Thursday, July 12, 2018


Life is probably longer than it feels, despite the panic you may feel about time running out. One way of determining this is by looking at the behavior of those who are much older and still continue to navigate the finitude of their existences as if the varying twists and turns of fate still make a difference. In As You Like It, Jaques makes his famed “All the World’s a Stage” in which he concludes by talking about the dissolution of the body and the senses. “Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Stages are, of course, a common way of representing human existence. You have Philippe Aries's Centuries of Childhood and Jean Piaget's four stages of cognitive development. Freud talked about the anal and oral stages. How We Die:Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter was Sherwin Nuland’s meditation on the stages of death. Zeno’s paradox in which the tortoise beats Achilles was a product of stoic thinking, but it demonstrates how distance is relative. Instead of seeing life as a procrustean juggernaut that speeds along despite your protestations you can divide and conquer. If you constantly half the remainder, for example, you will come to an increasingly smaller figure and you'll never reach the end.


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