So then Death to us is nothing: it does not matter,
since it is understood that the mind's nature is mortal.
And just as in time past we felt no pain or discomfort
when from every direction the Carthaginian armies
moved into battle, and under the high vault of the heavens
everything trembled and shook in the crash and outbreak of war,
no one knowing for sure to which side would go the dominion
over the whole world of men by land and by sea;
so, when we cease to be, when the break is made in that union
of body and soul from which combined we have our existence,
then for certain to us who no longer exist there is nothing,
nothing that ever could happen, nothing to cause a sensation,
no, not if earth with sea and sea with sky were confounded.
And even if mind and soul, when once withdrawn from the body,
do have the power to feel, still it is nothing to us,
since we are what we are simply because of the union
formed between body and soul and their intimate junction together.
And even if, after our death, time should reassemble the matter
out of which we are made and place it just as it now is,
giving the light of life back to us once again,
this thing too would make to us no manner of difference
once the chain of memory and self-recollection was broken.
Now we are not affected by what at same moment of past time
we once were; that ancient misery does not concern us.
For one has only to think of all time past, of its boundless
stretching away and of all the various movements of matter;
it will be easy then to believe that those very atoms
out of which we are now formed have often before been
placed in exactly the same order as now. Yet we cannot
grasp that state again; our minds have ceased to remember;
in between is set a stoppage of life; all the motions
have drifted away and lost contact with former sensations.
So, if we are to experience sadness and pain in the future
our true selves must exist at that time for such things to befall us.
Death, however, rules this quite out and prevents there from being
ever the person again who can feel this complex of suffering.
Therefore we know for sure that death can bring us no terrors,
that he who does not exist cannot be unhappy, nor can it
matter at all to a man if he has been born in some past age.
His life is severed by death, and death, not life, is immortal.