The news of Steve Jobs’ illness has been on my mind. All day.
Tonight, I want to meditate on these words from him, from his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford – as quoted by Leander Kahney in his excellent post today, Steve Jobs and Death:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.”
Many years ago, as I lay in Savasana, I took in these words from Carlos Castenada, given to me by my teacher, Gabriel Halpern: Live every day with death upon your shoulders, it will remind you to love. Often times, I have thought of that first part about death. The last words about love had slipped from my memory. It is only tonight, as I googled ‘death on your shoulders’, in search for the exact words, that I got the love part back.