You Die at the End
180 meditations from a philosopher grappling with the Bible. A sequel to Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure.
The fundamentals of a human's life on this planet have not changed very much over the millennia. The world is large and indifferent to the suffering of its denizens, its inhabitants. Perhaps there is a God who is not indifferent. Perhaps there is no such God. There are, however, people who suffer. Those people sometimes wonder about their suffering, their place in this world, and, forgive the expression, God knows what else.
You Die at the End: Meditations on Mortality and the Human Condition is William Ferraiolo’s attempt to contemplate a few elements of the human condition from the perspective of an individual, middling effort to manage a human life. Perhaps this will prove worthy of the reader’s time and effort. The author hopes to be of service. The author frequently fails. Sometimes, the author blunders into a brief, useful moment of clarity. Read on to find out if this book serves as a useful blunder.
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The author of this book teaches philosophy and is a practising Stoic, a feature that comes out strongly in this (moral philosophy) book subtitled ‘meditations on mortality and the human condition.’ It is divided into the months of the year and structured with Biblical quotations followed by commentary. It comes from a courageous if somewhat bleak perspective of cosmic indifference in the face of suffering and death – ‘you are a bag of self-conscious meat. This is not denigration but merely description.’ As such, it is not surprising to find many passages from the Book of Job, a topic addressed in detail by the psychologist C.G. Jung. There is a strong sense of transience and even futility (Ecclesiastes), though with an emphasis on the development of virtue, character and even nobility in relation to conduct – living the best life of which we are capable............ ~ David Lorimer, Paradigm Explorer
You Die at the End: Meditations on Mortality and the Human Condition William Ferraiolo. O-Books, $25.95 trade paper (376p) ISBN 978-1-78904-393-8 MORE BY AND ABOUT THIS AUTHOR Drawing from Stoic philosophy, Ferraiolo (Meditations on Self-Discipline and Failure) offers tough-minded and irreverent meditations intended to caustically jolt readers toward a life of rugged individualism and self-reliance. Each meditation is preceded by biblical quotations, which serve as inspiration for Ferraiolo’s free-wheeling stoic interpretations. He explains how the Stoics taught that happiness or contentment is found only through the sober acceptance of reality and the cultivation of virtue to improve oneself. Ferraiolo’s tone can be blistering, particularly when he rails against postmodernism, collectivism, political correctness, equality, and more. Through confrontational and sometimes troubling rhetoric (“you are free to ignore, ridicule, or silently condemn authority as you see fit, or as reason dictates. Let the masses hang”), Ferraiolo seeks to push readers out of a “herd instinct” mentality to show that they are not special and to nudge them toward pursuing a noble existence in the face of inevitable mortality. The meditations can be deeply nihilistic, calling the reader and people in general “imbeciles,” “morons,” “apes,” and “idiots,” presumably in service of destroying the ego to build it anew, but Ferraiolo’s misanthropic take is likely a bridge too far for most. This narrow view of how stoicism can be applied to self-help will only appeal to readers who respond well to tough love. (July) ~ Publishers Weekly, Internet
Important book for all truth seekers.These reflections keep us living in the present, with a mindful reminder that we’re all going to pass. Recommend highly! Ondrea Levine Author Who Dies-investigation of conscious living and conscious dying Levinetalks.com ~ Ondrea Levine , Email
Like Lady Macbeth, I had to "screw my courage to the sticking place," put on my hair shirt and cilice and take my punishment - modern sinner that I am. This work is no Book of Common Prayer, no visual "diamond" of St. Teresa of Avila's "interior castle." Instead, these daily meditations demand a hard look at one's frailties and a hard shove toward remedy. Ferraiolo pulls no punches, and now bloodied, I am to regard my trouncing as veritable proof of life's purpose - to make of suffering, a life of gratitude. ~ Paula Sheil, Tuleburg Press
William Ferraiolo is a wise philosopher. I enjoyed his interview on my podcast, and I would recommend his book, You Die at the End: Meditations on Mortality and the Human Condition, to anyone looking to learn more about the purpose of life, and how to conduct themselves with respect and honor. ~ Jake Guy, Host of Mindset Coach Podcast
Rarely do you read someone speaking to you in the second person. Only those in your circle are allowed to address you on that level, and probe your feelings and emotions. Dr. Ferraiolo comes right at you, as if at a table for two, you and he, getting personal. He is into your stuff. Yet you are not intimidated or put off; you do not resent his sudden immediacy. He shows no cockiness, no swagger. He urges you to work harder, but you feel no resentment. He is direct, he does not waste words, yet his prose is gentle, light--but not flippant. He brings no fierceness, he does not preach...or sell. You listen. He tells you about the giants whose high shoulders offer a new vantage. He is not above you nor better than you; he is a fellow traveler. ~ Tim McGarvey, author of Only the Days We Danced