Friday, April 6, 2012

We Are But Dust and Shadow

"Pulvis et umbra sumus" is the latin phrase for "we are but dust and shadow" used in Ashes to Angels.  This statement is partially true, true enough for me to gladly expand upon it. 

Our bodies are just water essentially.  Everything physical is made up of the same particles we are.  We all eat the sun.  We all eat the water.  We are all various combinations of light.  This means we're also dust and shadow.  Dust is basically evaporated water.  Shadow is "evaporating" light.  When you burn a body, there's nothing left.  This explains our physical makeup--the partial truth. 

But we're more than that, of course.  I'm sure the speaker of this line knows that.  The statement in seemingly being so hopeless is actually a hopeful reassurance, as if to suggest that since we are but dust and shadow physically, we don't have to worry about that much.  It humbles us.  It associates us with the essence of the earth, reminds us that we're all in this together.

The part that is not dust and shadow is the soul.  And I believe the soul never dies.  Can never disintegrate.  Can merely be moved from this plane to that, this experience to that.  This dusty body to that dusty body.


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