How can we live in such a way that we die only once?—a few hauntological photos of some eighteenth-century gravestones in Fen Ditton

This morning I walked over to Fen Ditton along the river and spent a little while resting in the churchyard of the parish church, St Mary the Virgin. I couldn't resist taking a few faux (Hipstamatic) tin-types of the marvellous eighteenth-century gravestones found there.

The symbols of death on these stones are, of course, a quite deliberate and, to my mind, a healthy attempt to remind us that we all have to die—they are a form of memento mori

As I took these hauntologically inspired photos I reflected on a major aim of the Brazilian philosopher and politician, Roberto Mangabeira Unger (b. 1947), which is to encourage us all "not to die many small deaths and squander our supreme good life―with its characteristic attributes of surfeit, spontaneity and surprise" so that, in the end,  "each of us will come into the fuller possession of life and conduct ourselves and arrange society in such a way that we can die only once."

His is a vitally important (a-theological and political) project and I'm intrigued and pleased to see that on the British site of the Danish, progressive green party Alternativet (The Alternative) there is a photo of various button badges upon one of which is quoted Unger's thought put thus: "How can we live in such a way that we die only once?"

I'd certainly recommend readers to check out both Unger and The Alternative and, if you're near by Fen Ditton, to pay a visit and meditate yourself upon these marvellous gravestones.

All photos taken with an iPhone 6+ using the Hipstamatic Tintype app. Just click on a photo to enlarge it.








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