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Death, Bodies, Last

When a body dies, there is a change in the echo of external events. Perhaps that is all there is. And therefore a body does not truly die, which is not to say that there is no change, but that the very notion of change is negotiable, perceptual. A “change in the echo” is to say, it has been dulled, muted, mortified, but it has not ended. This perhaps is what Spinoza means by “God”. Past events continue in their echoeous life in other taken-to-be-living bodies, how Mozart lives across us, and our instruments, our material etchings; but the body itself, as it once was, opens itself up to other confabulation, other involvements. And we think of the first as “ghost” and the second as “decay”, when in fact this splitting is only a growing wide of, and a variant to, Donne’s Compass. Due to the former half, the persistence of the echo taken from its source, some people want to say that there is a fundamental alienation to these processes (poor Mozart can never get back to his “body”); and some people want to see in death a return to a wholeness from which conscious life poses some primary alienation. Instead of course, neither of these is correct. Death is not “lack” nor entropy, but best understood as an opening.