Memento Mori is a Latin phrase that translates to "remember that you will die." In Stoic philosophy, this phrase serves as a reminder that death is an inevitable part of life, and that we should live each day as if it were our last. The concept of Memento Mori is closely tied to Stoicism because Stoics believe that by embracing our mortality, we can better appreciate the present moment, live virtuously, and focus on what truly matters in life.
One concrete example of Memento Mori in Stoicism is the practice of negative visualization. This involves imagining worst-case scenarios in order to prepare ourselves for adversity and appreciate what we have. For example, a Stoic might imagine losing their job, becoming seriously ill, or even dying suddenly. By contemplating these possibilities, they are better able to appreciate the present moment and make the most of their time.
Another example of Memento Mori in Stoicism is the use of physical reminders. For example, some Stoics would carry small objects, such as a skull or a stone, as a reminder of their mortality. This served as a daily reminder to live in the present moment, focus on what truly matters, and avoid getting caught up in trivial concerns.
Overall, the concept of Memento Mori serves as a powerful reminder of the impermanence of life and the importance of living in the present moment. By embracing our mortality, we can live more fully, appreciate what we have, and focus on what truly matters in life.