"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

In America today we have come to a point in our history when we are beginning to react to death as we would to a communicable disease. Death no longer is viewed as the price of moral trespass or as the result of theological wrath; rather, in our modern secular world, death is coming to be seen as the consequence of personal neglect or untoward accident. Death is now a temporal matter. Like cancer or syphilis, it is a private disaster that we discuss only reluctantly with our physician. Moreover, as in the manner of many contagious diseases, those who are caught in the throes of death are isolated from their fellow human beings, while those who have succumbed to it are hidden quickly from view.

[death and dying: Robert Fulton, Death and Identity]

Posted by Jeff on 11.11.2011


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