“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

The Wise and the Foolish

The bones between this body are burdensome but fair.
They hold this flesh together while it breathes air,
but balance the bargain with a fateful despair.

The bones remain after the soul has gone home
–a reminder for those who still seek,
who still inhale and must eat.

Death is the great equalizer,
and a master of deception.
It commands great fear
even while it cannot be seen.

It surrounds and permeates every moment of life,
it in fact is the very thing that sees,
and yet the foolish so seldom take notice.

Death, whatever it is,
does not concern the living,
those who try to see
and so fear what they cannot.

The living cannot see that they are already dead.
Death is a trickster to the living.
It is a mime better at you than you are.

So the living fear death.
They have no life of their own
but through this fear,
they are driven by a ghost.

The are fools, dogs, innocent idiots
endlessly chasing their own tails.
The wise, those who are already dead,
do not fear themselves.

The body is homeless
because it is born only to die.
The body has no purpose.
It simply lives, and in so doing dies.

The wise simply affirm this
and act accordingly.
Who it is that acts,
they do not ask.

The actor acts,
and that is that.
The light of death
is blinding to the foolish,

and so they turn away in shame.
There is no other side of life,
they say.

There are no eyes peering back
from the darkness beyond the light.
The unconscious is the fool’s fate.

The fool denies fate, represses fate.
But fate laughs at his jokes,
and so he becomes funny.

It cries for his sorrows,
and so he becomes sad.
Isn’t the fool a puppet?

Isn’t he the mannequin of nature,
posed to her whim?
And the wise?

Who can watch them?
Who can sway them from their stance?
The wise simply do not stand.
The wise stand, walk, sit, and swim.

The audience may applaud,
they may laugh,
they may throw tomatoes.

The wise are not swayed.
The wise are here only to die,
and so death is not an audience.

The wise are already dead,
because God has flown
right through their head.







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