SOCRATES very properly used to call these things masks: for, as masks appear shocking and formidable to children, from their inexperience, we are affected in like manner, with regard to things, for no other reason than as children are with regard to masks. For what is a child? Ignorance. What is a child? Want of learning; for, so far as the knowledge of children extends, they are not inferior to us. What is death? A mask. Turn it, and be convinced. See, it does not bite. This little body and spirit must be separated (as they formerly were) either now, or hereafter: why, then, are you displeased if it is now? For if not now, if will be hereafter.
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §1. ¶3.
Death a part of the cycle of life, yet how many philosophies and religions have been created to allow us a "get out of death free" card. Death is envitable.ReplyDelete
Let's live life to squeeze each drop of juice out of every day. Let's not go silent into that dark night, but be fulfilled having lived each day to our best capacity. Let's focus on the minutiae of live, the mundane for a while, in order to have a strong foundation to focus on the "big stuff". This will enable us to live the rest of our life to its fullest.
A quest for eternal life is the opposite of this approach. Rather than turn the mask that death presents around, we turn OURSELVES around and refuse to face it. We seek an alternative to the inevitable, rather that understand our own fears. And in how many smaller ways do we do the same thing everyday? What other things are we afraid to face, that we turn away from them to find soothing masks instead. But the point of it is to see the masks for what they are, our own acceptance of the appearances of things. We must remove the masks, and understand what lies behind them, if we can.ReplyDelete
I am reminded of a favourite poem, "When Death Comes"... Let's live each day to its fullest and realize that death will come, quietly or suddenly. Live to savour each moment and squeeze every last drop of juice out of it.ReplyDelete