February 2, 2010
“We all die. The goal isn’t to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.” Chuck Palahniuk
Well that sounds good. But forever? Really? Chuck Palahniuk is a writer and I suppose he expects his books to live beyond his years but forever? Really? What about when the sun goes out, will Fight Club still be living on?
I’ve been seeing a lot about legacy lately – I guess just noticing a lot about legacy. It seems to me the need to leave a legacy comes form a basic insecurity about who we are.
I come from a Mormon background and Mormons are big on genealogy. So we have all these names of ancestors on the old family tree. Names. Very few stories. And the stories are just stories. No story will ever be able to get at the essence of who a person was back when. Even the greats of history are but a fraction of themselves when summed up by even the most thoughtful historian or biographer and that fraction can’t help but be partly fiction. Peoples own writings may give a fuller picture of the person behind the words and sentences and paragraphs but I know from my own writing that it is still just a finite illumination, like a photograph which is briefly preserved for but a moment in all eternity. And yes, it can’t help but be partly fiction :).
Legacy. On the old family tree I know that for a few generations some may pass on some colorful stories of my brief time here, my life has had some colorful and even notorious moments, but they don’t know me. I’ll be happy to be a simple brief footnote then pass into oblivion with the rest on that tree.
I don’t need to live on in human minds to live on. I will live on past my death just as everyone else will live on past their deaths. That just is. You may say, who can know what comes after death, we must be remembered for our lives. I say, as a medium I have sensed and talked with those who have lived on after death and it’s no big deal. Cats do it, dogs do it, my dad does it, we all do it.
When will we ever tumble into the security that we are living beings who are simply inhabiting a body at the moment. You are OK. I am OK. We will always and forever be OK whether or not we are accomplished or notorious or just another Joe in this human form. I want to just shout from the rooftops GET OVER YOURSELVES! You don’t need to worry about how you are doing. You are doing fine. Now get out there and enjoy your life. If you happen to produce something from that which will live on in minds for another generation or two, fine. Good for you. I hope you have a really good time producing it but it has very little to do with your worth. In fact nothing at all to do with your worth. In fact worthiness has nothing to do with anything at all.
You can stop trying so hard to live up to some trumped up idea of how you should live and how you should be and how important you are and what you have to leave behind. If you can do that – then you may open to a wonderful life that may even lead to the respect which is your due anyway. ENJOY!