• unenlightened
    2.7k
    The ritualisation of death is the beginning of humanity ... or possibly elephantinity. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/08/elephants-mourning-video-animal-grief/

    When your parents die, there is a hole in your life, that you are always walking away from. When your spouse or your sibling dies, there is a hole in your life that is always next to you. When your child dies, there is a hole in your life that you are always walking into.

    But to be a philosopher is to be already dead. The image of death is already dead; thought is not life. The dispassionate view is the view of the dead, who famously complain "life is wasted on the living." Douglas Adams.

    And they should know...

    Or perhaps the dead talk bollocks; death is the limit of the known, and whatever is said of what lies beyond that limit is fantasy, whether it is declared 'nothing', 'heaven', 'reincarnation', or something else.

    You might have something to say on the subject, though, as something to look forward to with terror at the ending of the known, which is the self, or with resignation, or hope - feel free; its your funeral.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.5k
    "Life goes by so fast when you're alive." my mother said.

    ... that you are always walking away from, that is always next to you...unenlightened

    Yes.
  • Marchesk
    2.2k
    After Finitude and Meillassoux comes immediately to mind.
  • Marchesk
    2.2k
    "Life goes by so fast when you're alive." my mother said.Bitter Crank

    So it slows down after your dead? I'm not sure about that. Seems like the first 13.7 billion years flew by. But maybe not existing is different than being dead.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.5k
    I would think it would stop. Or... hope it would stop.

    But maybe not existing is different than being dead.Marchesk

    What would that difference be?
  • Marchesk
    2.2k
    What would that difference be?Bitter Crank

    How fast 13.7 billion years flies by?
  • aporiap
    102
    Well I'm not sure I agree it's entirely unknowable. There are states, during life, in which you are not conscious, the most familiar being non-R.E.M. deep sleep. It's clear there is no experience in those states, no sense of time passing, no sense of any feeling, no internal or external awareness. For those lucky enough to experience other forms of unconsciousness, coma, clinical death, the experience is largely the same barring those caught in dream-like states. And you know, of course, there was no recollection of a time or existence prior to birth. You just find yourself in the body your in one day, experiencing. I think it's clear death will be something like that. Maybe I'll find myself aware in some other bodily, physical form with a blank mind absorbing experiences, maybe I'll just continue indefinitely in non consciousness. these are the only two options
  • ArguingWAristotleTiff
    3.1k
    But to be a philosopher is to be already dead. The image of death is already dead; thought is not life.unenlightened

    Yes but we (I believe you and I were on the same topic) came to the conclusion years ago that death is best described as the ceasing to exist.

    How do I square the circle that "to be a philosopher is to already be dead"? When an image of death can portray the ceasing of living? I am not so sure that is possible but I am open to options...
  • aporiap
    102
    Of relevance, here are some really interesting, vividly detailed coma stories [for those with a quora account]. It's really fascinating, especially the post wake-up haze.
  • unenlightened
    2.7k
    How do I square the circle that "to be a philosopher is to already be dead"? When an image of death can portray the ceasing of living? I am not so sure that is possible but I am open to options...ArguingWAristotleTiff

    Well perhaps philosophy is impossible, but if the unexamined life is not worth living, and the examination of life is philosophy, then it seems that philosophy can only be the view from death; one might say that life can examine itself in the mirror (of language), but still the view one has of life on reflection is external. And what is external to life is death.

    death is best described as the ceasing to exist.ArguingWAristotleTiff
    Well I'm not sure I agree it's entirely unknowable.aporiap

    I don't really want to go there, because that discussion is already going on in another thread. So I will simply dogmatically claim that whatever reports you may receive, whatever evidence you may collect is from the living, not the dead. In effect I define death as the end of the known for current purposes, and any who came back never quite arrived. Thus even to say that it is ceasing to exist, or ceasing to experience, is to claim to know too much.

    After Finitude and Meillassoux comes immediately to mind.Marchesk

    What does it say when it gets there?
  • 0 thru 9
    694
    I once heard a riddle that may be relevant: when is three greater than a thousand, or even ten thousand?

