Facing Death with Philosophy

In this moving post, philosopher Jeff Mason discusses his reaction to being diagnosed with inoperable cancer. He will die soon, without the solace of belief in a soul that goes somewhere, but with the solace that comes from the life of the mind and the wisdom that sometimes accompanies it. After expressing his gratitude for life, Mason ends on an Epicurean note:

For me, loving wisdom has to do with taking up the largest possible perspective in which to live one’s life, going all the way back to the Big Bang, including all of space and time, the natural history of the universe, the geology of the earth, and the total history of animals and human beings on this planet spinning through a gigantic universe. It covers all the natural cycles of life and death and sees everything as part of this comprehensive whole. Somehow, living in this context has helped me see life and death as part of a seamless process. Death shadows life as naturally as the shadow one casts on the ground on a sunny day. There is no point in denying it, and no point in worrying about it. Perhaps acceptance lies in this direction.

Thank you Jeff.

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