Once we are born and acquire some sense of life, our focus remains fixed on survival. Once survival becomes trivial then focus shifts to preserving life but when this also becomes trivial we move to other objectives in life like deviations into succeeding in our chosen vocation or in commerce, art, philosophy and through them peer recognition. One spin-off of this endeavor is acquiring the fittest companion for mating in a competitive society. But at more mature age we look at death critically and try to think of ways to deal with it. Death appears to us as a frightening eventuality since it undoes everything we have done all our life; it simply kills all our devices to keep the life going. Death appears to us as a dark mystery we know nothing about with our first hand knowledge therefore the horror it evokes. Everything about it is speculative though some of the wisdom coming from sources we hold in very high esteem; it still is not firsthand knowledge. Most of us are lazy enough to accept the handed down wisdom coming from religion about meaning of life. But, is the faith in this wisdom enough convincing? I think we do not have unshakable conviction in our faith, if we do, the thought will penetrate our subconscious and kill the mystery of death. After all mystery of death is creation of our subconscious.
Buddha for instance was not satisfied with the accepted view of his time therefore embarked on a quest to unravel meaning of life so that he can understand death. Buddha found an explanation for life and his conviction about it was deep. So deep that it penetrated his subconscious therefore death appeared no more mysterious. Buddha was right in finding a meaning for his life but he was wrong in prescribing the same meaning to everyone. It doesn’t work; we are individuals and have our own subconscious that creates a spell around death. To penetrate that spell we have to find our meaning, a powerful meaning so convincing that it penetrates our subconscious and breaks the spell cast by it. Once we can do that we will be at peace.