Episode 30

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Published on:

27th Oct 2019

Covering ears and eyes

October 27, 2019 Dear Eric, Nice try, that... Though maybe you will have the last laugh. But I think you left us on the promise of wishful thinking... You wished to live on. You convinced yourself so completely of life after death that you hastened to death to prove your point. Maybe now you are smiling and giggling from afterlife at my doubt and folly. Maybe you will get the last laugh. Though you sure did get a short life.

Sometimes it seems we need an extra set of hands to use in covering not only our ears, but our eyes as well. Anything to not see death coming. Anything to quiet the sound of our footsteps on the way to the gallows. By some estimates our species has had roughly one-hundred and fifty thousand years of sentience to prove the point of life after death; and so far the best we've come up with is faith, which is no better than wishful thinking. I think the case has therefore been made. Along with the evidence of dissolution. And the curious memory of not being, which we can each easily recall when asked to think about our potential existence before birth—that utter, timeless empty we recall of the long past before we were here, which reason suggests is the same future we'll know after we're gone. There's no good reason to think otherwise. Oh, but there's faith, and there's tradition, and there's songs of hope and big buildings and a wise man in robes who shakes my hand as we leave church on Sunday. And there's the service beside the grave and the hopeful faces. Surely, all this isn't just contrived for our comfort? Why...who would write such a big and impressive book if the story within the book were not true? Answer me that!?!

I'll answer with what I know. That the universe is mute on the subject. That the stories and songs and speeches and tears are our own. That nothing in nature says otherwise. That the stars shine just as bright or dim over a baby as a dead man. That none have truly ever returned. That our stories are our own, and are in conflict with one another, and vary by culture, and with the context of various group consensus. That what is common and true is our near universal love of life and dread and fear of death. We wish to live on. We're desperate not to go. And so, we keep the stories. And we whisper prayers. And we cover our ears—wishing perhaps for an extra set of hands to cover our eyes as well. Won't you help me cover my eyes, too?

Blog post URL: https://www.goingalone.org/post/covering-ears-and-eyes

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My website: https://goingalone.org

My email: softypapa@goingalone.org

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About the Podcast

Stoic Poetry
A Stoic theory of life adventure | Be safe...but not too safe.
There’s little good news in nature. The universe seems incapable of care, or of opinion, or of preference regarding right or wrong, good or bad, or what constitutes a just and virtuous society or life. The universe’s first opinion on these matters is evident in the dead, bleak environment of space and time; the restless progress of all order in the direction of entropy, and the cold indifference of matter and energy everywhere - where the curious phenomenon of life appears like some strange, exotic exception to a rule of inorganic truth. So, what do we do with this fact? How do we prevent a slide into nihilism? How do we keep our upright posture while our legs buckle and give way as our mind struggles to accept a reality the facts cannot seemingly deny? This project takes on this challenge.

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Kurt Bell

I like to walk and think.