“Being prepared to die is one of the great secrets of living.” GEORGE LINCOLN ROCKWELL
BY ALEX P. VIDAL
WHILE waiting for my Amtrak train ride to Los Angeles, California early in the morning sometime in November 2011, I came across a very interesting biography about a little-known financial advisor based in the City of Irvine, where the train terminal was located.
Ross Anderson was a financial professional at Signature Resources Capital Management, LLC, a $93M dollar RIA based in Irvine, CA. Ross was also registered with Signator Investors, Inc., a broker-dealer with over 1,500 registered representatives nationwide.
When Anderson, 78, died on October 6, 2011, his obituary was simple: “Ross graduated from Ellendale High School and served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-55. He was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad; later Burlington Northern until his retirement at age 55. He was an avid fisherman and deer hunter, and loved tinkering in his garage and gardening.”
This “avid fisherman” and “deer hunter” turned out to be one of the greatest authors in recent memory. In one of his books, Personal Freedom, he emphasized that “the greatest happiness and fulfillment in life can come through your personal independence and freedom.”
Each of us is marching inexorably toward death. We were born, we are living and we must die, Anderson suggested.
We may feel uncomfortable talking about our demise, or passing, but it will occur nevertheless.
Here’s what he wrote about Freedom from death: “It has never ceased to amaze me how people take life so seriously. You can see situations many times each day where there is anxiety or conflict and its origin is often in placing so much importance on the moment.
“To get some perspective on how important our moments are you can walk down into the Grand Canyon, and you can see the strata which have formed over millions of years. I’ve done that a few times and also viewed exposed strata in many other places just as I’m sure you have.
“It is impossible to see this and not realize that time, an invention of humans, has no relation to the enormous passage of existence represented in the layers and layers of life we can see in a geologic strata. And those millions of years have no meaning at all in relation to the universe where there is no passage of time at all. Even billions of our years are nothing to the universe.
“If that’s the case how can we possibly become engrossed in any passing situation in life to the degree it harms us? How can we alter our happiness because of a disappointment when we can see that, in the all-and-all of things the disappointment means nothing at all.
“Think of all the arguments, the wars, the battles, the business deals, the trauma, the conflict and the unhappiness which has transpired over the countless years we see represented in our old world, and no one cares.
“It is obvious that we have learned nothing from the wars. The arguments between individuals or nations mean nothing to us now. The individual problems of all people have no significance, but it is certain that they all took these events seriously at the time.
“And, we;re taking them seriously now. We are not here for long, and the simple fact is that life is too short for unhappiness. It is too short for constant worry about finances. Conflicts between friends, mates, neighbors or anyone else are simply such an ignorant waste of time that they can’t be considered.
“Life is long enough for living, for loving, for helping, for building, for travel and for happiness but it isn’t long enough to be taken so seriously, moment-by-moment, leading us to unhappiness.
“A philosopher once said, ‘If you’re thinking of killing yourself, you’re taking life seriously. Life is just long enough for one good laugh.’ That’s the truth, too.
“If life is so temporary how can we possibly be bogged down in problems and troubles which mean nothing to anyone else and will mean nothing to us when we are gone? What’s the point of it? But we can see that nearly everyone takes every situation, every day, as if that moment was going to last forever. We can see people build enormous wealth as if they are building a business or estate which will last long as the planets.
“I believe in building a business and I believe in making money. I don’t however take it so seriously, that I ever think it is the most important thing in life nor do I dream of it having any lasting effect on the world. Something as great as the United States, as a country, will be gone and fade away and, a thousand or a million years from now, won’t even be remembered. If that’s the case then there is no doubt about how significant our problems are.
“When you are confronted with people who are taking the moment too seriously, who want to oppress you, who think they are getting to you, who are looking at the moment instead of millions of years, just overlook the conflict, resolve the problem if you can, and then forget it.
“I’ve been able to cultivate this outlook for several years now and it certainly is an enjoyable way to live. It is also the feeling which can remove the larceny from a person’s heart. “There is no room for dishonesty in life since it is so temporary and there is no point in being dishonest. Any gains from dishonesty are meaningless in the millions of years we are looking at.
“There is no reason to fear death. Whatever death involves it is inevitable.
“It is a great comfort to many people to think of the harps and grapes waiting for them on the other side. Some people are waiting for nirvana, a state of peace. Others are looking forward to a new world where they will live and move about. “Others believe that their death is a sleep from which they will never awake. Some young people think of heaven as listening to rock music forever. Some old people think of hell as listening to rock music forever.
“When people are buried all that is in the casket are some chemicals. If they are cremated their chemicals are reduced to a smaller container, and those people are no longer living. As they used to move around, to talk, to laugh and to love, they do it no longer.
“There is some melancholy in this but not sadness. Melancholy since we do miss friends when they are gone, whether they move away or die. There is no sadness since their death is just like your death and my death. It’s just something that happens.
“If you can cultivate a perception of death as just something else that happens, as something to do, then it takes on a whole different meaning in your life–no meaning at all!”