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Returning to my earlier discussions, after yesterday's pause in order to provide an update on blogger Daniel Denzler's good fortune, the second brief commentary (1/11/2005) was entitled The Dawn
The refections on these concise remarks will examine topics that include beginnings, feelings of anticipation,and unknown experiences or challenges. There will also be references to the acceptance of uncertainty as it relates to the formal recognition of mortality.
New beginnings that offer the possibility of genuine meaning have a foundation based upon a confrontation with the reality of our own deaths, as well as those of our loved ones. It concerns mortality, or the awareness of mortality in our lives. A steadfast acceptance of one's mortality calls for an unflinching awareness of the inevitability of death, of the devastating losses that will probably precede it, and of the ceaseless threat of meaninglessness and despair brought on by this awareness. Creation of a meaningful life from within such existential awareness is courageous. In the face of the crushing reality of death, what remains is a need to turn away from it enough to affirm life.
The dialectic of our sense of being and our sense of our mortality is superordinate to all the others. It is the paradoxical foundation for our sense of meaning. Our finitude, our mortality, is our greatest limitation and yet the one that gives all others their significance. If we were eternal, meanings would not last forever-they would disappear.
It is only our awareness of the fragility and the inevitable death of what means most to us that gives our meanings life. Meaning, in other words, begins in dialectic, and dialectic remains the only soil in which it can grow. An undaunted acceptance of our mortality in both our thinking everyday lives is the philosophical heart the relational perspective that is being introduced in this series of discussions.