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Lecture

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Department
Sociology
Course
SOCY 1097
Professor
Elaine Tarutis
Semester
Spring

Description
How to Live in the Face of Death: This section of the book doesn’t really talk of how to live in the face of death much because the dead man is already dead but from the text I gathered that one should not be afraid of death and know that death is imminent. Also, one should live righteously in order to have a peaceful death. If one does not, his first moments in death are painful and full of harsh judgment. Proof: “He had lived his whole life consumed by fear of an encircling, imminent danger, whose true nature he never understood, though he felt it coming nearer and menacing him, suffocating him no matter which way he turned. Now his fears were tamed…this was death”(99). “There is no escape from this end; there is no repeal of the weariness that is our fate”(87). GITA- yogas and dharma and karma “the practice of yoga saves you from the great terror of life”(2.40) “Practice yoga and perform the actions that you are obligated to do”(2.48) • Gain detachment from emotions and people – Act, love, raise families, do our jobs – the best we can, but without trying to possess and be rewarded • Learn the art of selfless (other-directed) action and selfless (other-directed) love • Discover the eternal souls within ourselves and those we love, which transcend time and death • Seek the God who is not only death (fiery impermanence) but who also transcends death and time – who teaches and loves us and brings us to Him beyond death and rebirth. Ideal Behavior – Act for God, absorbed in Atman, detached – 3.30 – Detachment: 4.19-21, not the doer: 5.8-9, contentment: 5.13 – The first idea presented is that because of the soul’s indestructibility, one does not ever fully die. In light of this, one is not to grieve the body after death (Chapter 2, Verse 25). – Everyone who is born knows they must die and death is unavoidable, therefore this death should not be lamented nor should the death of any creature be lamented (Chapter 2, Verses 27 and 30) – live life dutifully without attachment to worldly activities in order that one attains “the Supreme” (Chapter 3, Verses 8 and 19). • The four paths to moksha in the Gita • 1. Yoga of knowledge, reasoning, wisdom (jnana), e.g., 2.11-38, 5.16-17 • 2. Yoga of meditation and ascetic practices (renunciation: mortifying the body, living celibate and alone, focusing the mind away from sense-objects) – 5.7-9, Chap. 6, 15.5 • 3. Karma-yoga, the path of detached action, sacrificing all actions to Krishna, doing one’s duty without attachment: • 4. Bhakti-yoga, the path of loving devotion to and worship of Krishna, thinking continually of Krishna, relinquishing every action to Krishna: 9.26-34, 11.54-55, 12.6-7, 15.19, 18.54-56 Image of Death: This is similar to Buddhism/Hinduism where the body is a prison. Death in this novel is seen as a positive thing, freeing one from worldly needs and desires. In death all your fears are calmed and your live is re-played for you. Also, while in the immediate limbo-state of death right after your “being” is ripped from your body, you are judged by two angels. (Note: The painful ripping of the soul from the body is only for those who have been wicked in their life. The good enter heaven peacefully.) This novel talks of a mythic transcendence in a heaven and hell and also emphasizes death as an inevitable force. Proof: “So this is death…It freed the being from the bodily element and thus achieved liberation from want”(89). “He had lived his whole life consumed by fear of an encircling, imminent danger, whose true nature he never understood, though he felt it coming nearer and menacing him, suffocating him no matter which way he turned. Now his fears were tamed…this was death”(99). God and death in this book are portrayed as knowledge which allows you to love all, and love which allows you to become one with the universe, given that the dead man is in the end described as “becom[ing] part of this inspired, boundless horizon, i
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