Things Heidegger Taught Me About Death

• Death is a universal, in that it’s an experience everyone will have at some point. But this knowledge need not depress us; rather, it can energize and liberate us to live whatever time we have left to the fullest.

• Death is, at the same time, something radically individualizing. It’s an experience all of us must undergo alone, which no one can undergo for us.

• That is to say, nobody can die your death for you. Christians, this means you too.

• When we recognize the radical singularity or uniqueness of individuals, we cannot also see them as replaceable. This, if anything, is the ultimate meaning of the term “you and no other.”

• Only the living can thinking, speak, or write about death. This means that, when it comes to understanding death, experience is a mustn’t.

• Death is the only thing that can effectively circumscribe a life. Until the moment of death, there’s always something left to or for a life.

• While nothing belongs to us more than our death, it’s not something we own or possess. Capitalists, take heed.

• Death reveals the radical intrusion of the “not” into the “is.”

• Death is what constitutes us as finite beings. Yet all of us tend to think we’ll live forever. Meditating on death allows us to transcend our everyday selves and unlock, in the here and now, the possibilities we might have otherwise saved for the very end.


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