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 in my youth would have been. 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. We don’t know what life has in store for us until we live it, and the same regarding death as we approach that. Indeed, like raising my children, I never expected my aging years to be such a fascinating experience.
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 just around the corner. Having less and less “use for life” allows me to see life more dispassionately yet not disinterestedly. That difference may help define what being worthy of a noble life means.
Dispassion without disinterest is a delicate balance. I must care enough to do what life requires, but be indifferent enough to leave alone what is best left undone. This tends to happen naturally when I find joy in what I’m doing instead of seeking to do what I enjoy. At heart this is wu wei wu (see, Use Non-Responsibility, p.258). It is the fine line between love and need. Aging offers the gift of truer love as long as one can pay for it by accepting the negative aspect of aging. That’s what I call natural justice.