Last night I dreamed I was about to be hanged. I was adjusting the noose (made of wire of all things) around my neck so that it would kill me efficiently and swiftly rather than slowly suffocate me… I assume.
You’d think that would have been a nightmare. Maybe having such a dream as a youth would have been one. However, it all played out very peacefully and I awoke just as the deed was about to be done.
I’ve had some odd dreams over the years, but that was a first! Like having children, I never expected aging to be such a fascinating experience! But of course! We don’t know what life has in store until we enter it. The same applies to death, naturally.
The moment I awoke, chapter 75’s only the man without use for life is worthy of a noble life came to mind. I am finding that the older I get, the more being “without use for life” becomes an asset. After all, the end is coming. Having less and less “use for life” frees me to see life more dispassionately yet not disinterestedly. That curious difference may help define what being “worthy of a noble life” means.
Dispassion without disinterest is such a delicate balance. I need to care enough to do what needs to be done in life on one hand, but not care so much that I am unable to leave alone what needs to be left undone. In other words, I need to find joy in what I do rather than need to do what I enjoy. Essentially, this is what wu wei wu is about (see, Use Non-Responsibility, p.258). It is the rather fine line between love and need. Aging brings the gift of truer love as long as one can pay for it by accepting the downsides of aging. I call that natural justice.