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Message Subject WHY DO YOU THINK WE ARE HERE???
Poster Handle Anonymous Coward
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You know, Plato says philosophy’s a meditation on and a preparation for death. By death what he means is not an event, but a death in life because there’s no rebirth, there’s no change, there’s no transformation without death, and therefore the question becomes: How do you learn how to die?

You can’t talk about truth without talking about learning how to die because it’s precisely by learning how to die, examining yourself and transforming your old self into a better self, that you actually live more intensely and critically and abundantly.

That’s why love is so inseparable from any talk about truth and death, because we know that love is fundamentally a death of an old self that was isolated and the emergence of a new self now entangled with another self, the self that you fall in love with.

We’re beings towards death, we’re featherless two-legged linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose bodies will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s us; we’re beings towards death.

At the same time, we have desire while we are organisms in space and time and so it’s desire in the face of death. And then, of course, you’ve got dogmatism, various attempts to hold on to certainty, various forms of idolatry. And you’ve got dialogue in the face of dogmatism. And then of course structurally and institutionally you have domination and you have democracy. You have attempts of people trying to render accountable elites, kings, queens, suzerains, corporate elites, politicians, trying to make these elites accountable to everyday people, to ordinary people.

So if you’ve got on the one hand death, dogmatism, domination, and on the other you’ve got desire in the face of death, dialogue in the face of dogmatism, democracy in the face of domination, then philosophy itself becomes a critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death, wrestling with dialogue in the face of dogmatism, and wrestling with democracy, trying to keep alive a very fragile democratic experiment in the face of structures of domination, patriarchy, white supremacy, imperial power, state power, all those concentrated forms of power that are not accountable to people who are affected by it.

-Cornel West
 
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