Episode 286 - Sine Qua Non

Episode 250 · November 18th, 2019 · 19 mins 8 secs

About this Episode

A scene near the beginning of the Russian movie version of War and Peace (1965-67) conveys the inner dialogue of a young woman as she lays dying after childbirth -- actually, as she has just died. Her spirit wonders to herself in sorrowful bewilderment: "I gave everything to everyone else, sought to love everyone else, but I was rejected by them, treated badly by them. I don't understand."

The passage is moving, and also unsettling, because the character's inner reality comes to expression only in her closing moments, and it is most definitely un-resolved.

As Mary and I watched this, we both thought to ourselves, May it not be so with us. Please let it not be so with us when our time comes -- whether that is sooner or later.

This podcast affirms three essentials, three sine qua nons, of the human heart -- really, the human self -- as we face death, whether "early", whether accidental, or whether "in the nature of things" in old age. Three essentials for a happy exit.

Each of these I would say is necessary and primary, not optional nor secondary. Each is core and decisive. Each is "required".

Wonder what you'll think. Hope you'll like the music, too, from an excerpt by Gordon Lightfoot, whose music has never appeared on the cast before, and from Livingston Taylor. Soft Rock, OK, but quietly profound, perhaps, in both cases. LUV YOU!