Saturday, January 19, 2008

DON'T PANIC



I had a panic attack about dying late last night. I haven't had one of those for a long time. I thought I was over them. As it turns out, I still find death a very scary thing. Who would have figured?

Anyway, the words of Epicurus, as always, helped me calm down:


"Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not."


3 comments:

Daniel said...

It's funny that should mention this, because like you I've been fairly comfortable with the idea of death since reading Epicurus and I still think it's a somewhat noble attitude towards death. But a few days ago I came across this Philip Larkin poem, Aubade, that brought back all my terrifying thoughts on the matter:
http://plagiarist.com/poetry/?wid=389

SuiginChou said...

"Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay:
The worst is death, and death will have his day."
Richard II, Act III, Scene ii

Maybe that quote won't help keep the panic bugs at bay :( , but I think it's one of the most awesome English quotes ever regarding the gravity of death for humans.

For me, I would say that Death is the single greatest enemy known to Life, yet the world you and I have been born into is not a world adequately prepared for defeating it. We must resign ourselves to the reality (however upsetting) that we will die; but we ought to take solace in such notions as:
- our works may live on, and through them memory of our existence will be carried on by our forebears
- our descendants will reach the day where they can defeat mortality; either that or they will be self-annihilated by destructive forces they wreak on this planet. I am confident one of the two will come to pass, no doubt about it.

Mike said...

That's a great quote. I often discuss the subject of death with my nine year old daughter. I try to let her know that I'm not afraid of death.

I want to stick as long as I can, because I expect there are a lot of cool things still to happen, but death is no more scary than the time before birth. Life can be scary at times though, and HOW you die could be problematic, but the body has a way of limiting pain in most circumstances.

I expect when the time comes, I will die of a heart attack, but I might be surprised. ;-)