Live as if you will die today; or die as if you will live today?

Platonis (in Phaedone) sententia est, “Omnem sapientium vitam, meditationem esse mortis.” Laudant hoc Philosophi et in coelum usque ferunt. Sed multo fortius Apostolus: “Quotidie, inquit, morior per gloriam vestram” (1. Cor. 15.31).

Aliud est enim conari, aliud agere: aliud vivere moriturum, aliud mori victurum.

–Hier. Ep. 60.14

Plato’s opinion (in the Phaedo) is, “All the life of the wise is a meditation upon death.” The Philosophers praise this and extol it to heaven. But much stronger is the Apostle: “By my pride in you,” he says, “I die every day” (1. Cor. 15.31).

For it is one thing to try, another to do: one thing to live as if about to die, another to die as if about to live.

–St Jerome, Letter 60.14.


It’s pretty ridiculous, if you run a Google search for this, how tiny and stunted is the intellect represented by the data agglomerated in the internet, and yet how its putative omniscience is praised. This wisdom is attributed to everyone from Gandhi to James Dean to LeBron James. Of course! Why learn about anything that happened before the 20th century? Inevitable progress makes history irrelevant, right?

Watch TV today!

Watch TV today!

Thanks, dear reader, should you ever find me, for being my gadfly.


About philokalos

Philologist, historian, and lover of great books, I started this blog to keep myself alert to the beauty of what I see amid the demands of my work.
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