Meaning in Death

“To die, to sleep—
No more—and by a sleep to say we end
The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to—’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished! To die, to sleep.
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there’s the rub,
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause. There’s the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.” — Hamlet
Continuing a recent theme, we must pause to question whether there is any meaning in death. Death — that closure of possibilities; Death — that last enemy to be defeated. Whether it is embraced in a stoicism or a philosophical release of the soul from the body (à la Socrates) or it is shuddered at and avoided (à la Hamlet), it is the inevitable end of humankind. It is experience throughout life in the deaths of others. Is it darkness? Can one die with dignity? Is avoiding death the purpose of health and modern medicine? These are just a few of the questions.

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Death and Resurrection

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“Death has been swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?”– 1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Death as the closure of possibilities, death as the impossibility at the end of my experience, silences. All projects end, all desires fulfilled or otherwise cease, all hopes expire, all dreams fade into the ontological nothingness that is death. It is the last enemy, and in many ways, the only enemy. All threat, all power, is an invocation of the threat of death, all power is the calling forth of death into life. But what would it mean to call life into death?

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Scandal and Eastertide

Rembrandt’s depiction of the resurrection of Jesus.

“Believing in Christ’s resurrection…does not mean affirming a fact. It means being possessed by the life-giving Spirit and participating in the powers of the age to come.” — Jürgen Moltmann

The scandal of Christianity is a scandal of singularity. Such singularity that resists all universalisation, all reason, all genres and species of logic. Christianity departs from all ‘sacred logic’ that separates “the world” from “the divine” — the gods no longer live above, there is not an order of intelligible, immutable forms: God became flesh, and entered into the depths of that being, into death. God did this in a singular human history, in a singular human personality, in Jesus the Nazarene.

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Hope in Hard Times

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I don’t know where you’re at. I don’t know your circumstances. I don’t know your pain or your suffering, but I do know that you will face them. All people undergo various pains, troubles. Some might seem light and momentary; some are world destroying, so destructive that all the meaningful things you’ve built up around yourself crumble away. There are times when there seems to be no hope.

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Living, Dying, Living

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“O, I die, Horatio.
The potent poison quite o’ercrows my spirit.
I cannot live to hear the news from England.
But I do prophesy the election lights
On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice.
So tell him, with th’ occurrents, more and less,
Which have solicited. The rest is silence.” — Hamlet

But is it? In now, my third consecutive post about death, I want to turn from its violence and its solace, to the fact that it is not the end. I want to talk about resurrection. I want to talk about the unknown, the music after the silence.

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