I (knocks): Hey, Death, you there?
Dr. Death: Yeah, who there?
DrD: Ah, you again. What now?
I: Well I wanted to talk some about this notion of self-preservation. People seem to think it crucial stuff.
DrD: Philosophers you mean? My experience is people rarely think at all, maybe I just get them when they’re all thought out.
I: Yeah, well, philosophers I suppose. But don’t they supposedly voice what people think?
DrD: They suppose that they think like other people think. My experience falsifies that.
I: Ah, O-kay, I see. so maybe self-preservation is not such a common thought after all?
DrD: As said, people rarely think. They prefer to feel. It comes more natural to them, that is anyway their defense when they suddenly see me after their typical stupidities. I guess you could say self-preservation is a common feeling.
I: Don’t do this Socratic thing on me, will you. Where you know the answer – but refuse to say it so you can play philosopher and mouse with me.
DrD: Damn you, you come here asking me about self-preservation knowing full well you don’t buy it so who is playing cat and philosopher here? State your case or I will refuse to have you when you really want me to.
I: Fair enough Doctor Death, you rule, I need you more than you need me. You are right: I don’t buy it. What kind of thought is that, self-preservation, I mean how demeaning it has to be to live just in order to preserve yourself, right? I can get living, I do it all the time, as you know it’s not always fun, not always like having a direct line with you and all, but it’s really stupid if all that living is done just to preserve your self, no?
DrD: Let me tell you a story, there was this wacko philosopher, Nietzsche was his name, you’ll know him, oh did they ever make a lot of huff and puff about that guy! Luckily it is done after me because were there an after-life he would have swollen of pride so there’d be no place for reality anymore. Anyway he built his philosophy on self-preservation and I asked him like where did he get all that from. I mean I don’t care too much but I can tell you that it’s more fun to talk with the non-self-preserving kind. They may be a little crazy but at least they don’t complain and have most of their wits about them. They look better too, I mean: old people just suck and if they’re lucky enough to still know it they’ll blame it on the young or on bad luck when clearly it’s just that they’re too damned old to give a fuck about anything else than themselves.
I: I feel for you D, I really do but we’ve been there already and next time we can get into it some more but so where did Friedrich get that self-preservation bull-shit?
DrD: Ah, yeah, funny that. Cracks me up every time. (cracks up)
I: Come on, woman, out with it already!
DrD: Well, he saw everybody living and stuff and so he thought there had to be a point to it because that’s what they said: that there was a point to it and all. And he didn’t get it, so he invented a point that made sense – or so he thought.
I: Duh, where’s the joke in that Doctor, sounds rather tragic to me.
DrD (sobers up): Tragic, just so. It is damned tragic. You people are comic when you don’t think and tragic when you do because, anyway, you wind up here with me puzzled as if it was all rigged against you. As if their was a magic piece to that puzzle we’re intentionally keeping from you.
I: Bla, bla, fucking mystical bla. Just explain the joke already.
DrD: Ooh, you’re touchy all of a sudden. You want to preserve your thought. I see. Ok, I’ll tell you why it cracks me up. Here he is Mr. Friedrich thinking he’s all special and noble – a genius really, very unlike the herd so on so forth – and what he voices is precisely what common people think at that time, struggle for life the whole broohaha and he thinks it’s what makes him so bloody special. Like all prophets and philosophers they come here to tell me how superior they were where they’re just voicing what already was. I commend them for it because it’s kinda nice to have it voiced and it takes a crazy person to voice it, to articulate the problem where others just feel the itch.
I: So how did he react when his confession cracked you up.
DrD: As if I told him. I just looked all stern and stuff like he thought I would and send him off. I only cracked up way after – when people like you started asking me that question. I sure hope you didn’t think you were the first to have this conversation with me, did you?
I: I suppose not then – which makes me wonder why you got the joke only after a while. It is not like you’re dim-witted now.
DrD (puzzled): Well I guess I’m just as dim-witted as the people that I meet. Seriously, it is not like I think about these things. You people do all of the thinking and once F. got all his shit out herds and herds of you came to me shitting or praising him – it’s always like that, you philosophers pick up on something, make it a problem and then that problem gets in all of your heads until other prophets pick up on it and make it a problem. It’s very much like F. doing this two goddess thing and re-interpreting it in the new Zeitgeist. You do that too and you’re not alone, I can’t wait until that gets out and gets digested, transformed in a new set of words. You people crack me up sometimes but I salute you because you keep me going as well.
I: So what you’re saying is we people can’t but care. It is the very best we have going for us. Well, it is the best you have going for us because you make things end so there is stuff to care for other than ourselves. Your sister just keeps us going as it keeps everything in a continuous struggle going from planets over plants to human plantations. Without death we would have no care in the world, nothing to preserve as it would just preserve itself – without need for a self. The only self we have is one that can decide not to preserve itself. Death is what – I shan’t say who – makes us alive and competition just keeps us kicking. I care about others therefore I am, something like that.
DrD: F. would have liked your spirit, bro. It’s a nice piece of the puzzle. I do get too much shtick nowadays. It wasn’t always like that, you know. People died and they came here. It was no big deal to them. Egoism came later. It was funny for a while but now it’s boring – egoists are obnoxious on top of just being, as per the running average, stupid. They think they have it all figured out with their calculators. It is rare to see philosophers, some self-identify as such but winds up they just write boring papers quoting each other talking all code without taking the pulse of anybody else. As if they actually don’t care. You know, it is not like I know. Sometimes I think my sister will win. Sometimes she thinks I will win. I think we both see we can’t miss each other so we don’t want to win but ultimately it’s not in our hands. It’s just in our nature – or more precisely – in your nature.
I: So you do care?
DrD: Sure we care. We’re sisters after all. We couldn’t live without each other. That’s why you all are.