Posted by: Brad Stanford | January 2, 2015

More Death, More Life

Second funeral in six days.

This time, a sixty-seven-year-old man who died of cancer. He had a very interesting life, with good friends and family. In fact, his funeral was one of the best I’ve ever been to, if that’s something you can say.

True to myself, I was in full philosophy mode, thinking about my own funeral, the nature of life, the promises of God, and so forth. I wanted to communicate everything I was thinking to anyone and everyone who would listen. And then, the greatest revelation of them all:

That’s not what I’m supposed to do.

Sure I can write a book, and may still. I could make videos teaching others whatever it is I thought needed to be taught. I could post everything here if I thought it was right. But the truth is, I don’t think it would work like I think it would. It’s one of those romantic notions we get as humans, “I’ll tell everyone, and change the world!!!”

Real life happens when the romance has been stripped away, and we find ourselves in love not with the original vision of what we thought something would be, but what it actually is.

This is the key to living, or rather, to dying to self. To admit that my utopian notions of how things should be or will be or what I will make them – that they are just notions. But finding something that’s worth pursuing regardless of how it turns out: this is living. Regardless of increased pleasure or treasure, ignoring the benefits to self for the sake of simply finding out how this particular fractal of the story will play out.

This is also why feeding ourselves what we think is pleasure actually kills our ability to live. The hills and valleys of feeding an addiction (food, drugs, alcohol, friends, religion, science, entertainment, education) dulls our sense of the eternal. Without the backdrop of the eternal, there is just doing things with no context or reason, except our own pleasure. We’re on an amusement park ride, but true life is outside the gates.

So rather than trying to encapsulate each bit of wisdom I learn to make it easy for my kids or others to swallow, I suggest that God is big enough to teach you exactly the same things He is teaching me. And He does a far better job. I don’t even know your background, your language, your personality. What makes me think I can speak into your life?

The fantasy of Brad The Philosopher is just as fireproof-less as anything else about me, except my spirit. My words, deeds, reputation – they are all short lived. Even if people know my name 500 years from now, will it matter?

What matters is eternity: what happens after this life. (see this)

So my desire to help everyone philosophize and therefore understand this life better pales in comparison to the need for you to pursue truth, and find out from the creator what you’re designed for. Following me will get you a few good ideas.

Following God will get you everything.

Do the latter. That’s the only piece of advice that I know is absolutely right for everyone.

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