Friday, August 28, 2009

Death?

I don’t think many believe that the body lives forever. You seem to avoid the difficult question of “what are we?” Are we a bag of bones and flesh? That is questionable, given that “our” molecules come and go (alive or dead). Which leaves our permanent essence to be a structure, one that it is impermanent at best—perhaps even the structure itself doesn’t exist as a physical “thing.” She (as we knew her) is now part of the ocean. Before that, she answered the door when you knocked (and because she can no longer do that is the sorrowful part of her change). And before that, she was something else, and someone else would have answered that door. You are treating the issue as a Newtonian, yet you understand from modern physics that existence is far more complex than we used to believe.

This is in response to: http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2009/08/concerning-intuitions-of-immortality.html

Walt Whitman had this to say in Leaves of Grass:
To you suspect death? If I were to suspect death I should die now,
Do you think I could walk pleasantly and well-suited toward annihilation?

Pleasantly and well-suited I walk,
Whither I walk I cannot define, but I know it is good,
The whole universe indicates that it is good,
The past and the present indicate that it is good.

How beautiful and perfect are the animals!
How perfect the earth, and the minutest thing upon it!

What is called good is perfect, and what is called bad is just as perfect,
The vegetables and minerals are all perfect, and the imponderable fluids are perfect;
Slowly and surely they have pass’d on to this, and slowly and surely they yet pass on.
I don't think the samurai would agree with Whitman when he says "Do you think I could walk pleasantly and well-suited toward annihilation?"

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