Friends, many of us shudder at the mention of death, and indeed in some cultures I know it is taboo to even mention it. They argue mentioning death spells bad omen. Since, I don’t agree with them, I think death is a good thing and that we can’t live fully if we don’t appreciate the fact that we are here for a brief moment after which we will return to the deep abyss of nothingness from whence we had come. I don’t know about you, but my feeling is that dying is a good thing though I can’t say this authoritatively since I have not experienced death to be able to decisively describe how it feels to die.
In our times, I find Eric at Choice in dying to be one person, there could be many others, who argues for a good death, the philosopher’s death. A death that one chooses the way to die, to put differently, one takes matters into their own hands and become what, for lack of a better word, I will call god. It is this death as Socrates many years before us chose to die rather than to continue living after being sentenced by a jury of his peers for what was called by some of his accusers, corrupting the minds of the young men of Athens. It is the same death Cicero preferred to living as a slave and writes in his letters to his friend Atticus and his brother Quintus while in exile that he’d rather he kills himself if there is no hope of returning to the republic than to live in disgrace.
I find this words of Nietzsche to be agreeable to me in support of a good death, death on our terms.
To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death freely chosen, a death at the right time, brightly and cheerfully accomplished amid children and witnesses; then a real farewell is still possible, as the one who is taking leave is still there; also a real estimate of what one has achieved and what one has wished, drawing the sum of one’s life- all in opposition to the wretched and revolting comedy that Christianity has made of the hour of death. One should never forget that Christianity has exploited the weakness of the dying for a rape of the conscience and the manner of death itself, for value judgments about man and the past.
Here it is important to defy all the cowardice of prejudice and to establish, above all, the real, that is the physiological, appreciation of so-called natural death- which is in the end also “unnatural”, a kind of suicide. One never perishes through anybody but oneself But usually it is death under the most contemptible conditions, an unfree death, death not at the right time, a coward’s death. From love of live, one should desire a different death; free, conscious, without accident, without ambush.