I am far too aware of my being-towards-death. While Heidegger calls this “authenticity”, I call it “frick’n annoying” and a “tad bit depressing”. But it’s too late now.
My ignorance is gone and like when you see a huge zit on someone’s face, it’s hard to then go back to ignoring it.
For all it’s frustrations there may be something to it: an awareness of death leads to more conscious decisions in the way you live life.
Awareness of death makes you reflect on what you care about, and encourages you to ensure your actions reflect that care.
This is the “authentic” experience of not only being-toward-death but living-toward-death.
Heidegger predicts a certain anxiety that comes with this authenticity. The anxiety of understanding your limited time in your body, that every day brings you a day closer. But he thinks that with this anxiety, life becomes a bit thicker – more meaningful, more purposeful – because one lives with an awareness of his or her finitude.
Consequentially I spend a lot of time asking and re-asking myself: What do I want out of life?
In a less self-centric form that question is: What do I want to give back to life? That is, how do I want to influence the world beyond my own bodily existence?
And from that question: Am I getting that and giving that in my life right now? Am I on a path that will continue to bring more of this into my future?
The pic: I took this photo of a boy sending a rocket into space earlier this year in Nicaragua while on an adventure with a friend who is doing amazing work over there, an example of truly authentic living. Jason set up the La Isla Foundation to address the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease among sugar cane workers in Central America. Check it out: http://laislafoundation.org