A Brief Lesson in Life and Death

A brief lesson in life and death…

I am deeply saddened by the deaths of two great thinkers.  I have been processing the death of Steve Jobbs for the last few weeks, thinking about his contributions to society through his brilliance, innovation, and courage to follow his heart and his willingness to not be liked.  He was magical and of course he had his shadow as we all do but that doesn’t take away the light of his greatness.  This morning I found out that James Hillman has died and my heart breaks.  James Hillman was a man who was imaginative and creative and who was willing to question what didn’t make sense to him.  What does this mean? What’s next for us?  How do we acknowledge their greatness? I have been fortunate in that I have never had someone truly close to me die.  I have had friends of friends die and I have had people whom were acquaintances pass away, but at this moment I feel a tremendous sense of loss.  And I feel this loss even though I wasn’t close to either of these men nor did I know them beyond their works.

These two men made huge contributions in their own unique ways to our societies. They changed the way we think and the way we approach innovation.  They were truly creative geniuses.  These two men live inspired lives and thought outside the box and were often chided because of it.  They changed the world in their own unique ways.  So I am left with this feeling of what now? This sense of what’s the take away?

I have a belief that there are no voids in nature, that when something is removed something has to take its place good or bad.   I believe that with the passing of these men, new creative geniuses will rise up and think outside of the proverbial box of our generation.

But with the passing of something great we must also take a moment to think about how we as individuals were touched by that experience and how can we take what we’ve been given from these men and use it to learn and grow?  How do we take the proverbial nectar from these giants and use it as nourishment for our own souls inspiration?

When I think of great people who have past I often think about what their greatness teaches me as an individual and how I can use some of their gifts to continue the work of moving forward as person and inspiring others to do the same.  I believe that enshrining someone work does not honor the fullness of their gifts although it has its place in the grieving process; their lives are more than their art.  What does their art teach us about ourselves?  When I think of Steve Jobbs or James Hillman and the way they lived their lives I think of living courageously, I think of following my own heart’s desires and trusting that process.  I think of honoring my own inspirations.   When James Hillman wrote his first book he was brushed aside and told that he had just set back psychology 300 years.  He laughed and was pleased as he felt that the way psychotherapy was being conducted was wrong in that the ownness was being place too much on the individual and not enough on culture or society. It is that ability to trust his own instincts that I appreciate and honor.

Whether or not either of these men touched your lives is not the point of this post.  My question for you is if you’ve had anyone in your past that you have lost, how have you processed that for yourself.  I would encourage you to spend sometime, maybe 10 minutes, an hour or a day and think about all the characteristics of this person.  What can you bring from them into your own life?

Maybe its more courage to live an inspired life, maybe its taking time to honor your own creative genius, maybe its being more accepting, more loving, I don’t know but I believe this is the best way to honor those whose deaths have impacted you in a significant way.

Peace ~ M