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the inevitable end of your existance

By Addishiwot Gizachew Published about a month ago 3 min read

Imagine staring at a flickering candle flame. It dances and sways, casting warm light and fleeting shadows. That flame, vibrant and alive, is a metaphor for our existence. Death is the inevitable snuffing out of that flame. Yet, unlike a candle, we have the capacity to contemplate the darkness before it engulfs us.

The fear of death has loomed over humanity since the first campfire stories. Is it simply the end of the light, a cold, eternal slumber? Or is there something more, a continuation of the flame in another form? Philosophers throughout history have wrestled with these questions, offering solace, sparking anxieties, and ultimately forcing us to confront the precious brevity of our lives.

Epicurus, a Greek thinker known for his laid-back approach, might tell you not to sweat it. If there's nothing after death, then there's no pain or suffering to fear. But deep down, most of us crave more than simply the absence of bad things. We yearn for meaning, a sense that our lives have mattered.

The Stoics, like the Roman emperor Seneca, saw death as a natural part of the cycle. Just as seasons change, so too do individuals pass the torch. This perspective urges us to focus on the present, to cultivate good character and strong relationships. It's a reminder to savor the warmth of the flame while it lasts.

On the other hand, existentialists like Sartre paint a bleaker picture. Without a preordained purpose, death becomes the ultimate absurdity. We create our own meaning, but that meaning crumbles to dust in the face of our inevitable demise. This stark reality can be paralyzing, forcing us to confront the responsibility of carving out significance in a universe seemingly indifferent to our existence.

Many religions offer a comforting answer – an afterlife where the flame continues to burn in some form. Heaven, paradise, reincarnation – these concepts provide a sense of purpose and hope, suggesting that death is not the end, but a transformation. Yet, even faith can't erase the pain of losing loved ones, the dreams left unrealized. These are potent reminders of the impermanence of our human flame.

So how do we live with the knowledge that our light will eventually flicker out? Some, like Epicurus again, suggest focusing on the present moment. Living virtuously, cherishing loved ones, and pursuing passions – these are the things that make the flame burn brightly. The fear of death lessens when we have a life rich with meaning and connection.

Others find meaning in the legacy they leave behind. The author who writes a captivating story, the scientist who unlocks a medical breakthrough, the parent who raises a kind and compassionate child – their flames may extinguish, but their impact continues to illuminate the world. The awareness of our mortality can be a powerful motivator to create something that transcends our physical existence.

The future holds even more intriguing possibilities. Advancements in science might allow us to extend life, preserve consciousness, or even upload minds into machines. If we can cheat death, or redefine what it means to be alive, then how will we view our own mortality?

The philosophy of death is a deeply personal exploration. It's about grappling with the fear of the unknown, the search for meaning, and the desire to leave a mark on the world. There are no easy answers, but the journey itself is valuable. By confronting our mortality, we can learn to appreciate the preciousness of life, to live with purpose, and perhaps even find a degree of peace as the flame flickers and prepares to return to darkness.

Recognizing the fradgility of our existance allows us to acknowledge the beauty of life and enjoy it instead of trempling at our vulnerable state


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Addishiwot Gizachew

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    AGWritten by Addishiwot Gizachew

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