This very first proper section of Discourse is quite wordy (although, to be fair much of this book is verbose). As mentioned previously, I will be updating the text as I post each section of the book, and so, let us begin.
We are all going to die.
The most efficient way to make everyone in the world a better human being is to have them seriously meditate on death (and judgement, and heaven, and hell, according to Sherlock, but more on those later). Without considering these realities, it is quite easy to lead a careless life, worrying about trivial matters, and satisfying ourselves with petty things. We should do better, in this life.
The first ‘reality that we must consider’ to be discussed on this blog is Death; ‘a terrible thing’; simply mentioning it can send a shiver through you, drawing a sense of darkness over a situation. Yet… it is the condition of every person. We must surely die, just as we are born.
Sherlock aims to make our meditation on death as practical and beneficial as possible. In order to do this he sets out to consider:
1) what death is, and what wisdom it should teach us
2) the certainty of death – that is, we are all going to die
3) the time of our death; it must be once, but when, we know not
4) the natural fears and terrors of death, or our natural aversion to it, and how they may be allayed and sweetened