A cat or a dog does not seem to pay much attention to the fact they will become old, sick, and die. Their lack of consciousness could be regarded as positive for their ability to enjoy the present moment without too much worry about the future.
As human beings, we are aware of the fact we risk facing painful loneliness, old age, sickness, and death. Even if we don’t think about it every second and every day, that awareness is still present in the background of our existence. So what to do with it?
It seems that for most of us, an automatic strategy is going on without even that we chose it or that we are aware of it. Some of us will just delete this topic from their conscious thinking. Let us just live life as if aging, sickness, and death will not take place! What good can it bring me to spend time thinking about misery in the future, while I can now enjoy the present moment?
On the other hand, it can be impossible for us to ignore the fact we could become old, sick, and die. If we ignore it too much, we find ourselves totally unprepared. And if we think about it too much, we could just poison the present moment.
What are your psychological mechanisms to deal with this issue? Where do they come from? Did you choose them deliberately or were they determined unconsciously?
Knowing the answers to those questions will definitely increase the knowledge you have of yourself, and from there develop much deeper insights in understanding why you see your world this or that way. The goal of such an inquiry is not necessary to change your perspective, but rather to understand what is happening. This is one of the most important philosophical practices: to contemplate one’s own life and death. The feeling of loneliness during this practice can easily become a religious feeling of community and unity.