Of Death – Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)
- Men fear death like kids fear the dark
- Natural fear of the dark is increased by tales & so is fear of death
- The contemplation of death is holy &
religious but the fear of it is weakness
- In religion, there’s often a combination of vanity & superstition
- People write about dying as if it were torture & our minds contemplate it, making the anticipation of it worse
- But quite often death comes with no pain at all. Or at least less pain than some pains that you can survive – loss of a limb
- Philosophers often speak of a funeral procession
being worse than the death itself.
- Look at the faces, the groans & tears showing the terror of it
- Man can overcome his fear of death so that it’s
not seen as some great evil
- The strong, the weak, & the careful can welcome death
- Sometimes death is better than facing everyday monotony
- Death can even come during a good mood
- Augustus died in the middle of paying a compliment
- Tiberius died in the middle of a lie
- Vespasian died while goofing around
- Septimus Severus while on a mission
- Even the Stoics focused too much on death.
Thinking about it too much made the fear even worse
- It’s as natural to die as it is to be born. To a baby, one pain is probably just as bad as the other.
- A man who dies in an earnest pursuit dies quickly & nearly painlessly.
- In the Canticle of Simeon – a man dies after having achieved something & met his expectations
- Death opens the door to goodness & closes the bad door to envy