“Stop whatever you’re doing for a moment and ask yourself: Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?”
I wonder if there’s a correlation between how busy a person is, and how often they put thought into topics such as death, fear of death, or what they will miss when they die? It’s entirely possible I would spend more time contemplating such things, had I more time on my hands. It should also be noted that the only time I’ve stopped to think about this quote is when I’ve been doing homework. That’s probably not how Aurelius envisioned future readers reflecting on his work.
Or maybe it is.
I had initially interpreted this as a challenge to the reader; to let go of your mortal desires, and live life with the vigor of the gods. But perhaps Aurelius was actually referring to the mundane, and not the extraordinary. If this is the case, he makes an interesting underlying point: there’s a lot about life that you aren’t going to miss.