Scientific journal
European Journal of Natural History
ISSN 2073-4972
ИФ РИНЦ = 0,301


Kharitonova N.N.

«Memento mori»

(«Remember that you must die!»)

The origin of life has been occupying the minds of naturalists, philosophers and religious speculators from the early times, while the prescription and essence of death had been drawn a veil over for a long time. Scientists, doctors, biologists were not concerned about it thinking that if nobody can avoid death, it isn´t worth spending efforts on the perception of the meaning of this sad phenomenon. But indeed, death is inseparably connected with life. And more over, there is no last without first.

Greeks believed that only death gives life a finished look.

A human is born to die. That is the result of any coming into the world.

It is like the Moebius loop, a glued in the twisted state strip of paper. You pass your finger along the outer side of the surface, and it suddenly turns surely to be the inner one - having been born, a human is destined to die.

Nothing is everlasting. And every beginning has its end.

Death - is an important factor of the human existence. Only gazing into the face of death we begin valuing life seriously. If there were no death, life would have no sense. As early as in Classical Greek mythology, immortality was the most awful penalty, which gods could punish the human with. Immortality was the main dream of the humanity, but what can be more absurd and awful than immortality? If you once got this "gift" of life, imagine, what will come out of it: you grow up, gather momentum, your relatives die, then your friends, children, children of your children do, and you keep on living absolutely lonely and deserted in foreign, strange for you, time and culture. And it will go on forever. And it will be endless... That is why immortality is hard to be called a gift for a human.

Death is inevitable. It accompanies the human from the very moment of his birth. It is like a shadow, the most loyal and obtrusive. It follows him in tracks and can change its state from the shadow into the flesh at any time. Acquiring consciousness, the human learns about his future death immediately. In this regard - the human is the most unhappy one from all the animals. But at the same time everything in the nature has its own minuses and pluses. Knowing about his death gives the human a great privilege, as death organizes the human life, makes the human find its sense for a short period.

Death - is not the end, but the crown of life; it is in its picture as a life regulating element. It is a stimulus, which makes the human do something significant in life, and it means, it supposes the becoming of goals in the human´s life. But often in everyday life the human lives as if he is immortal. We try not to think about death, fence off the thoughts about it in every possible way and suppose that death is very far from us. As far as ancient times wise men said:"Momento mori!" (Remember that you must die"). Why did they say like that? Why did one have to remember about death? Sure, it was not for the human to depress himself and be in low spirits for the whole life because of despair and certainty of death, to spoil his life and constantly suffer torments from fear. Not at all. These words should motive the thoughts in the human consciousness that he should live every day of his life as if it is his final day, though it can really turn to be the last one, as nothing must be excluded. It is supposed that the worst man will try to live righteously, humanly at least one final day of his life - not to lie, not to kill, not to steal.

It is unknown when and where death will catch the human. It can happen at any, even the most unexpected, moment. Either within four walls of the house, when you are peacefully reading a book, or in the open space of the nature. If a horse stumbles under you; if a tile drops from the roof; if you merely prick against a pin - all this can be expressed by the question: "What if it is death?" That is why it is impossible to be guessed, and it means it is impossible to know in what guise it will come; and so it is impossible to run away, escape or deceive from death. There is no need to be afraid of it. Everyone needs to manage to deprive it mystique, discover that concealed that it embosoms, view it closer, get used to it, speculate on it. "To think about death - means to speculate on freedom. Who has learned to die - has learned to be a slave. Readiness to die relieves us from any subjection and enforcement. And there is no evil in life for the one, who has comprehended that to loose life - is not evil". (Monten´ M.)

We are always under careful attention of death. You can feel its presence, its reality over every turn. Certainly, it is an albatross. The understanding of our mortality requires a considerable effort from us. Every day the human acts to avoid death. Hence, he realizes that one day death will draw up with him. Why then to put it off for such, it should seem, a short period? Maybe, 20, 40, 60 years... But what is this time compared to the time of the Universe, where there are light-years?.. Where it seems that the time doesn´t flow... Where the eternity exists...

And, perhaps, "the best philosophy is to dispute everything and not to express a definite opinion" (Cicero).

The work is submitted to the Scientific International Conference "Modern problems of science and education», Russia (Moscow), May, 13-15, 2008, came to the editorial office on 23.04.2008.