Facing Mortality

Mendalla

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I watched this video on Youtube last night and it is very interesting. Herbert Fingarette, a philosopher who once wrote a book on death, rethinks his ideas on the subject 20 years later as he draws near the end of his own life. The filmmaker is the man's grandson and he did a remarkable job of capturing his grandfather. I suggest a watch and then we can discuss death, mortality, and how our ideas about them can change with time and experience.


And the video was part of a series done by The Atlantic magazine. Here is the accompanying article (which has the video embedded so you can read and view together).


So what do you think?

How do you understand death and mortality?

Have your views changed with age, experience, and so on?

Do you think they will change later?
 

Northwind

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This isn't a good time for me to watch the video so I will watch it later.

Recent events have made this timely for me. Being diagnosed with cancer last year, and my sister's recent stroke sure make a person think about mortality.

While we all have an expiry date, having that made more real has its effect. It's something I've reflected on. I'm not exactly sure how it has impacted me, other than realizing that some things aren't that important. Relationships are valuable, and we learn who is on our side. My brother-in-law, husband and I have had some great discussions in the past while. I'm very thankful for that.
 

Waterfall

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I happened to have watched this video a few days ago....I will comment later.
 

Mendalla

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I happened to have watched this video a few days ago....I will comment later.
Curious. How did you find it? I got it in my Youtube recommendations and I am not entirely sure why. I'm glad I did, but I am unclear as to what else I watched that Youtube's recommendation engine thought was related.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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I am surprised that he is talking about death as being afraid of and nothing about the process of dying, which could be much more unpleasant. He seemed to have come to terms with his losses of his abilities, independence and his wife. ( somewhat). I can agree with the notion that I still want to “ kick around” to see what happens, but sometimes I am getting scared and feel I don’t really want to know. Most of my family and friends are still alive- at a high age, like my 89 yr old neighbours, most of their peers have died, all of their older family members have died, they have attended countless funerals- and they are telling this in a similar calm fashion as this gentleman does.
I think it is important to have your affairs in order. And as one gets older, I noticed with me and others the tendency to get rid of stuff. There is a time of “ building” and a time for “ shrinking”.
I am enjoying watching my son get older and being in that “ building your life” phase. One reason to stick around longer.
 

DaisyJane

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I, too, am interested in watching the video and having a conversation. Can I have 24 hours?
 

DaisyJane

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And the chances of my falling asleep would be very high!!!

Last night's snow storm meant that our overnight care could not get to our place. Ergo I was up a fair bit myself doing M's care. I'm starting to fade. I will watch first thing tomorrow!!!
 

Waterfall

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Curious. How did you find it? I got it in my Youtube recommendations and I am not entirely sure why. I'm glad I did, but I am unclear as to what else I watched that Youtube's recommendation engine thought was related.
I found it on this site:


I can't remember how I got there either, something related to something. I wonder if you picked it up from my youtube postings?
 

Luce NDs

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Fear and anger appear to be great powers but somehow of opposing attributes!
  • Then power corrupts
  • One might ask what does anger and fear corrupt
  • Does the consequence of corruption cause enigma in a mortal world (disturbing or troubling the pool)?
  • Then is creation beyond the demos (old expression of the common folk that are inherent to the enigma)
  • Opens a hole in the pool of humanity for tyranny to limit creation in a mortal sense
  • Thus fear and anger drive rationality else where
That is the unanswerable question considering we don't know where rationale exists ... since it is said to have departed! It may have flew off the axel ... weals are painful that way! They are sometimes referred to as pode in antiquity ... and remain mysterious so as to raise curiosity and attention while suffering ADHD, or separation anxiety in the Great Alone ... a tome about Alas-Ka and the great underneath of the midnight sun. It has been said that there are 6 feet below and there are 40 cool emotions (negative thoughts) to face ... as resembling reasons! Altruistically it isn't thus supporting the difference between being and not to be as much of mortality is based on a lie we know little about. Thus flat liners ... or when a living body approaches the other side. Those hard astern, either way, will say there is no other way ... as wheels they can't be turned!

Resolved: be an axel or a crank ... keep the pool churned or it Dies/Dei-thing (circadian) without a myth attached to give interest to what's next! Some remain left behind, asturn ... or as the kitty wake ... small version of AL Ba trust ... often roue*st is best just for a break for the iddy biddy hens! Once in a semite myth this was Shabbat ... a time for seizure and NDEs to meet! There may be a point to the climax of what appears neverending or eternally immortal ... so you can see it from outside the continuous drift! Perhaps not ...

Being a departed rationale as a small ration; does this place rational thought on the same basis as extreme passions that my grandfather stated to be nothing? When one enters that abstract domain of rational; are we in an opposing nothing mode?

