Monday, 18 January 2016

Radio: Three Score Years And Ten

Bishop Richard Holloway, with the aid of great poets and writers, looks back on his life now that he has passed his allotted three score years and ten and wonders what his decreasing future holds and how best to cope with it.

What happens after death is the great unknown. But Richard argues that death itself is our friend and we should reach out our hand to it because, whatever we believe or do not believe about what happens to us after death, most of us will need courage to face it at the end.

Courage is not being unafraid. It is to be very afraid, yet to overcome our fear and refuse to flinch. It is the best lesson life teaches us.

He suggests that, while Death is a necessity if we want to keep the earth habitable, this necessity is spiritual as well as physical. Apart from the boredom of living forever, without the prospect of death there would be little to spur human achievement, because there would always be time to get round to it later.

He concludes, "Maybe that's why Jesus told us to work while it was yet day, for the night was coming when no one could work. Death is the friend who prods us to do something with the one life while we have it and not waste it hanging around."

BBC iPlayer (and part two).

The best thing I've heard on the wireless all year.

I like his idea we should live life in reverse; get the dying over with and progress to the orgasm.

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