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It is Impossible to Spend the Present Day No. 1 | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

It is Impossible to Spend the Present Day No. 1 | Orthodox Christian Art Poster

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It is impossible, someone says, impossible to spend the present day devoutly unless we regard it as the last of our whole life. And it is truly astonishing how even the pagans have said something of the sort, since they define philosophy as meditation on death.

+ St John Climacus, The Ladder, Step 6: On the Remembrance of Death, section 24

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The Phaedo of Plato depicts a dialogue, between Socrates and his students, which attempts to make a logical case for the immortality of the soul, and, therefore, on how best to prepare the soul for what happens after the death of the body. This is most likely what St John Climacus is referring to when he writes that “even the pagans” “define philosophy as meditation on death.” Perhaps this is less remarkable when considering that all human philosophy has come about since the Fall from Paradise, when death entered the Creation. All philosophy is stamped with death.

The specifics of the nature of the soul as defined by Socrates and his student Plato offer a teachable moment into why such matters require direct revelation of God, remaining forever opaque to the minds of the philosophers. 

Whereas Socrates concludes that the soul is immortal by nature, and pre-exists the body, the Bible testifies that the soul and the body are two halves of a unit, coming into being simultaneously, and that their (temporary) separation at the death of the body is an unnatural state of affairs precipitated by the Fall, through the sin of Adam and Eve.

And while the Greek philosophers had the good sense to see that “there is something in store for the dead ... something better for the good than for the wicked” (Phaedo, 66a–67d), they could neither identify what that “something better” is, nor could they identify how one attains it. 

Both Plato and Socrates awaited their Crucified Savior in Hades: “a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1:23-25). May God grant that they recognized Him.


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Our posters are made in the USA with environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes, and are printed on 176 gsm (65 lb) white cardstock. 

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