“One life: imagining a radical acceptance of death”

My new article for OnlySky explores the philosophy of radical death acceptance via the nontheistic religion of Cavesword imagined in Gore Vidal’s 1954 novel Messiah, tracing the concept back to the garden-school of Epicurus and then to the bohemian counter-culture surrounding the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam:

The humanist point of view is centered on the simple premise of “mortality sapience”—that by remembering death, we can learn to seize the day. If we can truly, deeply accept that we’re each living the one life we get, then that acceptance informs our perspectives and priorities for the better.  Given that death is both inevitable and final, it further follows that our most secure human-scale legacy lies in living lives that will be well-remembered; I believe that there are many worse bases for moral wisdom.  

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