Dying and Living

Philosophy and death are linked in more than one interesting ways. Cicero says that to philosophize is to prepare for our death. This is thought to be so because thought and reflection takes us out of our body. It may be that wisdom stays at the edge of life . We need to know to die to know to live. Life in this sense is deductive . What we assume as the sphere of death, illumines the sphere of life.

Michel Montaigne says to philosophize is to learn to die. Philosophizing challenges us to stand up for our deepest values . It is creative and hence, generates new ideas, values that can trangress ideas , values, traditions set in the stones of our cultures and society. This is why to philosophize requires courage to stand up to defend one’s ideas to the point of death. Therefore, to think is to be ready to die.

The truth is that philosophy is not a waste of time . It is the mother of novelty. All that we humans do is created twice. First in the mind and then in the real. In doing so our live is made livable . The great Socrates had taught us that unexamined life is not worth living. Unexamined life is living life thoughtlessly. Buddha invites us to a thoughtful living. Thus, although, philosophy prepares us to death , paradoxically, it is preparing us to life. This is why one who knows to die , knows to live.

Death is not the opposite of life. Death is part of life. Death is always with life. It is not on the otherside of life, rather it is on the side of life and life is on the side of death. This means we live partial death all our life. Life and death are two sides of the same coin. When we fully die we fully live. Because of this we have to live behind our death and live on. But in this life when we are alive , we cannot live behind our death . Death is always infront of us. We can die any time. We are as Martin Heidegger tells us : beings-towards-death. It is only when one dies that one fully lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao