On death


“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.”
— William Shakespeare

I am not dead yet, that is why I can write this post.

I contemplate on death fairly often. No, I don’t want to kill myself. I contemplated suicide a long while back. I was young. I felt no one and especially my parents were not listening to me. I didn’t think of how to carry out the suicide. Maybe that is why I am still alive. My contemplating suicide is not the purpose of this post.

My friends, Victoria and ejwinner have both written unrelated posts on death; the unconscious reason atheists are feared and the good death or just dying which are both very interesting.

In this post, I intend to share several quotes or observations about death.

Solon, that Greek lawgiver said a man can only be said to have been happy after his death.

As we are born we die, and the end commences with the beginning

Let him hide beneath iron or brass in his fear, death will pull his head out of his armour.”—Propertious

Montaigne advises us thus, about death

And to begin to deprive him of the greatest advantage he has over us, let us take a way quite contrary to the common course. Let us disarm him of his novelty and strangeness, let us converse and be familiar with him, and have nothing so frequent in our thoughts as death. Upon all occasions represent him to our imagination in his every shape; at the stumbling of a horse, at the falling of a tile, at the least prick with a pin, let us presently consider, and say to ourselves, “Well, and what if it had been death itself?” and, thereupon, let us encourage and fortify ourselves. Let us evermore, amidst our jollity and feasting, set the remembrance of our frail condition before our eyes, never suffering ourselves to be so far transported with our delights, but that we have some intervals of reflecting upon, and considering how many several ways this jollity of ours tends to death, and with how many dangers it threatens it.

He continues to say

Where death waits for us is uncertain; let us look for him everywhere. The premeditation of death is the premeditation of liberty; he who has learned to die has unlearned to serve. There is nothing evil in life for him who rightly comprehends that the privation of life is no evil: to know, how to die delivers us from all subjection and constraint.

Elsewhere he writes

All the whole time you live, you purloin from life and live at the expense of life itself. The perpetual work of your life is but to lay the foundation of death. You are in death, whilst you are in life, because you still are after death, when you are no more alive; or, if you had rather have it so, you are dead after life, but dying all the while you live; and death handles the dying much more rudely than the dead, and more sensibly and essentially. If you have made your profit of life, you have had enough of it; go your way satisfied

And to the goddites who want an afterlife

If you have not known how to make the best use of it, if it was unprofitable to you, what need you care to lose it, to what end would you desire longer to keep it?

And about life

Life in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the scene of good or evil as you make it.’ And, if you have lived a day, you have seen all: one day is equal and like to all other days. There is no other light, no other shade; this very sun, this moon, these very stars, this very order and disposition of things, is the same your ancestors enjoyed, and that shall also entertain your posterity:

I will end here, with this last passage

Neither can it any way concern you, whether you are living or dead: living, by reason that you are still in being; dead, because you are no more. Moreover, no one dies before his hour: the time you leave behind was no more yours than that was lapsed and gone before you came into the world; nor does it any more concern you.

Only the living can say so and so died young. The dead have lived a full life. Life is a stage and each of us has a part. Some, like Methuselah :-), have a longer act, others have short acts and others hardly act at all, so is life.

I hope now all of you feel very positive about death.

Happy weekend everyone, with love.

 

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

35 thoughts on “On death

  1. I enjoyed reading that.

    “Only the living can say so and so died young. The dead have lived a full life.” – Very true.

    Here is a quote I like on the subject – ” It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” – Marcus Aurelius

    May love and happiness fill your own weekend too mak *smiles*.

    – sonmi upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

  2. archaeopteryx1 says:

    The Appointment in Samarkkand

    There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, “Master, just now when I was in the marketplace, I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned, I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarkkand and there Death will not find me.”

    The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs into its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop, he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and saw Death standing in the crowd and he came to her and said, “Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?”

    “That was not a threatening gesture,” Death said, “It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarkkand.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In life, the only thing you are required to do is die. To not do this one thing well is to misunderstand what it is to live. — MAL

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tish Farrell says:

    Montaigne is someone I would most have liked to meet. What a sound humane man he was. Thank you for these quotes, Noel.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. john zande says:

    Play now, we’ll sleep when we’re dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Dead is, well, dead, so live will you live, you fucking idiot.” Stephen Spielberg, 1978

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nan says:

    I’m quite sure I’ve spent considerably more time on this earth than most of you, so I can say with confidence that death (natural) is much closer to me than you. Yet it does not bring fear. All that brings fear is any suffering that I might experience before that fateful moment. Instead, I look to the stars and know that one day I will again join them in their splendor. After all … “We are all star stuff.” 😉

    Like

  8. Great post and quotes. Thanks for the shout-out my good friend. 🙂 Hope you had a fantastical weekend.

    Like

  9. vequinox says:

    Reblogged this on Manolis.

    Like

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