Death is an adversity that we all will sooner or later face. REBT and Stoic philosophy help us to come to accept and not fear death. To this end we had better have a flexible and non-extreme attitude towards death. Instead of holding the attitude “I and my loved ones must not die. Death is unbearable” we can hold a healthier attitude towards this certainty. That attitude might be “I wish I and my loved ones lived forever but sadly we do not and it does not have to be otherwise. Death is not good but it is certain. The certainty of my ultimate death is uncomfortable but not unbearable. I can tolerate the fact I and my loved ones will die. It is worth tolerating simply because it will occur whether I disturb myself about it or not. I will commit myself to make the most of my limited time here on earth so that when death arrives I will be emotionally ready to encounter it.”
As I have pointed out before Albert Ellis, my mentor, created Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy because he was dismayed with the weaknesses and limitations of extant psychotherapies. He turned to philosophy to create a better, stronger, more efficient psychotherapy. To that end he borrowed heavily from an ancient philosophy known as Stoicism. REBT is something of a modern day version of Stoicism and overlaps with it. Nevertheless, it is not a matter of either studying and using REBT or studying and using Stoicism. Rather, it is more a matter of using both REBT and Stoicism to live the best life you can live. Consequently, I have found myself using more quotes from Stoic philosophers simply because they enhance my work as a REBT psychologist. Quotes by Stoic philosophers very often underscore the very same points I am conveying using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy theory. For example, Epictetus has said “Give me by all means the shorter and nobler life, instead of one that is longer but of less account!”
My friend Donald Robertson has put together a free mini course on Stoicism and a free mini course on The Stoic Contemplation of Death. I have completed about 75% of the course on The Stoic Contemplation of Death and I am quite favorably impressed by it. Regardless of your age I encourage you to consider working your way through this course. It will help you use your time on earth well and meaningfully while you still have time to live well. The contemplation of death can improve how well you are using your life. It will help you put your problems and conflicts with others in rational perspective. It will help you not disturb yourself about your own inevitable death. Below is a link to this free mini course. I encourage you to sign up for this free mini course. It is very well constructed. My friend and fellow Stoic Don Robertson is an authority on Stoicism. Don’t delay. Time waits for no one.
Here is the link: https://learn.donaldrobertson.name/p/the-stoic-contemplation-of-death
Please note I have no financial relationship with Don Robertson. I have great respect for his knowledge but do not profit in any way from any product or service he provides nor am I responsible for any of the content of this course. I am simply informing you of this free mini resource because I think it well worth knowing about and doing. See for yourself!