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LIFE IS SHORT

THE BREVITY OF OUR LIVES
Meaning of life - Life is short


The brevity of our lives is one of the more common themes of human existential thought. There is authentic poetry in many ancient reflexions on this brevity, and the inevitability of death and nothingness.


As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. But the wind passes over, and soon all disappears; and his place will no more exist.
PSamls, Bible


Insignificant mortals, who are as leaves are, and now flourish and grow warm with life, and feed on what the ground gives, but soon fade away and are dead.
Homer, Century IX b.C., Greek poet, Iliad


Having glimpsed a small part of life, men rise up and disappear as smoke, knowing only what each one has learned.
Empedocles, 483-430 b. C., Greek Philosopher, in On Nature, of Sextus Empiricus.


Time is a violent torrent; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by, and another takes its place, before this too will be swept away.
Marcus Aurelius, 121-180, roman emperor and philosopher, Thoughts


Every instant of time is a pinprick of eternity. All things are insignificant, easily changed, vanishing away.
Marcus Aurelius, 121-180, roman emperor and philosopher, Thoughts


Our existence is a short circuit of light between two eternities of darkness.
V. Nabokov, 1889-1977, Russian writer, Na outra margem da memória


Life’s short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.
Horace, 65-8 b. C., roman poet, Odes


Comments
Meaning of life - Life is short

See also:
The Human Beings
Existential Thought
Life Best Years
Life is Dream
Life is Pain
Death
Science and Meaning
Man and the Universe


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LIFE'S SHORT SPAN

 



Above:
Marcus Aurelius, a roman emperor and philosopher of the 2nd Century, gave us some of the most beautiful reflexions on life's short span.


Commentary
Life is short

We can’t avoid thinking of our existential condition, of the shortness of our lives, of the transitory nature of everything. We do it all the time we exist, in all societies. The brevity of life torments the human spirit. The proximity of death is «a source of grief during all our life» (Edgar Morin).

Let us meditate on the superior way with which Homer expressed our condition as human beings: «Insignificant mortals, who are as leaves are, and now flourish and grow warm with life, and feed on what the ground gives, but soon fade away and are dead».

Let us list the sad music springing out of the words of Marcus Aurelius, the roman emperor, who was also a philosopher, reflecting on the shortness of our lives: «Life is a campaign, a brief stay in a strange region». «Time is a violent torrent; no sooner is a thing brought to sight than it is swept by, and another takes its place, before this too will be swept away».

Or the music of the verses of Psalm 103: «As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. But the wind passes over, and soon all disappears; and his place will no more exist».

These thoughts reach beyond epochs and frontiers, they plunge into the depths of our soul; they are imbued with a serene controlled sadness, associated with the awareness of our inability to overcome the brutal force of an unjust reality that crushes.

In them lives the dignity of our conscience, our capacity of seeing beyond the present, of overcoming our humble origins, of assuming ourselves as the conscience of the living universe.

In them is also consubstantiated the strength of human art, of poetry, of beauty. They are a way of nullifying the smallness and insignificance of human beings, of raising us to a much higher level. They are well above the world that condemns human beings to death. In them we claim against the injustice present in the heart of life. In their way, they immortalize us.

 

 

 



 

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