Time Capsule #44
On death, fraudulence, and integrity.
✏️ The Dilemma of Death
Judging whether life is or not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards.
Without death, there is no life.
Many of us, however, spend our lives running away from death, and anything that resembles it, with such frightening pace that we forget that we carry it with us everywhere — that death is inescapable.
We as 21st-century homo sapiens have lost touch with death and its power.
I do not mean this in a suicidal or nihilistic way. We need to rekindle our relationship with death to give meaning and vitality to life. Today, we live our lives predominantly in the past and in the future: we go to concerts and playoff games to spend 90% of the time videotaping it for others; we chase money and vacations with such vigour that we completely neglect, even despise, the beauty of the present. We have forgotten that momentary experience is the most valuable, and only, joy available to us.
The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.
The certainty of death and the uncertainty of its arrival is what makes life worth living. To cherish time with a newborn child, to enjoy a sunset on the open seas, to marry and tie two lives together as long as they live. These moments are beautiful, profound, and uniquely human because it all comes to an end.
The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
To embrace death is to embrace life in all its glory and imperfections.
Use the finality of your being to propel you to a life well-lived: one that you can be proud of when the curtain closes.
📸 Photo of the Week
If you know, you know.
📖 Book of the Week — Good Old Neon by David Foster Wallace
My whole life I’ve been a fraud. I’m not exaggerating. Pretty much all I’ve ever done all the time is try to create a certain impression of me in other people.
This short story by David Foster Wallace tells the tale of a young man named Neal, whose worldly successes do not reflect or compensate for the depression and emptiness of his inner being. He contemplates suicide, being unable to handle the fraudulence of his life, and the story takes place through the conversation with a therapist who he doesn’t believe has the ‘firepower’ to help him get out of his depression. The story is all the more harrowing, given that DFW committed suicide himself in 2008.
An interesting read from one of the great writers of American literature.
💭 Quote of the Week
Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fast, fun or easy; & choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.
🔭 Sunday Best
Animated History of Poland — directed by Tomek Bagiński.
Tony Benn’s 1998 Speech Against Attacking Iraq — “don’t Arab and Iraqi women weep when their children die? Doesn’t bombing strengthen their determination?”. Power words from a man who saw with his own eyes the devastation and killing from the Bombing of London in the 2nd World War.
Da Grassroots: Price of Livin — 90s hip hop too rare for Spotify.
💡 Food for Thought
You're only as sick as your secrets.
Until next time,