To The Lost, You Are Not

Can Aristotle help you deal with loss?

Most assume that philosophy has little to no relevance in modern life. And, even if we can concede that it has historic significance we'd certainly never accept the fact that it can have immediate, practical, and emotional benefit. But I'm here to let you know otherwise.

Aristotle, The Philosopher (as he's rightfully denoted throughout history), left the comfort of papa Plato's philosophical palace and said that beings find their true nature, not in their reflection of some transcendent world of the forms, but rather, inside themselves. Aristotle stated that the forms themselves reside in the beings. The process through which this happens is called hylomorphism.

The Greeks believed that the world consisted of, what they called, hule, raw, unformed matter. Aristotle posited that raw being became defined beings when forms impress themselves on, or change, or morph, raw being - hence the word "hylomorphism".

For Aristotle, these relationships, between form and matter, are more than just dangling participles but rather impressions on the mold of a being. They are the imprint on a ball of clay. Michael Scott's face in the cement if that's more your style.

When form finds its way to being it leaves its mark.

Human relationships are no different.

Relationships are not something that is external to us. It is not some third-wheel that stands between two people. It's not a line that connects the dots. Human relationships are direct, immediate, unfiltered, and affect both.

We often say that we are shaped by those around us and in the deepest sense that couldn't be more true. Humans in relationship leave indelible marks on the very makeup of each others' being. A human encounter never leaves you. It is part of you.

To have had, is to have been shaped.

At this time in the world, it feels like loss is everywhere. Loss of presence. Loss of contact. Loss of life.

It's times like these, when loss feels omnipresent and overpowering, that we can feel lost ourselves.

However, there is no such thing as loss.

We have been marked. We have been changed. Our being is defined by those we've encountered and loved. There is no loss.

Less? Certainly. Departure means that those future imprints won't happen. Those connections where one being actively shapes and molds another are done. But the die has been cast and the resin poured. We have been changed.

That isn't loss, just less.

Loss isn't possible.

So, "To the lost, you are not."

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