Sat, 23 June 2018
Cass Midgley and Dr. Bob Pondillo bring you a very special episode. This is Bob's last show as co-host. Bob chose the theme of today's episode: death--the most awkward subject and conversation there is. Bob and Cass discuss the Seneca book for about an hour and a half then a 4 minute clip by Caleb Wilde's Tedtalk followed by a 30 minute reading of an article by Eric Puchner, then Bob and I interview Anne-Marie Zanzal, a Hospice worker with end of life experience, and end with a 6 minute playing of your voice mail farewells to Bob.
For Bob's last episode, he wanted to talk about death and I think it's appropo. For weeks prior to the taping of this episode he'd been reading a book titled, "How to Die: An Ancient Guide to the End of Life." It's the ponderings of the 1st century philosopher, Seneca, edited, translated, and introduced by James S. Romm. "It takes an entire lifetime to learn how to die," wrote the Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca (c. 4 BC–65 AD). He counseled readers to "study death always," and took his own advice, returning to the subject again and again in all his writings. Seneca believed that life is only a journey toward death and that one must rehearse for death throughout life. In his writings, he tells us how to practice for death, how to die well, and how to understand the role of a good death in a good life. He stresses the universality of death, its importance as life's final rite of passage, and its ability to liberate us from pain, slavery, or political oppression.
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death “The irony of the human condition is that the deepest need is to be free of the anxiety of death and annihilation; but it is life itself which awakens it, and so we must shrink from being fully alive.” Seneca admonishes us to study how to die. 6th generation mortician, Caleb Wilde infers that we are death amateurs, and Ernest Becker says we kick and scratch to subdue the notion that we're ever going to die. Perhaps the greatest application of the adage, "say yes to what is" applies to this--the great leveler, that which we all have in common, and that is our impending, unavoidable death.
We taped this conversation on May 26th, 2018. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, we offer these podcasts freely. And your support truly makes a difference. You can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge a monthly donation through Patreon. that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com.