“Twice died, but buried only once,” this inscription translated from Latin to English is on the tomb of Duns Scotus, AKA, John Dun Scotus, 1265-1308.
John was definitely Scottish as you gentle readers can readily tell by his name. He was a Catholic Franciscan Priest, a university professor, as well as a philosopher, and a theologian. He spoke to the faithful as well as to the secular in his writings and homilies.
Gumshoe took some time to ponder this epitaph and arrived at some personal insights. At face value, we all eventually die and we are buried. It’s that “circle of life” thing as the song goes from “The Lion King”. R.I.P. period.
Now just stop and really contemplate the “dying twice” statement from the late Friar Scotus. What was he getting at?
Gumshoe surmised that we all “figuratively die” for something during our mortal existence. Case in point, all of you folks have heard the expression, “. . . to die for!”
You can insert anything your pea-picking heart desires before that hyperbole saying.
History reflects countless individuals willing to actually die for their beliefs. Gumshoe loves that line shouted by Mel Gibson portraying, William Wallace in Brave Heart: “They may take away our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!”
Now at the other end of the spectrum, Gumshoe also loves the quote attributed from one of his personal heroes, General George S. Patton, “No dumb bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.”
All told, everyone has a hill that they are willing to die on. In the previous examples, a person was willing to die for freedom. Another person was encouraging other folks to have the enemy die for their country.
Gumshoe thinks that it is noble to die for your freedom as well as for your country. However, Gumshoe decided that he would put his life on the line to protect other folks while enforcing the law. This might be also be considered to be noble.
All of you would undoubtedly are willing to die for your loved ones; whether they are old or young, they are beloved. That’s noble and selfless.
Okay, let’s come back to that dying twice conundrum? Was it just a riddle, wrapped inside an enigma within a mystery? (To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill)
Gumshoe believes that the old late Scott meant to die to self was indeed the first death.
This voluntary death permits one to put things in an eternal perspective. Denying oneself (dying to self) puts God first in all of our thoughts and in all of our actions while we are still on the sunny side of terra firma. The worms will have to wait their turn after our second physical death. Bon appetite!
Gumshoe says to always love the ones who love you and try to love the ones who don’t.