Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Understanding Death to Live More Fully
Death puts an end to earthly life, a big event. Some deaths have great ramifications on society and often give great shock and sadness to others. The aftermath, however, is limited, generally, with the passage of time we forget. Death does not remain in life. We all know that life ends in death. Knowing that we are going to die influences the way we live.
Death makes life important; we can't separate them. Philosophy is the field concerned with understanding life and death. These words begin an article in the Peace Weekly about a philosophy professor at the Catholic University. Ku In-hei who teaches at the university and has written the book: Study of the Philosophy of Death.
Death and life are two sides of a coin. She goes through the history of the different philosophers and their treatment of death. They begin with anxiety about death but life is the preparation for death.
In the time of the Greeks death was both an enemy and a friend. At times seen as a sweet sleep and described as a gloomy subterranean world. In a word it was seen as a world of contradiction. At the times of the Renaissance they made an effort to ignore it. The author calls this the time of forgetting. The atmosphere of the times determines the way we look upon death Each philosopher had their own way of seeing death. Without religion each used their intellect. What was the way the Christian looked on death? They saw beyond death and stressed love.
Christians believe in God's love which is eternal when we live in that love we are already going towards eternity and overcoming death. Love is the reason for our creation and the hope that overcomes death. Love has the strength to transcend death.
Professor Ku concludes, we do not fear or avoid death but make our greatest effort to prepare to pass through death with peace. When we live our life completely the anxiety and fear of death has no possibility of coming into the picture.
Without a real understanding of death it is difficult to live life well, she maintains, and hopes the book will help us to have a better understanding of death.