23 February 2007

On Fearing Death

These are Lucretius' thoughts on dispelling religious belief (which is - according to Lucretius - chiefly caused by the fear of of what follows death):

This terror, then, this darkness of the mind,
Not sunrise with its flaring spokes of light,
Nor glittering arrows of morning can disperse,
But only Nature's aspect and her law,
Which, teaching us, hath this exordium:
Nothing from nothing ever yet was born.

-- Lucretius, Of The Nature Of Things (trans. William Ellery Leonard)

In other words, since no soul exists we need not worry about what we will encounter after death; we will encounter nothing because we will no longer exist.

4 comments:

VM said...

After reading this, the only response can be:

TO THE PAIN!

AntarcticPenguin said...

Lucretius was heavily influenced by Epicurus and I love his philosophy, Epicurean philosophy is very libertarian in its nature. You can find out more about Epicurus here:
http://www.epicurus.info/

highnumber said...

Sufis speak of "dying before you die." In other words, conquering your fear of death, accepting your death so that you may truly live.
Can you get to that?
It's still a major hang up for me. I love life. Not excited about an end to it.

smacky said...

I've gone back and forth about my feelings on death. When I was much younger, I was a lot braver -- if very naive -- and didn't fear the reaper. Then after I lived a while, I started to realize how lucky I am to have made it this far. Yeah, not looking forward to it, at least not at this point. But that's no excuse for being religious. ^_-