Living to Die Well – The Value of Philosophy

“To philosophies, is to learn how to die.” – Cicero.

When some friends ask me why I study philosophy every day, I usually answer with something generic, like, ‘because it’s too important not to.’ But in doing that, I’ve recognized that I fail to communicate the reason why it is so important.

Philosophy brings to question the fundamental nature of what it means to be a being capable of contemplating itself.

It offers the potential to inoculate us against arrogance and ego.

Without it, we cannot function adequately as conscious beings. We descend into the hollow pursuit of impulsive desires which lead us down the path of living without purpose, without consciousness. Life is absent of greater desire to transcend our circumstances.

Philosophy is the master tool of introspection as it allows us to form vital questions about the nature of the experience of life.

Without such an ability to question ourselves, we are doomed to a life of uncontrolled suffering at the whim of our own impulses – our animal minds overtaking our ability to reason and live our true values.

And yet, life IS suffering, even in the presence of consciousness. We all must die someday. Controlled suffering or not, we cannot escape this.

But until that day, is it possible to learn to die, perhaps, even, to die well?

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