The world would be quite different place if we know the exact date of our death. Although death usually lurks in the back of our minds, the healthy people are not thinking of the mortality. People cope by focusing on the things more directly in front of them. And the world is as it is.

What would happen, though, if the secrecy surrounding our death was taken away? What if we are born with the certain knowledge of the exact date and the way of our end? 

While this is, of course, impossible, this post is my careful observation of this hypothetical scenario and the influence on us as individuals and societies in general.

Human beings are attached to everything in this life; attached to their imagination, attached to their thinking, attached to their patterns, attached to their stupidity, attached to their fears, attached even to their own suffering—and possibly to their own suffering more than anything else.

A person must first free himself from attachment. Attachment to things, identification with things, keeps alive a thousand false I’s in a person. These I’s must die in order that the big I may be born. But how can they be made to die? They do not want to die.

– Gurdjieff, quoted in P. D. Ouspensky’s In Search of the Miraculous

The more neurotic and anxious you are, the more preoccupied you’ll be with death and unable to focus on meaningful life changes, says Laura Blackie, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham. But on the other hand, if you’re told you’ll die peacefully at 90 in your sleep, then you might not be that motivated to engage with it, either – like, "Oh, that’s fine, carry on.”

Palliative care patients, says Chris Feudtner (a pediatrician and ethicist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania) often experience two phases of thinking. First, they question the very premise of their diagnosis, asking if death is definitely imminently inescapable  or whether it is something they can fight. After that, they contemplate how to make the most of the time they have left.

I visited my mom in the palliative care and there the patients are not taking any medicine except pain killers. They are simply waiting to die so I do believe this professor was right. 

The professor also said, the patients fall into one of two categories. They either decide to put their whole energy and focus into doing everything they can to beat the illness, or they opt to reflect on their lives and spend as much time as possible with loved ones doing things that bring them happiness.   

If the ordinary contemporary man were somehow to sense, or to remember if only in thought, that at a definite known  date, for instance tomorrow, a week, or a month, or even a year or two hence, he would die and die for certain, what  would remain, one asks, of all that until then had filled up and constituted his life?

Everything would lose its sense and significance for him What would be the importance of the decoration he received  yesterday for long service and which had so delighted him, or that glance he just noticed, so full of promise, from the woman who had long been the object of his constant and unrewarded longing, or the newspaper with his morning coffee, and that deferential greeting from his neighbor on the stairs, and the theater in the evening, and rest and sleep all his favorite things—what worth would they all have?

Certainly they would no longer have the significance which he had given them before if a man knew that death would overtake him only in five or ten years. In short, to look his own death "in the face" the ordinary man cannot and must  not do, for he would, so to say, "get  out  of his depth" and in clear-cut form the question would arise before him "Why then should we live and toil and suffer?"

- Beelzebub's tales to his grandson by George Gurdjieff

Relationships would almost certainly be affected as well. On online dating sites will be date of birth and date of death. So you will look for someone whose death date was close to yours. Dating apps will be designed to filter those who will die earlier. Why would you want to stay with someone who is going to die at 40 if you're going to die at 89?

The funeral industry would collapsed if not be profoundly impacted. They will no longer be able to prey on people in their time of grief to get as much money as possible for their services. Knowledge of our own death puts power in consumers hands.

Researchers looking into "death reflection" also have found that knowing their own death people become more altruistic – willing, for example, to donate blood or organs. Knowing about the scarcity of life increases life’s value and develop the sense that we're all the same, promoting tolerance and compassion and minimizing ego-centrist responses.

Given these findings, knowing our death date may lead us to focus more on life goals and social bonds.

Let death and let banishment, rejection, misfortune, and every other thing that appears appalling and terrifying and that you’d rather ignore—be before your eyes daily, but most of all death, and you will never again think anything petty or cowardly or mean, nor will you ever desire anything discursive or extravagant again.

– Epictetus

And so, my boy, no matter where we lived in the world, our day-to-day life would fundamentally change as a result of knowing when and how we were due to die. Our life's only purpose would be a question of how to spend our limited time on this Earth. I wonder why this is not a case now.