I enjoyed the sections today, if such a thing can be said, of common (or I think as you might have meant, “lowly”) who embraced death willingly. That we need not be a Cato or a Socrates to meet the inevitable on a level footing.
“Reason, too, advises us to die, if we may, according to our taste; if this cannot be, she advises us to die according to our ability, and to seize upon whatever means shall offer itself for doing violence to ourselves. It is criminal to “live by robbery;” but, on the other hand, it is most noble to “die by robbery.” “
This letter had me doing a lot of thinking on the issue, and some reading besides. I noticed that when I was looking up the specific… methodologies, let’s say, that I found the topic uncomfortable. I’ve read about the general practice of suicide, and of a “voluntary exist” as it were. I didn’t any of these things stressful. I’d even written some about it. No problems.
Yet, when I was looking at the brass tacks of the issue, I discovered a deep-seated discomfort, the result of which was to a slightly sick feeling to the stomach, even a back pain. This took me quite by surprise, and it did not seem so far off to ponder the how as the what, but the former resulted in my judgments which yielded discomfort.
All of that being said, the thing that I am no considering is that for the past two years I’ve been doing memento mori incorrectly. Well, not the whole time, but much of it. At the outset, the thought of my own eventual death was disquieting. Now, there’s a sufficient callous built up so that such is not the case. However, I know see how shallowly I was attempting to swim, a mere splashing on the stairs.
Maybe the Buddhists are closer to correct with their meditations on death, of sitting in a charnel house, or cemetery and watching a body decompose. That seems pretty morbid, there might be some happy medium there, I’ll have to ponder that a bit more.