Inquiry: It’s better to be alive

It’s better to be alive.


Hm. I can find where it feels true. I can find thoughts saying it is so. I can find others who agree.


No. It cannot be true. It’s just a temporary preference. Life shows me it is not true.

What happens when I take that thought as true?

I feel I have to stay alive. I feel others have to stay alive.

I am at odds with reality. People die. I know people die. I know I will die. I know I and anyone else can die any moment. I know I cannot do anything about it.

I experience stress, grief, tension, resistance, anger, frustration, fear. I get caught up in all of this.

I experience an undercurrent of dread and terror.

When did I first have that thought?

Early in childhood. Either when I realized my parents could die – or at least die from me.

Or, more likely, when I picked up fear and resistance from my parents when they talked about death.

What am I afraid would happen if I didn’t have that belief?

I am afraid I wouldn’t resist death.

–> I am afraid I wouldn’t go into a tantrum when someone dies, since that’s what other’s expect. I am afraid of not living up to expectations.

Who would I be without it?

I would be open. Receptive.

See life and death as equal. Equal parts of reality.

Curious about life and death. Interest.

Grateful for both. Genuinely grateful for both.


It’s not better to be alive.

Reality treats life and death as equal.

Being alive includes much that is uncomfortable.

The truth is I don’t know. I have no idea what death is.

From the view of reality, life and death are equal. They happen within and as reality – within and as this awakeness.

From the view of the individual, I have no idea what death means. It could be nothing at all. Something may continue. In either case, I don’t know that being alive is better than death.

From a larger perspective, I see that death allows for new life. Death of stars allows for new stars and solar systems. Death of species allows for new species. Death of individuals allows for new individuals. Death of experiences allows for new experiences. From this perspective, life is not better than death.

From the view of reality, each individual exist for only a very short time within a very long timespan, and this living planet is a blip too. Reality doesn’t appear to see life as better than death.

It’s worse to be alive.

Yes, I can find where that is true.

For many, life involves much struggle and suffering. Whatever happens after life, if anything, may well be easier or perhaps just a continuation.

For all of us, our own death is a relief. It’s a relief from the struggle inherent in being alive.

When someone dies, it is most likely worse for those still alive than for the person dying.

And when someone dies, it may be a relief for the ones still alive. I can find where it is a relief.

Note: This came up when three members of a Norwegian Antarctic expedition died, and it also relates to some of my recent dreams and the undercurrent of (existential) dread that’s here now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.