On Death, Finiteness and Subsequent Beauty
A perspective on the inevitability of death, the finiteness of life and the beauty that we experience as a result.
This is Version 1.2.3 of this article, originally published on Feb 28, 2023 and last updated Nov 27, 2023.
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Memento Mori. Remember death.
Death is an inevitability, a certainty. Why fear what is certain? Would it not be more rational to fear what is uncertain? Perhaps the fear of death is not in death itself but in it’s unpredictable timing. Death can come at any moment. Or perhaps it is not at the timing of death but at the realization of the time we have wasted.
Our lives are the aggregate of individual moments, infinitesimally small. Each passing moment is wholly unique, a moment in time that can never be re-experienced. Never again will all existence aggregate in the same cumulative form. If you failed to experience it, it was lost on you.
By keeping death at the forefront on your mind, you are reminding yourself of your finite time. This spurs intentionality with expenditure. It is a reminder to experience each passing moment and to only engage with that which matters most.
Secundum Naturam Vivere. To Live According to Nature.
With limited time, there will never be enough to experience everything. You must then carefully select what to include and let go of all else, accepting your fate. Through selection you can ensure that the time you have is enough to do all you please. A life has no inherent meaning. The meaning of your life is what you ascribe to it through your actions.
Death is the natural progression to a life lived in accordance to nature. It would be foolish to expect an exception, an unnatural occurrence. ”What has this all been for if not for my enjoyment? What of my reward? I am owed this by nature!” Your reward has been the life you lived. It is not nature’s fault if it has been wasted.
Sic Itur Ad Astra. So we go to the stars.
A good life is the precursor to a good death. On living a good life you must ensure that all action taken is of good conscience and sound reasoning. Is what you’re partaking in worthy of your desires, your aspirations and your expectations? For you are the aggregate of your actions and if they are not worthy, you are not.
Through virtuous action you can remain calm when called upon to die. You can go happily in the knowledge of your contribution to that which is greater than you, the whole.
Amor Fati. Love of Fate.
Your fate is such that you were born to experience that which will never again occur, to partake in that which will never again occur, and to pass into eternal rest.
In this finite lifespan there is beauty, for beauty is born from finiteness. That which is common, we grow accustomed to and bored of. That which is rare, we cherish. There is beauty to life because it will end. There is beauty to life because each moment is unique, each invaluable. There is beauty in disorder, in chaos. If everything was perfect, everything would be mundane. The most divine moment will eventually become mundane if prolonged. If life was infinite, this moment would occur again. It would no longer be special. What purpose would such an existence hold?
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