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Arch Hellen Med, 33(Supplement 1), 2016, 66-70


My material Ego, my spiritual Ego, and my social Ego: their birth and their death

D.A. Sideris
University of Ioannina, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine

The amoeba never dies. When the proper time comes, its body is divided equally in two small subsidiaries amoebae without leaving behind any corpse (dynamic immortality). Only the few germ cells retain this capacity in humans. The trillions of the non germ cells die leaving a corpse. In our cells there are two types of death: the violent and the apoptotic. The latter is programmed, occurs over time without external cause, and does not involve the death of multicellular organism that remains intact; contrary, organism's life presupposes these cells' death on time. People start to exist as beings perceived by others with our conception (material me). As embryos, we ourselves fail to grasp our existence, because there is no difference between us and our environment that could be perceived by our senses. Childbirth separates our ego from the ego of our mother; our environment changes; a lot of various stimuli stimulate our senses, we understand the difference of ourselves from our environment, we start to exist as spiritual beings (spiritual me). After birth, we are introduced in at least one community by a ceremony (baptism, circumcision, registration in registry books etc.): we start to exist as social beings (social me). The death of the material Ego comes when self-regulation of our body is terminated and our body's assimilation into our environment begins; it is definitive and irrevocable, a consequence of the law of entropy. The death of the spiritual Ego occurs before (a few minutes or, in deep comas, days or months) the death of our material Ego, when definitively we cease to conceive our difference from our environment. The death of our social Ego takes place with a social act (deletion from official registers) and/or a ceremony (funeral); our social Ego, however, can remain immortal in the memory of the society. The 'apoptosis' of people when their time has come is the ideal death. The artificial extension of the material life when spiritual life has become unacceptable is a process equally unnatural as its violent interruption. When the members of the society should die? (There is no 'should' without society.) First, our social Ego can live forever in the memory of the society. Second, the Church wishes "painless, unashamed, peaceful end of our life". It is about the spiritual Ego, which will be transformed into the blissful nothingness, the same as when we were in the womb of our mother. And the transition to this nothingness is what I wish for my material Ego; painless, unashamed, peaceful; and not torturous.

Key words: Good death, Material Ego, Programmed cell death, Programmed human being death, Social Ego, Spiritual Ego, When should we die (WSWD).

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