“How do I grieve if there’s no afterlife?”

Rick Snedeker’s article for OpenSky – a newly-launched media platform for secular folk – offers words of wisdom for confirmed atheists in mourning: For us, life is what it finitely is; we’re convinced there’s zero chance for a potentially better sequel in a great beyond. So, carpe diem (“seize the day,” in Latin) is an appropriate motto … Read more“How do I grieve if there’s no afterlife?”

Professor Shelly Kagan on “How to Live Given the Certainty of Death”

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”

“How to not fear your 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”

Shadow Dancing: an Exercise in Shifting Perspectives

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

“Why Epicureanism, not Stoicism, is the philosophy we need right now”

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”

First, cry because it’s over; then, smile because it happened

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