16 November 2012

Seneca on dying powerfully

...vita, si moriendi virtus abest, servitus est. ... nulla tibi nova est, nulla non iam odiosa ipsa satietate. Quis sit vini, quis mulsi sapor scis: nihil interest centum per vesicam tuam an mille amphorae transeant: saccus es. ... Vivere vis: scis enim? Mori times: quid porro? ista vita non mors est? ... Quomodo fabula, sic vita: non quam diu, sed quam bene acta sit, refert. Nihil ad rem pertinet quo loco desinas. Quocumque voles desine: tantum bonam clausulam inpone. Seneca Epistulae ad Lucilium LXXVII

"...life, if the power of dying is absent, is servitude. ...   Nothing is new to you; there's nothing that isn't already hateful through satiety. What the taste of wines and cordials is, you know; it makes no difference whether your bladder passes a hundred or a thousand bottles -- you're just a sack. ...You want to live -- do you know how? You fear death -- what else? Is this life not death? ...  Like a fable, it isn't important how long life is, but how well it is acted. Nothing matters where you stop. Wherever you want, stop. Only impose a good ending."

The idea of dying powerfully with a good ending is alien to us today, isn't it?

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