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Saturday, 8 June 2013

Death Has Already Passed

We err in that we look towards Death as a future event; the greater part of it has already passed.  Whatever time lies behind us, Death already possesses. 

                                                  - Epistle 1

     In the previous post, Seneca reminded us that we are dying daily, that every moment brings us closer to Death, and therefore the opportunity to live well, that is, to live virtuously, is now.  Even if we die tomorrow, we can live a fully virtuous life today.  Our time is not short if we know how to use it. 
     Seneca now carries this argument one step further.  We are mistaken, he says, when we look towards Death as some sort of terrible future event that has yet to occur.  We perhaps should be looking to the past. We have experienced Death already, or something akin to it, before we were born.  This non-existence was hardly terrible.  In fact, it did not trouble us at all.