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Our ambition is often out of touch with death 💀

3things clean up death jordan myska allen mementomori micro-transformations personal growth relatefulness teal shadows May 12, 2022


Someone who works crazy hours to save up towards retirement is obviously missing the joy of the present in a way they’re likely to regret in the very retirement they’re saving up for. I think they’re also hiding from the reality of death. Most of us don’t know how soon we’ll die. In light of this unknown, being too heavily future-oriented is costly. When we trade present experience for a future that may not come, are we properly discounting it?

This doesn’t mean we should stop investing in the future altogether, because not all likelihoods are equal. Most of us reading this email are much more likely to die in the distant future, than we are likely to die today. Being intimate with death doesn’t set up a false dichotomy between focusing on the present good and investing in a better future. Being intimate with death doesn’t preclude working toward cryonics, singularities, better afterlives or rebirths—it feeds the future we plan to inhabit, making it more honest and grounded.

Most of us reading this email aren’t ambitiously working crazy hours to acquire enough money for future retirement. But other ambitions follow the same basic pattern: Acquiring more knowledge, experiencing more cultures, integrating more shadows, healing more wounds, processing more emotions, gaining more spiritual awareness, even surrendering more and getting rid of more ego attachments. What present good do we sacrifice in doing so? What’s the balance?


With love, Jordan


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