beings for the community when death occurs. In this case losing someone due to mortality
becomes more neutral. Here’s how Marcus Aurelius puts it: “Don’t look down on death, but welcome
it. It too is one of the things required by nature. Like youth and old age. Like growth and maturity. Like a new set of teeth, a beard, the first
gray hair. Like sex and pregnancy and childbirth. Like all the other physical changes at each
stage of life, our dissolution is no different.” End quote. What happens after we die? Will we enter the eternal nothingness that
frees us of sense-perception, emotional turmoil, worry and rumination and the enslavement of
our bodies? Or will we return to the flesh again for another
life in the realm of matter. No one knows for sure. But what we do know is that mortality is upon
us. When death smiles at us no matter where we
go, is there a better response than to smile back? Thank you for watching.

100 comments on “Memento Mori | Stoic Exercises For Inner Peace

  1. Patrick Leclercq Post author

    5:11 "When death smiles at us, is there a better response than to smile back ?" I kind of like the idea on which I'll meditate – thank you !

  2. Amy Tan Post author

    I love the aesthetic vlog style….this animation is a bit too cartoonish for the topic discussed. Its only my opinion. No offence ❤

  3. Video Insights Post author

    For many years now, every-time I pass by a graveyard I always whisper under my breath "Memento Mori".
    My own personal nod to those who endured mortality and have passed on. And as they are; so too shall I be.

  4. Okba Cherboub Post author

    “I have to die. If it is now, well then I die now; if later, then now I will take my lunch, since the hour for lunch has arrived – and dying I will tend to later.”

    – Epictetus

  5. Lucas Nyeinchan Post author

    i understand what you meant that no one knows what is going to happen after death but buddhism stand point of view , i have to trust other lives exist after death which is based on cause and effect , what we're doing ( good or bad) now will become in next life

  6. Lucas Nyeinchan Post author

    there's only way to escape of death , old age ,reborn cycle which is to do vipassan medidation so will reach nivrana and will free completely cycle

  7. Anoushka Singh Post author

    If I’ll be dead tomorrow then I should not care about my assignment deadline… might as well not want to spend my last moments doing stupid uni assignments.

  8. ScotsLeo Queen Post author

    As always, thought provoking & meaningful, thank you! I DO like the new vid style, guy has talent & I personally prefer graphics not be as deep as the content, if that makes sense. I prefer previous vid styles, no offense to anyone! Keep em coming

  9. Havok Post author

    I just wonder… What happen if you welcome death so cheerily that everything seems so pointless to do and stop caring what happen to others because of the fact that death is just a step behind us, I don't mean in it in a depressive state but kind of in a more neutral way? Am I being to selfish? I'm a lil bit confused…

  10. Seneca Post author

    This is unprofessional and terrible animation. Feel free to compare it to other similar educational channels that uses animation.

  11. I, Jupiter Post author

    Stoicism is a coping mechanism to the inevitable. Most people think that life will go on forever, but we know the simple truth…..Memento Mori….

  12. Artur Czerwiński Post author

    Out of 17 000 of people who already watched this, I guess that at least a few hundred have cancer they don't yet know about.

  13. Nayan Gadhari Post author

    Hey, man can you just go back to making videos just like old ones without this animation. I am not criticizing just saying that I just miss yours without animation videos.

  14. Lucas Gaio Post author

    The thing about where you go I think is this… a lot say you see the light in the end of the tunnel. The question is if you should follow the light or no. The answer is in all of us. Are you living by your heart? If you do, you follow your intuition and you always know deep down where you should go and follow your gut. The true knowledge flowing free from fear or outter influences.
    Or are you always in your mind?

  15. Aidan6496 Post author

    My challenge is to balance memento mori with trusting my instincts. There are people I feel such a desire to talk to, but don't for fear of opening myself up too much to them (or, telling them I like/love them and not being able to sustain that from my point of view).

