On Death

The Formula

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Optimistic

It makes life precious

- It is no hardship to be a slave, if, when a man can no longer bear his master’s yoke, he may with a single step pass to freedom. Life is thanks to death that you are precious in my eyes. (Death brings freedom from pain, death also enlightens the value of life)m (Seneca dialogues and Essays Oxford p.75)

Death is rest

- Death frees a man from slavery through his masks is unwilling: it makes light the choice of a prisoner; it leads out of prison those forbidden to leave by a tyrant’s power: it shows exile; whose eyes and minds turn away to their homeland, that it does not matter beneath whose soil a man may lie.  (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.74) 

- Finally, he has come to rest in a place where nothing can drive him away, where nothing can make him afraid. (The afterlife) (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.74)

- Death is a realize from all pains and a boundary beyond which our suffering cannot go: it returns us to the state of peacefulness in which we lay before we were born. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford. p.74)

Death is the best option

- Death separates us from bad things and not from good, and it was this thought the Hegasias developed with such eloquence that kind Ptolemy had to forbid him from speaking about the matter in his lectures because many of his pupils resolved to commit suicide after having heard of him. (Diogenes - Oxford p.151)

- Hegasias - diest pessimism; concluding that a predominance of pleasure cannot generally be assured, he came to believe that suicide can often be the best option in life, and so came to be known as “death persuader”. (Diogenes Oxford p.xxiv)

Death can be a choice 

It was no minor point that was in dispute, whether a man (Cordus) on the trail should forfeit his right to die, while the debate continued, while his accusers made a second appeal, that a man had gained his own acquittal. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays p.79)

 

The fortune of death 

What difference do you think it makes whether it is you that quit her by dying or she that quits you by desertion. (Boethius - The Consolation of Philosophy (Penguin) p.28)

The length of life is perfect 

- It is not that we have a brief length of time to live, but that we squander a greater deal of that time. Life is sufficiently long. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.140) 

- Life is long if only you knew how to use it.  (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.140)

Neutral

Equality of Death

- Among the other indications of her fairness Nature has this as a cardinal point; when we arrive at death, we are all on an equal footing.  (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.220)

- The longest-lived and the earliest to die suffer an equal loss; for it is solely of the present moment that each will be deprived. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation p.14)

- All are equal in the eyes of death. Everything that you see shall pass away. (Marcus Aurelius p.89)

The neutrality of death

- Death makes all things equal: after its coming, no man ever does anything again at another's bidding. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.74) 

- Death is neither a good nor evil; for only that which is something can be good or evil. (Death is nothing) (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.74) 

It’s Natural

- Death always wins. (Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad)

- We’ll turn to dust. (Shakespeare - Hamlet)

- Death is what you were born for, and a funeral without words is less irksome. (Seneca - Dialogues and Essays Oxford p.114)

Pessimistic

 

The forgetfulness of death

- All is ephemeral. both that which remembers and that which is.  (Marcus Aurelius - Meditations (Penguin) p.30)

- This fleeting existence is the common lot of all things, and yet you pursue and flee each thing as though it will last forever. A little while and you will close your eyes: and he who carried you to your grave will soon be lamented by another (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation (Penguin) p.102)

- What has become of all that (Fame, achievements, etc..)? Smoke and ashes and merely a tale, or not even so much as a tale. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation (Penguin) p.119)

Fear of death

- There is no pain in stone, but in fear of stone, there is pain. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation (Penguin) p.81)

- Man fears death because he loves life, and so nature ordered. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Memorias de um subsolo 9Editora 34) p.120)

- Mistake! Life is pain. life is fear and the man is unhappy. The man will still arrive for whom it is indifferent to live or not, that same will be good. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Memorias de um subsolo 9Editora 34) p.120)

- No need to fear death If there is a lost consciousness there is no acknowledgment of fear if there is a new consciousness there will not be a living creature anymore. (Marcus Aurelius - Meditation (Penguin) p.81)