Commonplace Book

Charlotte Perkins Gilman on Death

“It is told that Buddha, going out to look on life, was greatly daunted by death. ‘They all eat one another!’ he cried, and called it evil. This process I examined, changed the verb, said, ‘They all feed one another,’ and called it good. Death? Why this fuss about death? Use your imagination, try to visualize a world without death. The first form of life would be here yet, miles deep by this time, and nothing else; a static world. If birth is allowed, without death, the resulting mass would leave death as a blessed alternative. Death is the essential condition of life, not an evil. ”

— from page 40 of The Living of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, the posthumously published 1935 autobiography of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author and lecturer.

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