    (Answer in a while.) :chin:
  • All sight
    232
    People trying to find themselves. Everyone around us is constantly telling us, but they're all wrong, aren't they? The pain of objectification. The fear of discovery. Better to submerge ourselves in the depths, holding the breath until it leaves us completely, and we die down there, all alone.

    Philosophizing, I think, is always a kind of rejection, and turning away. Indeed to contemplate is to look at the past, and attempt to project the future. To attempt to derive the living from the dead. Perhaps just living yields all of the answers, with time. We hear about much more than we experience, and we come to analytical and emotional conclusions about many many things before we've ever actually encountered them. We have no basis in facts or experience to favor one authority over another, so that it comes down to other factors. Their reputation, associations and affiliates, recommendations, their appearance, smell? Perhaps anything at all, as the only thing that matters, and qualifies them for authoritative purposes is precisely what you'd require to assess their genuine authority in the first place.

    How did authorities come about? The failure of parents? The failure of the village? What killed us all inside? What made us stop listening? Stop listening to the living, and begin looking to the dead?
  • Evil
    33
    So everyone finds out what death is on their own?

    Sounds... lonely
  • 0 thru 9
    694
    I once heard a riddle that may be relevant: when is three greater than a thousand, or even ten thousand?0 thru 9

    It’s when the ten thousand days you’ve lived, and the ten thousand days you thought you had left are whittled down to three days, or three hours left to live...
  • Evil
    33
    did you get that from some Tool lyrics?
  • 0 thru 9
    694

    :sweat: Ha! Busted!
  • csalisbury
    1.4k
    i think you're right. my moms dead and my dad may as well be. the joke is there's no punchline and there's no one to register how clever you are. So being clever is garbage. its a sad kid trying to impress himself with how neat he can arrange rocks, or cans. get the clever part to shut the fuck up fo a minute and whats left is all there is. if it's atrocious, so be it
  • csalisbury
    1.4k
    imagine doing dialectical tricks on your deathbed hooooly
  • Banno
    3.4k
    Death is not an event in a philosopher's life.
  • csalisbury
    1.4k
    yeah and heres a poll: whos ever actually seen a person die?

    actually seen it?


    and how it progresses?


    death *is* an otherness, But dying isnt. it involves others.


    I dont like this OP. its [absolute otherness] for the person who reflects on it. its the rarest oriental toy for the resident orientalist.
  • praxis
    813
    You might have something to say on the subject, though, as something to look forward to with terror at the ending of the known, which is the self, or with resignation, or hope - feel free; its your funeral.unenlightened

    My only real aspiration is to experience ego death before I die.
  • gurugeorge
    517
    thought is not lifeunenlightened

    Not by definition, but you do have to be alive to think.
  • unenlightened
    2.7k
    Death is not an event in a philosopher's life.Banno

    Her own death is not, but the death of Socrates was an event in Plato's life. As you can see, raging against the dying of the light can be an event. The mortality of all men is a cliche of logic.

    death *is* an otherness, But dying isnt. it involves others.csalisbury

    So there is something we can talk about and relate to, but only as the end of the known. My parents are dead, my sister's son died, and my sister died. I have also witnessed the death of a stranger - more or less - and had the excitement of performing my first aid training for real. It's not much talked about in polite society, but the responses here, of rage, terror, disgust, humour, diversion, are interesting to me at least.

    But back to the elephants. Burial, in archeology is the first indication of self-consciousness, and what I am looking towards is the idea that awareness of mortality, and possibly the denial or repression thereof, is self-consciousness. I see myself as an other like a parent or sibling, without whom the world continues. Thus before Descartes, we have already, I die therefore I am, or perhaps I am therefore I die.

