Alexander meets Diogenes, and What happens when you die: Death Dying and what it all means

One of my favorite characters from antiquity is Alexander the Great. I’ve always been touched by both his magnanimity towards so many, and his fierce determination to conquer everything! Quite literally, nothing stood in his way, and there are so many fabulous stories and outright lies told about this guy that it’s hard to know fact from fiction, yet there are a number of corroborating accounts in some of the major writers, such that we can be assured at least some of these tales are based on fact.

Many of you have, I’m sure, heard these anecdotes before, but at the risk of being redundant, I’ll share a couple of my favorites:

After hearing of his legend, Alexander became determined to travel to Sinope on the Black Sea and have an interview with the Dog Philosopher, Diogenes. Coming to town and searching for the recluse with his enormous train of boot-lickers, Alexander finally found Diogenes laying in the gutter of one of the poorest sections of the city, staring up at the sun.

I am Alexander,” the god-king announced, “And I have come to speak with you, Diogenes, for I have heard of your fame and want to grant you whatever it is within my power to give you, all you have to do is ask.”

Diogenes barely moved, lifting an eye towards the man who would soon rule over the entire known world, and after a long pause, said, “I would ask, oh great king, that you simply move, for you’re blocking the sun!”

It is said that both men laughed and shook hands, and on his departing, Alexander said, “If I wasn’t Alexander, I would be Diogenes,” to which the philosopher (renowned for owning nothing but a cup, which, when he saw a bum drinking with his hands from the gutter, even threw that away, as he had no desire to be encumbered by the physical ownership -and thus, the burden of responsibility- of anything), replied in great earnest, “And if I wasn’t Diogenes, I would be Alexander!”

I raise this anecdote for its example of men desiring total states of excellence: one either rules the entire world, or wants nothing to do with any of it, and anything within those boundaries seemed intolerable to either of them, a feeling I, too, share. It is this state of total fixation that I find lacking in so many of us today; we accept partial solutions and compromised outcomes when we can -and should- stand upon our convictions and never sell ourselves short, ever!

Oh and one other incident I’ll pass along: when his army reached Bactria, he became smitten by one of the royal women, Roxane (Ro-SHA-nee), but contrary to simply taking and ravaging the maiden as anyone else would have, Alexander spent 13 days courting her, immersing himself in the Bactrian culture and performing all their marriage ceremonies religiously. Only on that 13th day, according to Onisicritus the Mariner, did he then consecrate the marriage. They say he was transformed by his love for this woman, and carried her with him on his expeditions, having a child by her, Alexander the 4th, and another one who later died at birth.

What I find fascinating is, that though this man had countless women and probably many male lovers, and was known for his sudden and brutal temper (witness the death of Clitus), Alexander with Roxane was a mild and gentle lamb, until he was out of her sight and taken up my military affairs. When he would return to her (much like any of us modern guys who, outside the home, are tough and manly but when next to our wives, we melt and dribble), he would again assume the air of a soft and pliable husband, shocking his friends. Yet until she died, and though he married Barsine and had children with her, he would remain loyal to Roxane and never declare his love for another.

One woman touched him out of all the many who he embraced. Just one…


This week’s MiltnMia Show (which I feel is one of our best!):

What happens when you die: Death Dying and what it all means

After Milt introduces the show, he mentions their 2 relationship booklets, The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Cheating and Betrayal and The Get Over Yourself! Handbook on Creating Happiness in a Relationship, which has just been released, which they talk about along with giving some personal insights into what and how they study before Milt mentions today’s theme, Death Dying and what it all means. He talks about his loss of his father 1 year ago, along with the melancholy of the season and his mother being recently hospitalized. Milt asks Mia, “How do you view what happens when we die?” Mia, “Just as if it was a dream, suddenly you wake up and there you are. Whatever state you are in when you die, that’s where you’re going to go, whether it be the light or the darkness, or if you’re really attached to your material things, you’ll want to stay her with your family and all your things. Once you wake from the dream, it’ll be a shock, since so many people tied to earthly things think life ends at Death, but we know it doesn’t and that understanding comes as a real surprise.” Milt, “You said at the beginning that Death is a passage, but for many people it means they’re going to Heaven or Hell.” Mia, “If you’re really attached to things here, you’re not going to make that passage cause you’re not ready to move on. Do good deeds, don’t become attached and care for yourself, so the process is easier.”

Milt mentions reincarnation, “It’s a major theme for a lot of people, the hope that our soul and perhaps our consciousness doesn’t end in Death.” Mia, “It would make no sense if we just died and that was it.”

Milt interrupts, “Are we here to experience whatever, are we here to learn something specific, is there some design we enter our lives with?” Mia, “All those play a role, you come here with a certain destiny or determination that you chose prior, but you have choices throughout your life which might change your destiny. If you’re fast learner, why go through the same experience a million times? Every day, every moment we are being tested, and you gotta be conscious the entire time, and most people are not aware of that. Spirituality and awareness go hand-in-hand: the more aware you are, the faster you will evolve spiritually.” Milt, “What do you mean by spirituality?” Mia, “When you take a deep breath, you are conscious of that breath, when you eat your food, you’re conscious of what you’re doing, you’re in the moment rather than being distracted, you are present and that is being spiritual. Just don’t be a hypocrite and judge people; aware people do not judge others, they feel them. True spirituality is not being afraid of showing who you are.” Milt talks about our collective fear of dying, “Why are we so afraid?” Mia, “Because we don’t believe we are eternal. When you have doubt, you have fear, but I am always ready to die at any moment, what’s more exciting than that?”!-milt-n/id796661531


Friends, my mother is back in the hospital again, actually twice this week, the latest an aggressive bladder infection. She is so weakened by her ordeal, and the massive amount of drugs pumped into her system, that her outcome looks bleak, yet, when I spoke with her today, she was bright and, more importantly, defiant, “I’ll be home soon, you watch!” she announced, and knowing this woman and all the shit she has gone through, I do not doubt she will!

Oh, and Green Bay over Seattle!



One Response to “Alexander meets Diogenes, and What happens when you die: Death Dying and what it all means”
  1. Great one, and Mia. I didn’t know this about Alexander, or Diogenes, or Roxane. Love you and Mia talking over the big questions together. And blessings to your brave mother. LOVE, xoxoxo Susan

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