Condemnation to Lingering Illness

Parents wish a long life for their children and tend to forget, when doing so, that whoever does not die young is usually condemned to experience the ageing, decay and incurable sickening of their own body and mind. All this is aggravated further by the >Shame of Old Age, the tormenting thought of having become a burden on others. Ageing, sickness and death are morally disposed of by naturalizing them (>Naturalization) and seeing in them that “inevitable course of things” which may, indeed, have been in part the cause of the conception of the individuals suffering these things.

Already the ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi (365–290) had deplored the fact that Man is condemned, already through his very begetting, to suffer through lingering weakness and illness in old age: “At the birth of a man suffering is born as well. Therefore, if a man attains a great age, he becomes thereby only dull and stupid and his long suffering does not die. O what a bitter thing is this!” (Zhuangzi, The True Book About the Southern Land of Blossoms)

>Forgetfulness of Ageing

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