“No one really knows why they’re alive until they know what they would die for.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Death plays an essential role in the cycle of creativity. There’s no light without darkness and there’s no life without death. The most beautiful gardens grow from rich and dirty compost. As a society, we regularly try to cheat death and avoid discomfort but we’re really just cheating ourselves of the opportunity to feel, grieve, fear, rage, fall, fail, learn, and eventually grow — all necessary steps along the path to creating something meaningful.
Alex Ebert is constantly creating. He makes music and art, designs apps, writes books, founded a nonprofit, and even made a film, which we’ll discuss in this episode. He’s also pretty comfortable with discomfort and facing his own mortality. Find out about how these things are all related in our conversation here. And enjoy.
3:01 — Creation and mortality, the role of gratitude
12:00 — Truth, raw humanity, and the crucible
25:04 — Different understandings of death, rites of passage, ritual and society
40:49 — “Losing is learning”, the initiation of parenthood