Marginalia, no.274

Life is the sum of the functions by which death is resisted.

~ Xavier Bichat, Physiological Researches on Life and Death

The most succinct explanations are sometimes the most inadequate. Bichat himself died at age thirty after falling down the stairs. I’m tempted to say that he was asking for it. But what is any man’s death except the sum of the functions by which he eventually succumbs to gravity?

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Marginalia

One response to “Marginalia, no.274

  1. Thanks, Ian. I think of Emerson, in “Spiritual Laws”: “Let us draw a lesson from nature, which always works by short ways. When the fruit is ripe, it falls. When the fruit is dispatched, the leaf falls. The circuit of the waters is mere falling. The walking of man and all animals is a falling forward. All our manual labor and works of strength, as prying, splitting, digging, rowing, and so forth, are done by dint of continual falling, and the globe, earth, moon, comet, sun, star, fall for ever and ever.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s