    The social, empathetic connectedness to the dead leads to the Fall. The fruit of the tree of knowledge is this separation of self and world, such that the world without me becomes conceivable. The entrance of death into the world, psychologically, is the entrance to self-consciousness and thus to philosophy. The first act of civilisation is to hide the dead, The elephants seem to me to be on the cusp of the fall; they know there is something significant about the bones of the ancestors, but haven't quite grasped the implication for themselves - they have picked Eve's apple, but not yet taken a bite.
  • All sight
    232
    I didn't grasp that it was literally about death, and I believe this to be for tragic reasons. Allow me to give another account. We developed the language they believe all others to be rooted in not long before that, along with cloths. I think that what comes to our attention, what the unconscious puts before the minds eye is related to relevance, and proximity. Funeral burials coinciding the birth of cloths, and complex language, of tradition, so that, the dead, through tradition, through living on in our hearts and minds maintain a continued relevance to the living, they are useful even after death. Whereas they were not before.

    To bring death itself to relevance suggests a proximity. This is also why, we ask how people died when they die, so as to ensure our distance from the cause, and keep dying itself as irrelevant. The hole one leaves in your life is one of absence. And would be the same if they were just gone forever but still alive, the only difference between them (and perhaps a difference we'd wish to forget) is that in the former case, we have relative certainty that they're gone forever, which requires a mourning process, or detachment. Whereas we may forgo this process, if we believe that we shall meet again. I think that an infant mourns you every time you become absent, until they learn it not to be permanent -- and then they make the opposite mistake, of not mourning you, if still too young to apprehend that your absence is indeed, permanent this time around.

    So that, I think that death being some ever looming thing in the foreground is unrecognizable to me. I think of it in the relevant senses to the proximity of my concerns, but miss the literal sense. I'm not sick, or old, nor are people dying around me.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    760
    yeah and heres a poll: whos ever actually seen a person die?csalisbury
    I have.
    .
    actually seen it?csalisbury
    I have.
    and how it progresses?csalisbury
    I have.
  • csalisbury
    1.4k
    yeah, sorry, my post was (contextually) nonsense.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    760

    If you're curious, the death I saw take place came slowly, at the end of a long illness. He was not conscious by then, as far as I know. No last words, no farewell. We watched them carry him out of the house in a bag.
  • creativesoul
    3.4k
    My condolences csal...
  • StreetlightX
    3.1k
    There's an argument by Adriana Cavarero - which I've been much influenced by - that philosophy's historical obsession with death has had a, well, mortally compromising effect on the discipline. Death, the great leveller - everything and everyone is equal in death - has had the distinction of erasing Western philosophy's ability to think about the singular: the irreplaceable, the historical, and the political. The insistence on death as something like 'the beginning of philosophy' - rather than the far more obvious point of natality, say - has been used simply to secure the autarky of thought within itself, never inclining it to actually respect the distinctions and plurality that comprises the world:

    "'Throughout the whole history of philosophy,' writes Arendt, 'persists the truly singular idea of an affinity between philosophy and death. 'Philosophers from Plato to Heidegger (and beyond) proclaim this emphatically. The common people, for their part, figure this out rather quickly - and have fun ridiculingthem. The activity of thought consists in fact always and everywhere in a solitary experience, which temporarily abandons the world of appearances - or, rather, the world of life and plurality that we inhabit together with our peers. Since, for human beings, 'the most radical experience of disappearance is death, and the retreat from appearances which is equal to death, ' the analogy between death and thinking has an obvious foundation.

    Making thought into his favorite activity - indeed, into his very profession - and qualifying this activity as 'a living for death,' the philosopher simply registers the way that things are. His ingenuity consists in the emphatic tone with which he announces this rather common experience to the profane. He pretends to smuggle as a discovery and a privilege something that is, instead, actually obvious" (Cavarero, Relating Narratives).
  • Ciceronianus the White
    760
    We regret the death of those we love, understandably, but we torment ourselves about our own. I hope that's not the beginning of philosophy, but perhaps someone can establish that's the case.

    Really, though, one merely dies, just as one merely lives, just as things merely are. That may not be philosophy, but that's wisdom, I'd say--ancient wisdom, in fact. I don't think we've found a better way to sum things up. "I am not Eternity, but a human being—a part of the whole, as an hour is part of the day. I must come like the hour, and like the hour must pass." (Epictetus)
  • Evil
    33
    My only real aspiration is to experience ego death before I die.praxis

    Sounds like an oxymoron
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