Confronting Fear and Death

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  • A former member
    A former member

    3)A quote: "Concerning the gods, I have no means of knowing either that they exist or that they do not exist, nor what sort of form they may have; there are many reasons why knowledge on this subject is not possible, owing to the lack of evidence and the shortness of human life." Protagoras said that. It is a favorite of mine. This is Greek critical thought separated from religion, non-mystical, down to Earth. We're mortal, finite. I think it's a good attitude to Start with when engaging in *philosophical* discourse. I'm wondering aloud, so to speak. Crap I'm tired now -I started reading how many minutes ago. The internet! whata resource. Wrap it up. Philosophy literally means, as we know, LOVE of wisdom and the ancients took philosophy very *personally*, often viewing philosophy as a preparation for one's Death. "To philosophize is to learn how to die" -Cicero. I've got a lot of reading/thinking to do and life is too damn short.

    January 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    2) I remember that quote, "Didn’t it go by awfully fast?" and Vidal's response. Sometimes things people say really stick in your mind. I thought it was funny that I've attended 3 meetings for this group and the first one was about our personal philosophies, second one was on love and last one on fear and death.. this all seems very fitting. It went by fast and 3 months have gone by. Vidal mentions the gods. Those Roman gods which were basically Greek gods weren't too comforting for mortal believers! Greco-Roman polytheism often enough didn't answer the perennial questions to the satisfaction of Greek intellectuals, often with lots of free time for abstract thought. There appeared among some an awareness of our mortality, our finite nature and an uncertainty of what we can know. (CONTINUED)

    January 31, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    1)The great American writer Gore Vidal recalled his longtime companion Howard Austen asking from his deathbed, “Didn’t it go by awfully fast?” “Of course it had,” wrote Vidal. “We had been too happy and the gods cannot bear the happiness of mortals.” Austen was buried in Washington in a plot Vidal had purchased in Rock Creek Cemetery. The gravestone was already inscribed with their names side by side. Vidal died in 2012. The gods cannot bear the happiness of us mortals... What's this mean? In an excellent essay by one of my absolute favorite writers ever, Mr. Mark Dery, ( http://thoughtcatalog.com/2012/if-proust-can-change-your-life/ ) Dery refers to Vidal as the last Roman and as the always useful wikipedia (ha) entry notes, Vidal's "patrician manner" was a distinguishing characteristic of his persona. Anyway point is the man was well versed in the classics to a point that his identity was formed in part through his education in and encyclopedic knowledge of the ancient world (CONT)

    January 31, 2013

  • Terry

    Afghan Famous Kabob website showed location as NW corner of Routes 55 and 29. Drove around the area for a half hour before giving up. Really wanted to attend. Would love to hear about the event.

    January 27, 2013

    • Maria

      Terry,

      I’m so sorry you couldn’t find the restaurant. If you’re familiar with Gainesville, AFK is in a small shopping center just behind the Rite-Aid and Bank of America on Route 29. (Nearest cross street is Somerset Crossing Drive.) We are planning to meet in Warrenton next time, and I will provide specific directions/landmarks once I select a venue. I also recommend to everyone that, in future, you write down the phone number of the restaurant (listed along with address) just in case you have any difficulty finding it.

      January 28, 2013

    • Terry

      Good idea, Maria. Thought my GPS would help but with the cold weather it was dead. We depend so much on technology. Maybe a good topic :)

      January 29, 2013

  • Maria

    Hey everyone,

    Had a fabulous time talking with all of you. What a group. Carolyn, great choice of topic. Larry, great choice of wine. Everyone, thank you for your compelling insights and stories. We’ll discuss ethics next time. Please see next scheduled meeting for more details. Just some additional information offered at tonight’s meeting. Thanks to Jay for suggestion: Futility Closet
    http://www.futilitycloset.com/

    January 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I agree Maria...it was a great group discussion

      January 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear;Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come". Julius Caesar Quote (Act II, Scene II). Buddha Quotes on Death:"Even death is not to be feared by one who has lived wisely." "It is better to travel well than to arrive."

    You are invincible if you forget about yourself in striving for a greater purpose. Confucious.

    A martyr before he was executed requested he be shot in a lying down position-- saying a nap is a short sleep and a death is a long sleep and more joy.

    January 23, 2013

    • Maria

      Well-chosen quotes, Craig. A nice medley of insights that convey our preoccupation with death to the detriment of distracting ourselves from living.

      January 24, 2013

  • Maria

    Hey everyone, For our next meeting, I would like to combine suggestions from Carolyn and Terry and discuss death, fear, and the effect of one’s attitude on these inevitable states. Any relevant quotes or writings are welcome. Let’s plan to cover remaining suggestions (Metaphilosophy and Aristotelian Ethics) in our February meeting. Location will be Afghan Famous Kabob in Gainesville (next to Nora’s). Will likely alternate meeting places between Gainesville, Manassas, and Warrenton due to radius of members. See you soon,
    Maria

    January 13, 2013

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  • Maria
    Organizer
    Event Host
  • JJR
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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