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    • jeff
      Top reader this weekScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      A seriously intense meditation on what makes life worth living. Can't recommend this one enough!

      The wholeness and fullness of our lives is not revealed to us alone, and is not to be achieved without help: it is a wholeness and fullness that has its origins in the judgement and affection of those whom we encounter. To live beyond the point in which their approval and love can be called upon is to live into a moral wilderness, a place of shadows and negations, compared with which even the Hades of the ancients, as the ghost of Achilles describes it in the Odyssey, is a place to be desired. And this wilderness lies before us all, if we live beyond the point where understanding, will and interpersonal relations still govern our conduct.

      • Karenz
        Scribe
        1 week ago

        Jeff, Justin just sent me a podcast by Sam Harris on making sense of death that’s also exceptional.

      • DellwoodBarker
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        So much depth and perspective to chew on here!

        💯

        • Karenz
          Scribe
          2 weeks ago

          Just as living a life is a moral idea, so is losing a life. And the secret to happiness is dying before the latter occurs.

          That’s not a verbatim quote but pretty close and one of my favorites in this piece.

    • bill
      Top reader of all timeScout
      2 weeks ago

      What a read! I feel awake and alive. 🔟

      • jeff
        Top reader this weekScoutScribe
        2 weeks ago

        "Benign shabbiness" definitely made me think of you! I thought Scruton's rejection of gluttony was spot-on, but his idea of the body gradually wearing out, seemingly without repair or intervention, didn't sit well with me. I'm all for his calls to indulge, but I also think it's important to eat right and exercise in the mean time. I'm reminded of the ancient yogi adage: "Detox to retox."

        • Karenz
          Scribe
          2 weeks ago

          Jeff, I LOVE this article and it really speaks to me as I approach my 75th birthday. I’m already praying I have the courage to do what my mom—your grandmom—did when she knew she could not get strong enough to fully recover from a second stroke. She did NOT want to be a burden or go into a nursing home so she quit taking all her medications and when needed, not too long thereafter, went into hospice with the help of her daughters. She didn’t last more than 2 months in that dependent state so that all of us daughters could be sad to see her go!! I’m praying now for her courage! I would hate to be here as an invalid but hate it worse not to have my own mind. I’ve had a friend die recently who also quit eating when he could see his care was almost killing his wife. To me, this is courage.

          • jeff
            Top reader this weekScoutScribe
            1 week ago

            Wow, that really is courage. So glad you read and loved this piece! This is certainly one that I'm going to revisit, not just for the many excellent quotes but also for the copious references to other works. I love the idea that it is the role of philosophers in society to help us cope with and prepare for death.

            • Karenz
              Scribe
              1 week ago

              One of my favorites so far, Jeff. As we live longer, we need old people with courage and perspective. Watching our niece Monica die at 34 leaving a 2 yo and fantastic husband gives me another model of how to do it right. Once she was diagnosed, her mission was raising money for metastatic breast cancer research.

    • DellwoodBarker
      Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
      2 weeks ago

      Incredible! Very robust and gloriously layered with many a paragraph that is highlight-able and conversational.

      (I am thinking of the final paragraphs of 100 Years Of Solitude as I type this ~ “…and that wherever they might be they always remember that the past is a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.”

      Personally, I feel as though (as with life in general and all it’s many multifacets) that death, suicide, choosing longevity through modern medicine or natural medicine or choosing nada, choosing revenge (or as Terrence Malick’s Masterpiece The Tree of Life puts it): the way of nature or grace (I.e. the pivotal dinosaur scene) Really All Boils Down to personal storytelling and Universal Balance.

      Questions asked unto Self whilst reading:

      Could we create Heaven on Earth (I.e. Belinda Carlisle) by completely annihilating any and all cycles of violence?

      Does violence and death storytelling just create more cliched cycles of the same over and over?

      How can becoming aware of a cliched storytelling in regards to Death lead to a Conscious Awakening of creating innovative, rebellious, new actions toward Building Life that ripples throughout the whole Matrix of thought to Hugely Create some new patterns of behavioral trajectory?

      Is every life valuable and worthy of a second chance no matter how dark the status quo perceives the past of a Paul of Damascus type character or rapist or, even the darkest and most atrocious, a child predator? If Death is chosen in circumstances whether suicide or death penalty- is there a perpetuating state of cliched karma/vicious cycle creating a wall to prevent from a true autonomously liberating and lovingly accountable and radical transparency of Heaven on Earth?

      Is there a storytelling scenario we can create together in which Death in every possible fashion on the Chessboard of Living : terminal diagnoses, vengeful retaliation, suicide, accidental or random, etc are allowed to be told in elevating new narratives of revolutionary treatment cures, art, rehabilitation, radical forgiveness, uncensored civil discourse?

      If we are to create a Heaven on Earth balanced by autonomously collective storytelling which dance out shadows and light in complete independence could the result end up as a balance of utopian happy endings in union with apocalyptic tight-rope walking that ultimately result in celebratory 3D life endings instead of perpetually hellish and nightmarish suffering ones?

      How does and how will future quantum physics revelations or advanced e.t. life discoveries assist in rewriting our collective storytelling of death and afterlifes? (As I type this I am thinking of the Halle Berry advanced race in Cloud Atlas).

      In closing I am 110% guilty of asking the meta and controversial storytelling questions when it comes to all aspects of Death and Living when I really should zoom in more on my own micro and personal storytelling questions of Living, therapeutically and admittedly.

      Personally: I AM ALIVE. I CHOOSE TO LIVE. I CHOOSE TO STAY HERE TO WORK THE WASTELAND AND PLANT NEW GREENERY WITHIN. I CHOOSE TO ACT AND BEHAVE IN WAYS THAT ARE (imperfectly and fallibly) TRUE-TRUE FOR CREATING THE WORLD I DREAM OF (with U). OFTEN THIS MEANS DYING DAILY WITHIN A CALM/PEACEFUL SEA OF COLLECTIVE CONFUSION. ULTIMATELY THIS MEANS LIVING DAILY WITHIN A PRESENT MEASURE OF INDIVIDUAL AUTHENTICITY. DEATH IS INEVITABLE & LIVING THE DREAM IS WHOLLY WILLFULLY, DOABLY ACHIEVABLE WITH BALANCE, CENTER😘🦄FOCUS & SURRENDER.

      To quote my favorite quote from my all-time favorite film, The Fountain:

      “Death Is The Road To Awe.”

      The pages are blank. The pen is in our hands. Our Will is within.

      Now We Finish It. 🤔🎭🕺🏽

      “The rest is still unwritten.”

      ❓😘 ❔😂 ❓😳❔

      💓⛪️🙌

      1. Update (10/7/2021):
      • bill
        Top reader of all timeScout
        2 weeks ago

        📚👀 Damn, dude! Heavy. I love it.

        I consider myself to be your reading companion and your friend (and not your editor!) but I desperately want a rewrite of this paragraph, in plainer/clearer language:

        In closing I am 110% guilty of asking the meta and controversial storytelling questions when it comes to all aspects of Death and Living when I really should zoom in more on my own micro and personal storytelling questions of Living, therapeutically and admittedly.

        Maybe start with this:

        "I am guilty of ______ when I really should _______."

        You seem to have learned some very deep truth. I want to know what. From my perspective, there's clearly nothing wrong with zooming out and zooming in. Asking big question, then "giving up" to just be in the moment. So what is it that you are "guilty" of? Elaborate.