Memento Mori is the ancient practice of reflecting on our own mortality. In his Meditations, Marcus Aurelius wrote that “You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.” In other words, continue living a life of virtue NOW, and not wait. This relates nicely to our virtues, and the importance of the level, square and compass. As you dive into the history of Memento Mori and the commonalities it shares with Freemasonry, it amazes me how much it has influenced the great minds of philosophy, music and art. Vanitas, which is an entire form / genre of 17th century artwork, featuring the many symbols associated with morality was inspired by this practice. Perhaps most notably, is the artwork by the famous French painter Philippe de Champaigne who in his piece Still Life with a skull, illustrates the three essentials of existence — the tulip (life), the skull (death), and the hourglass (time).