Though the exact methods by which one might "die twice" are unclear, the sage wisdom of modern-day philosopher Chris Rock is undeniable: regardless of whom one may be, one will certainly die. Concordantly, according to philosopher Martin Heidegger death is not only an inevitable end, but also an "ever-present certainty". "Beings-toward-death," as he considers humans, live with the possibility of death every day. However, Heidegger goes on to state that it is this "ever-present certainty" that gives life its "existential urgency;" knowledge that an individual will end gives that individual purpose to live now. Heidegger considers this to be "living in the light of death."
[...] This is deemed inauthentic existence and, ultimately, causes one to “flee in the face of death” by explaining death as a general event rather than a personal and existential reality. Through this circumlocution of death, people may find a deceptive solace, though it would be inherently inauthentic. Perhaps one of the most notable examples of such an inauthentic life would be found in Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich. When the title character falls ill, he finds himself preoccupied with the concerns of sickness in general, rather than his personal mortality: “when sickness, deaths, or recoveries were mentioned in his presence, especially when the illness resembled his own, he listened with agitation and applied what he heard to his own case. [...]
[...] Rather, by incorporating the acceptance of this inevitability into one's life, one can triumph over their Therefore, in contrast to the negative nature of “fleeing in the face of death,” the positive nature of creating and incorporating a personal eschatology should also be examined. Clayton R. Bowen argues in his article Why Eschatology that, ultimately, the construction of a personal eschatology cannot be ignored “because it will not leave us alone: it will be heard” (Bowen, 2). Furthermore, despite attempts to marginalize or compartmentalize one's death, he argues that there remains guilty feeling that it belongs far more in the center stage [and] becomes far nearer being the hero of the piece than one of the supernumeraries.” If death is not only something to be recognized, but also may, in fact, be the most decisively epic moment of one's life, it should absolutely be incorporated into one's being long before the final moment comes to pass. [...]
[...] Through exploring the negative nature of Kierkegaard's living “inauthetically” with Heidegger's and “fear in the face of death,” the positive nature of establishing a healthy relationship with one's death becomes that much more obvious. The pre-mortem, post-mortem and peri-mortem distinctions amongst the individuated eschatologies are merely suggestions of possibilities; however, it is the responsibility of every individual who wishes to live fully and honestly to take up their own journey into an individuated eschatology, a journey illuminated by the “light of death.” Perhaps, if modern culture begins to embrace this practice, instead of confining death into the shadowed alleys of society and the self, the current “culture of death” will become transformed into a “culture of life.” Works Cited Barry, Vincent. [...]
[...] Another perspective, the later Judaic tradition, invokes a supreme hope in divine intervention at the hour of death, for without that intervention, death would “bring personal extinction” (Barry, 107). However, it is prudent to focus particularly on the notion described by Christian founder Irenaeus, who describes death as a “communion with (Barry, 127). Within death, the consummation into the divine becomes the primary focus. Thus, while it is wise to live fully the life one is given, it is not the ultimate goal, but rather the search for spiritual union with God. [...]
[...] Perhaps, then, the goodness of constructing a personal eschatology can be best illustrated by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's notion of Acceptance, the fifth and final stage in the dying process (Carr, 120). Acceptance is an ideal; within acceptance of death, one who is actively dying comes to terms with their soon-to-be inexistence and is neither depressed nor angry about their fate. While the Kubler-Ross stages are meant to be applied to an actively dying person, there is a certain freedom in becoming comfortable with death, where one can say the person me, is going to be no more, and it is okay.” Through the cultivation of a personal eschatology pursued prior to the dying process, this state may be able to be achieved without actively dying. [...]
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