Yale University has made Professor of Philosophy Shelly Kagan’s 26-part lecture series on the topic of death available through their Open Yale program. The lecture How to Live Given the Certainty of Death is perhaps the most germane to my theme on this website, but the entire series offers much of value, especially to people … Read moreProfessor Shelly Kagan on “How to Live Given the Certainty of Death”
Aeon editor Sam Dresser offers the Epicurean perspective on life in relation to mortality: Key points – How to not fear your death * The end of your existence is inevitable. The question is whether or not you should fear it.* Epicurus, and many others besides, have argued that there are reasons not to fear … Read more“How to not fear your death”
The Shadow Dance is an elaboration of the memento mori ergo carpe diem mudra into a whole-body exercise. The original dance was a spontaneous creation of mine during a visit to the Rotokawau/Virginia Lake Reserve in Whanganui, New Zealand, sometime in the early 1990s. My then-girlfriend was a dancer much inspired by nature and although … Read moreShadow Dancing: an Exercise in Shifting Perspectives
Professor Catherine Wilson offers a concise argument in favor of the Epicurean perspective: Rightly understood, philosophical Epicureanism is a politically and personally powerful world-view that belies its caricatures. Its key elements are an unflinching refusal to believe that spiritual entities designed, created or control the world combined with the conviction that death and irreversible decomposition … Read more“Why Epicureanism, not Stoicism, is the philosophy we need right now”
The legendary Seattle rain. It was a thin gray rain; hard and fast and cold. In it, we had to walk four blocks from the Public Safety Building to the Zillers’ Jeep—we were at its mercy. As was my custom in such elements I hunkered against the rain, drew my head into my collar, turned … Read more“I let it do to me what it would”
Suicidal seventeen year old media whiz Archie Williams (played by Gabriel Sunday) visits poet/filmmaker Jesse Gabriel Vargas (David Carradine) in this scene from the 2011 movie Archie’s Final Project, also known as My Suicide. Which self do you want to kill? It would be a shame to off all of them.
Daniel Lev Shkolnik interviews existential coach Yannick Jacob on how to apply this 20th century philosophy in a practical way to help us find a greater sense of meaning and purpose in our lives.
When a baby is born, we celebrate a new life in the world and its potential; when a person dies, rather than mourning the loss of an impossible continued potential, we can mourn their death and then celebrate the life that they lived. A bell cannot be un-rung. That, of course, casts primacy on the … Read moreFirst, cry because it’s over; then, smile because it happened
At midnight on November 1st, 2021 I reconsecrated my totenpass amulet in front of the public shrine at my local park. The rite had to be somewhat curtailed because of the presence of a late-night dog walker and the sudden appearance of a police patrol car – as far as I know, the park is … Read moreTotenpass Reconsecration Ritual