Of life and death


This quote from Luc Ferry seems appropriate today for some reason.  Having attended a memorial service yesterday and knowing that there will be another one tomorrow in Kelowna for the son of a dear friend of ours, I offer you this.  It deals with Greek myths which often involve struggles between gods and mortals.  The lesson is difficult for us mortals…it’s hard not to be angry with the gods.

Luc Ferry:

With Orpheus and Demeter, properly speaking, we are no longer dealing with stories of hubris.  Nevertheless, I will speak of them here because their extraordinary adventures are in one essential respect related to the theme touched on in the myths of Sisyphus and Asclepius: in effect, the question of escaping death – or at least that of returning from the underworld to the light of day.  As we shall see, this journey, impossible for mortals (there is as far as I know only one exception in the whole of Greek mythology), is not easy even for those gods who, albeit immortal, find themselves imprisoned in the kingdom of the dead. And this theme of resurrection bears upon the nature of cosmic order within which gods and mortals cohabit, for it is in the nature of things that men die, from which none can escape without provoking a disorder that, in the end, would overturn the course of the universe.  We must therefore accept death, in whose shadow we must nonetheless seek the good life. [my italics]

From: Luc Ferry, Wisdom of the Myths, Kindle Edition, 2014, page 228.

2 thoughts on “Of life and death

  1. What do you think the phrase “provoking a disorder that, in the end, would overturn the course of the universe” means? Is this person saying that if people were resurrected from the dead, this would overturn the course of the universe? This is what it sounds like to me.

    Yes, we must accept death, there is no denying this. As one who lost my dad at age 2-1/2 (I have no conscious memories of him) but mom reports to me that I did talk to him and he talked to me and was very affectionate toward me, so I did have a “relationship” with him, even if I have no conscious memories of that relationship. His death was a “loss” for me. I remember the song, “Oh my papa” in the 1950s and remember hearing it and grieving my “papa” through that song, even though I had a new dad who loved me and who I loved.

    I also lost my adoptive dad at 18 and had to go through the grieving process, as you know from reading my book.

    Sorry for the loss of your friend and your friend’s son.

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