We're all dying?
November 20, 2007 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Looking for some source of a quote about, or the general idea that, we are all slowly dying, but some are closer than others.

Having this discussion with a friend over whether the idea that everyone is slowly dying, some being closer than others, is just one of those ideas that everyone has at one point or another, or if there is some philosopher, or philosophic school (or any other school or "thinker") who first formulated this idea.

Any help? A link to a quotation/citation would be awesome. I know I'm not being real specific, but I think there's got to be something out there that meets the criteria...
posted by jckll to Religion & Philosophy (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try wikiquote. Maybe you'll get lucky on this page.
posted by neuron at 1:16 PM on November 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

"In the Tibetan philosophy, Sylvia Plath sense of the word, we're all dying. But you're not dying the way Chloe is dying."

posted by acro at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2007

I checked WikiQuote already. Just too much pop culture stuff on there for my liking (and in the 2nd answer, on preview)

I was hoping for something a bit more philosophical, and a bit more old. Perhaps existentialist? Nihilist? I've dabbled in philosophy but not enough to know where to even begin looking for this idea...
posted by jckll at 1:23 PM on November 20, 2007

oh well, that excludes my favorite:
"He not busy being born is busy dying." -- Bob Dylan
posted by kimdog at 1:38 PM on November 20, 2007

Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat: Each wounds, the last kills; and it is supposed to be understood that "each" means each hour.
posted by jet_silver at 1:50 PM on November 20, 2007

Think on this: I know someone who lost their father a few months back in the hospital. The last conversation they had they talked about the certainty of death. The father said, "We're all just passing through. Consider this, son....there are 6,000,000,000 (Six BILLION) people on this earth and all of us, every last one of us - even the ones born in the maternity ward of this very hospital today - will be dead in 120 short years. NONE of us will be here." Yep, just passing through. Of course, with medical advances, that may not be true anymore - but as of this moment we must assume it's still true. You get the idea. Thinking about that kinda puts it all into perspective.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 2:47 PM on November 20, 2007

Me again.....I bet this is the one:

"I remember a middle-aged American woman who came to see Dudjom Rinpoche in
New York in 1976. She came into the room, and sat in front of Dudjom
Rinpoche, and blurted out: "My doctor has given me only a few months to
live. Can you help me? I am dying."

"To her surprise, in a gentle yet compassionate way, Dudjom Rinpoche began to
chuckle. Then he said quietly: "You see, we are all dying. It's only a
matter of time. Some of us just die sooner than others."

Also found at this quote site under "Dudjom Rinpoche"
posted by Gerard Sorme at 2:52 PM on November 20, 2007

A couple weeks ago, I overheard a lawyer friend of mine tell one of her undergrad employees who complained about having to work late: "News flash, dude: life is hard, and it's getting shorter."

Not exactly what you're looking for, but close enough I thought you'd appreciate it. (I should point out that it's possible she was quoting something, but Google doesn't find anything and it's not out-of-character for her to come up with something that awesome off-the-cuff.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 2:54 PM on November 20, 2007

Life is hard and its getting shorter, so stay and work late?
posted by criticalbill at 3:16 PM on November 20, 2007

"News flash, dude: life is hard, and it's getting shorter."

I agree with that sentiment, but like criticalbill above, I would tend to think of that as being a reason to get out of work as soon as you can - not spend even more time at work. I've always liked the saying, "Nobody on their death beds ever say, "Damn! I wish I had spent more time at the office!"
posted by Gerard Sorme at 3:31 PM on November 20, 2007

While I agree with critical and Gerard, I think the idea here is that if you just walk out you get fired. It's not "stay late", but "quit your bitching, finish the work, and let's get out of here".

Also seconding the Fight Club quote. That's what this askme made me think of.
posted by hue at 3:46 PM on November 20, 2007

Health is merely the slowest way someone can die. Not sure who said it, for some reason, I think it might have been Woody Allen.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:27 PM on November 20, 2007

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