  16. Baci302 Post author

    Is living a stoic life in this manner as described by Marcus Aurelius consistent with the notion of living in the present or "now" and that time is but a human construct? Humans constructed the notion and computation of "time" but that doesn't apply to the rest of the universe.

  17. Misha C Post author

    To add to the philosophy I would recommend perceiving death as the passing of your "body" and not necessarily the end of YOU. -We do not know for sure but this put you into a optomistic perception of death. Furthermore, to avoid living in fear and desperation for the grim reaper but motivation.

  18. Pineapple Pizza Post author

    "After all, to the well organised mind, death is but the next great adventure"- Albus Dumbledore

  19. Ben Mu Post author

    Easy said than done. We are connected to everything surrounding us, it affects our thoughts & our feelings. Unless we are disconnected, otherwise we will be affected regardless how powerful our mind are.

  20. Thubelihle Sibiya Post author

    I don't think I have abundance of time. I just have no regard for this life…I'm a floating meanglessnist I just can't wait to see what's beyond this dimension and why the controversy around it. Why the suffering and who is this mighty and powerful God who enjoys the suffering of humans so much….

  21. Paul Brown Post author

    Plz don't use these animations in your videos because it impacts the perception of your great contents.just go with your previous way

  22. Toyota Hachiroku Post author


  23. Gabriela Santamaria Post author

    F. U and tour memwnto mori this videos is stupid!!!! I rather go dolce Vita !! The Italians know how yo live life!! Procrastinations are done by the Greeks . Italians live life to the fullest.. when u live life to the fullest there are no regrets!!!!!!!! Eat that pizza. Drink that beer!! Yolo!!! Yolo!! Just don't overdo anything!! And yes but allmeans talk to to other people. After all they are lonely !!!but yolo!!!! Go to Italy you will u drstand life .. the dolce Vita!!!

  24. Adrian Bejenaru Post author

    After watching my father die, I have to say death rarely smiles upon us. The question to answer is will we frown back. Or go quietly, like the fortunate ones.

  25. mrpickle 1900 Post author

    I’m more afraid of being alone and abandoned during my years of living more than when Im in a never ending void of darkness

  26. Raymotives Worldwide Post author

    Premeditation of death is premeditation of freedom.Unexpectedness adds to the weight of a Disaster.

  27. GoldenNorway1 Post author

    One must accept reality to be able to find meaning and inner peace; death is, in it's essence, the definition of such a reality. It is the most natural thing, and the only thing that will happen no matter what. We came from nothing… and nature will take everything back to that origin.

    That is order. That is nature. So is the code written.

  28. Marlen Shalala Post author

    Harsh topic to adress but necessary. We all gonna die, better take a breath and accept this truth even though it might sound terrific, death is the resolution to everything and as soon as you accept death as a natural thing and be conscious that you can't do anything but accept this fact everything changes.

  29. LegendOfSonic Post author

    Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, one is always aware that it lies in wait. Through life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope. Only then will a traveler's story live on, treasured by those who bid them farewell.

    -Igor, Persona 3

    A big nosed old man spouting philosophy over your corpse is the best part of P3

  30. i SkyWalKing Post author

    The problem with this mind-state is that it does nothing for inner peace. I've thought this way my entire life since I was a child. Always knew I was surrounded by death, constantly think about death and am prepared for death at any given time for myself and my surroundings. I am fully functional. But after losing my 2nd dog, I no longer want to experience love ever again. I avoid in depth relationships and am basically miserable internally (although you would never know). I am lonely, depressed, anxious and existence is grim. I don't want to get close to anyone or anything or love anyone because it will eventually lead to heartbreak and pain no matter what. Nothing will ever bring about inner peace. We are all prisoners and are being forced into suffering and pain with no choice of our own. Life is fucking bullshit. There is nothing "special" or "beautiful" about it. And if there was a hypothetical "god"…that god would have to be the most evil and sinister piece of fucking shit entity imaginable. Life is a lose/lose situation no matter how you break it down.


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