The 50th Law: Confront Your Mortality-The Sublime

I am completing the series on The 50th Law with a focus on Chapter 10, Confront Your Mortality-The Sublime.  In this chapter, the authors urge us to overcome our fears about mortality and confront our death in order to embrace our lives. Most of us avoid the thought of our own mortality, avoiding it all costs.  We even convince ourselves that we have all the time in the world.  But the authors of the 50th Law encourage us to confront and accept and embrace this reality, using it to keep us focused, productive and active.  The idea is that by acknowledging the truth that our days are numbered, it gives a "sense of urgency and mission" in our lives.  When we overcome the fear of death, we are left to fear nothing else.

This chapter uses the near death experiences of the Roman Stoic Writer, Seneca the Younger, Ernest Hemingway, the Buddhist Monk Kenko and neurologist Oliver Sacks, as well as 50 Cent himself to drive this point home.

We all have heard the story about how 50 Cent was shot nine times in Southside Jamaica Queens and survived the shooting.  Because of the shooting, 50 Cent lost his recording contract with Columbia Records and no other label or producer would work with him, though some offered to purchase songs he'd already written for their other artists.

Without any source of income, a newborn son and his life still in danger, 50 began producing, recording and distributing mix tapes where he challenged other rappers and called out his enemies.  Before long, his campaign took off, his popularity rose and the record companies were forced to come back to him, desperate to sign him.

His fearlessness of death and sheer grit and determination forced him to become an even better businessman and was the beginning of his great success.  From this experience and studying the philosophical thoughts about death, he learned the following:

  1. To look inward and see death death as something you carry within and cannot repress. This will release all pettiness, useless anxieties and fearful timid responses.

  2. To study the philosophy of Stoicism, which is the art of how to die which paradoxically teaches you how to live by liberating you from fear of death.

  3. Seeing death as a sign of rebirth or a sublime sensation.

  4. Seeing death as a sense of evanescence and urgency.

  5. Death as a sense of awe.

  6. Death as a sense of the oceanic or connection all of life.

I am not a person who fears death, but I think that was for both religious and sometimes pessimistic reasons.  This chapter simply reinforced a fearlessness regarding death that I already had.

Overall, I was very pleased with The 50th Law and would definitely recommend it to other readers.  I will probably be re-reading this book in the years to come.