Designer Dying

Timothy Leary, USA

1920 - 1996

Psychologist and author

(Submitted by The Art of Living Team)

Personally, I've been looking forward to dying all my life. Dying is the most fascinating experience in life. You've got to approach dying the way you live your life - with curiosity, hope, experimentation, and with the help of your friends.

I have set out to design my own death, or de-animation, as I prefer to call it. It's a hip, chic thing to do, it's the most elegant thing you can do. Even if you've lived your life like a complete slob, you can die with terrific style. I call it 'Designer Dying', and it involves two basic principles by which I've lived my life: think for yourself and question authority .... It's certainly not ennobling or empowering to act out the crucial events in one's life with a docile, head-in-the-sand approach. Death is it - the moment we've all been waiting for - the last and singularly most important event we will all have on our resumes. How you die will speak volumes about how you lived.

From 'Design for Dying' by Timothy Leary, with R.U. Sirius, HarperCollins, 1998

Image credit: Adam Scott Miller.



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