Thus nothing has positive and negative side of the dividing veil ... a rather flimsy by hard item to get over with those coming onto the scene with negative attributes to oppose the positive aspects of fear and anger can put down the demos when adequately applied science --- an observation from bringing nothings together in a flash!

Of course one may look at this from the other way ... as if a reciprocation in a black reflective surface (Black Body Reflection or Poad/ opposing a pode that was once considered graft) or part of the curve of a great reflector in theory ... as it appears as an abstract. You'd have to be near out of here to gain such thoughts as thoughts and thinking men are dangerous to tyrants ... given the float towards a balance point and water appears to find it own heights of disturbance ... without abridgement when you consider what people say emotionally without thinking as thoughts are a source of concern to mindful bodies and thus driven out by self regulation repulsion. This may be a trance-like state or farce-y thought if you pose the question why ... those secure with their mortality just wouldn't go there ... just as a farce or strange form of satyr ... MS pelt and hanging on the bairn dore! Sometimes referred to as Pan Dora if flat out looking for attention from being disappointed with supporting nothing if only for the BUNG Value!

Thus the great Holy Place grows ... unspeakably ... as some say how is ineffable! Give it a poke and somebody will condemn the projection of thought ... even if they wished to lose thoughts too! Civil cultivation ... scares folks!

Projection of the immortal is thus turned about ... generating lapse!
 
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Pavlos Maros

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What do you think?
I can understand why he changed his mind a little he new he was facing oblivion, that cupped with the fact that he let so much pass him by throughout his life. Which sadly we all do. Most of us will go through the same processes as we reach the end of our lives.
In the final stages of my father in laws life he was terrified of even closing his eyes. he begged me for help. But there was nothing I could do. he had been deteriorating for years prior to his death he knew it was coming, but was grasping at any straw he could grab. I don't think I will be like that. But who's to know.
How do you understand death and mortality?
I was dead to existent for millions of years before I was born. so death holds no fear for me. Dying and the ways we can die, does.
Have your views changed with age, experience, and so on?
No.
Do you think they will change later?
No. But who's to know.
 
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Mendalla

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I am enjoying watching my son get older and being in that “ building your life” phase. One reason to stick around longer.
That's a thing for us, too, of course. Little M is still in university (working this semester) and in his first relationship so very much in the building his life phase. I would at least like to see my grandchildren, something my mother missed out on (she died in her late fifties, just after I got married).

I have had, for many years, the kind of philosophical attitude to death that he apparently talked about in his book. It is a natural part of life and not something to be feared/dreaded. Epicurus, my Hellenistic philosopher of choice, even said we should welcome it as the final end to all our suffering (he did not believe in an afterlife). I don't completely agree with Epicurus on this point, but I know where he is coming from.

However, there is a certain sadness at the idea of leaving so many behind. While I may not fear what happens to myself after death, I am going to miss a lot that happens after I am gone and that certainly breeds a certain reluctance to let go. Hopefully, though, I don't have to deal with that for a long time yet. Some never have to. My mother's death (heart attack) was sudden and unexpected so she never had to go through a process of "dying". Ditto my grandmother-in-law, who passed in her sleep while seemingly still quite healthy.

Which of course, raises the point that even if we are not at risk of imminent death due to age or disease, death is always a possibility. One wayward automobile, stray bullet, or undetected heart anomaly and it's over. Do we need to be mindful of that or just carry on not worrying about those risks, only the vaguer "we all died eventually"?
 

Ritafee

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How do you understand death and mortality?
My 'signature' is reflective of my latest trajectory towards 'trying to understand' death and mortality.
  • No one knows whether death may not be the greatest of all blessings for a 'human being',
  • Yet 'human beings' fear it as if they knew that it is the greatest of evils.
From as far back as I can remember 'thinking' at all ...

I have been thinking about hastening my own death.

But here I am 63 ... and still living ... and I am not dead yet ... or so it appears.

Life is but a dream? This is another constant train of thought that I have.

Lucid dreaming ... intentional dreaming ... unconscious dreaming ... it's all part of the 'one' dream.

How many people before me have died ... billions?

How hard can it be ... so many people that I 'knew' have 'died'.

Bottom line for me is ... there is no real 'death' there is only a change of 'life circumstance'.

How we experience and rationalize our individual dream is the matter of the spirit.

Just allowed myself to type without 'format' ... my first thoughts on this subject today.
 

Mendalla

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@Ritafee, I do love that Socrates quote you use in your sig. It fits my general agnosticism. It also hits on, I think, a key point about how people view death. Death is often treated as an "unknown" and people fear the unknown. I think that's why so many develop and hold on to ideas about the afterlife (e.g. religious doctrines about heaven and hell or reincarnation). The only thing we can be certain of is that our body ceases to function. All else is faith. If there is an afterlife, we have no solid evidence, just belief/faith.

Oh, and this line:

How many people before me have died ... billions?
Reminded me of another thread I meant to start. You'll probably see what I mean later.
 
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