IN a voyage, for instance, casting my eyes down upon the ocean below, and looking round me and seeing no land, I am out of my wits, and imagine that if I should be shipwrecked I must swallow all that ocean; nor doth it once enter my head, that three pints are enough to do my business. What is it then that alarms me? The ocean? No, but my own principle. Again, in an earthquake, I imagine the city is going to fall upon me; but is not one little stone enough to knock my brains out? What is it then that oppresses and puts us out of our wits? Why, what else but our principles?
EPICTETUS. DISCOURSES. Book ii. §16. ¶3.
Once again that fighting of death that causes our pain. No we should not go quietly into that dark night but we also should be able to be calm and trust that we will not go before our time. Death is part of life, not alien. This fact must be accepted in order to find peace in life.ReplyDelete
Originally, I tried to substitute 'imagination' for 'principles.' But then i realized it is really our fear of death.ReplyDelete
We are so paralyzed by our fear that we are hindered from living fully. None of us know when our hour will come. We can live in fear waiting for the moment that we take our last breath, or we can embrace each day fully, savouring each moment.ReplyDelete
The means of our death are all around us, all the time. The inevitability of our death is no less certain in this moment than at some time in the future. So what is it that causes us fear and paralysis when face with that which was always there? Our willful ignorance of the present in all its splendor and all of its danger. I will not be so blind so as to not see that this day, this moment, may be my last, and with that, I am flooded with gratitude for life, and a renewed purpose to make each moment meaningful.ReplyDelete