the Basica

  At what point does a thing begin? When it is being formed? When the workspace is prepared? When the idea comes? When there is nothing but blankness into which the idea can enter? When what has come before has set the stage?

  When does a thing end? When it ceases to do as it has done? When its presence is swept away? When all memory of it is lost? When the reverberations of its effect are entirely dissipated? When it is replaced by something else? When nothing exists anymore, so that the fact of its ever having been no longer matters?

  Where is the seam that stitches the end of one year to the beginning of the next? Is it important to discover the ultimate truth of this, or is it really only necessary to agree enough, one way or another, for the convenience of our accounting? Is our wrestling with the issue mostly a good exercise for our philosophical muscles?

  How do we know when life begins? How do we determine when a person who has passed away is truly gone? Is it that moment that is most significant - or what our thoughts, decisions, and actions concerning it will make of us?

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