Today, with the indulgence of the reader, I would like to write and talk about death. Yes, death.
As the Greek philosopher Epicurus famously stated: Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.
The proponent of the philosophical school of Stoicism has maintained that death is nothing until the end of his life; he ardently believed that rather than death, it is life that is the most important thing in this life.
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Death is not the end, but rather the beginning!
However, as Julian Baggani noted ironically: As long as there are philosophers, there has been some bafflement as to why we are so worried about death.
Hence, we return to the one of the most perennial philosophical questions of all time: what is death and why are we so concern and worrisome about it?
In the lucid words of Robin Williams who played Patch Adams in the movie of the same title:
Death. To die. To expire. To pass on.
To peg out. To push up daisies. To push up posies. To become extinct.
Curtains, deceased, demised, departed and defunct.
Dead as a doornail. Dead as a herring.
Dead as a mutton. Dead as nits.
The last breath. Paying a debt to nature. The big sleep.
God’s way of saying, “Slow down.”
To check out.
To shuffle off this mortal coil.
To head for the happy hunting ground.
To blink for an exceptionally long period of time.
To find oneself without breath.
Death comes to us all! That is one of the inexorable laws of life.
Yet, as Samuel Johnson argues: It matters not how a man dies, but how he lives.
Corollary to this indisputable wisdom of truth is the very fact that not all men really live, in the same equal vein that not all men really die!
Hence, my ultimate thesis is that, death and life are not reducible to physical extinction neither are they comparable to physiological demise. Rather, our existence is measurable by the quality of our lives, the greatness of our soul and content of our character! If we truly had lived a meaningful and well-rounded life, then the question and the manner of our deaths or end are immaterial. We did not truly die. We shall live forever!
It is because a good man does not die nor fade away; they just rest for a while!
Again, as our writer and philosopher Julian Baggani assured us:
To want not to be dead is simply the logical concomitant of the desire to be alive and enjoy all that life offers us. It is the very fact that death is nothing, and life is sometimes wonderful something, that makes death matter to we who will never experience it.
In a metaphorical sense, we have to die once in a while; in order for us to know the real meaning and ultimate value and reason of life!
Happy April Foolsâ€™ Day to all the hopeless romantic freaks and sentimental fools like me and our kindâ€¦.
The writer has a Master’s degree in Philosophy, a law degree and a degree in AB Political Science. He was previously teaching Philosophy, Ethics and Anthropology at an institution of higher education in the Nilai University College at Nilai, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. He is currently a lecturer at the College of Arts, Department of Philosophy at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.
As of the moment, he is preparing to publish his first book entitled “Dissidente”. It is a collection of his articles, commentaries and op-ed published by various newspapers in Southeast Asia.