On Being: Being in Time: Death
Music: Chaconne from the Suite in E Flat.
|1. Since being is eternal, our own being is also eternal, both within and outside of time.
2. Consciousness has a beginning and end, but what it is conscious of is ultimately eternal.
3. Because we cannot experience our own creation and extinction--only the moments immediately after and before--we experience being without beginning or end, even though all around us we see things coming into being and disappearing into nothingness.
4. We readily imagine a world without us, but we cannot imagine a world in which we are not imagining a world without us. That is, we cannot imagine death, just as we cannot--and will not--experience death, although we will experience dying.
5. Death is, therefore, unimaginable, which is why in its place we imagine a life after death.
6. Like characters in a play, we exist only within our play, with neither before nor after.
7. The characters may know that the play has a beginning and an end, but for them it itself is all--perfect, complete, with every moment equally eternal, including the last.
On Being: Table of Contents