“The difficulty, my friends, is not to avoid death, but to avoid unrighteousness; for that runs faster than death. I am old and move slowly, and the slower runner has overtaken me, and my accusers are keen and quick, and the faster runner, who is unrighteousness, has overtaken them. And now I depart hence condemned by you to suffer the penalty of death,—they too go their ways condemned by the truth to suffer the penalty of villainy and wrong; “
We all must eventually depart, and that departure is always a loss to the world, all the knowledge all the experience all the insights a person has gathered, - are gone. Seeing that Socrates made a stand, - instead to avoid the unavoidable, he choose that he could actually attempt to achieve , - the state of “righteousness”. – and as always when we pursue an ideal we don’t need to reach the finish line, but the true attempt to do so by itself has profound impact on our life and that of others.
For that the recent development and subsequent departure of Dr.Scott is a tragedy. Of advanced age, with the end in sight, Socrates’s goal to outrun the faster runner and succumb only to the slower, slipped from his hand just a few steps from reaching victoriously the finish line.
We are social beings, and any sense and meaning that we as a human beings can experience can only matter, only hold meaning, within the human experience, within the social and interpersonal relationships we maintain. Unless a sociopath, which he is not, given his last communications, Dr. Scott knows deep in his heart that he has failed, and he has made a tragic bargain seduced by the faster of the pursuers. For a peace of paper nobody really cares about, empty status, serving a frail ego and injured feelings of self import he has allowed the faster runner to put his hand on him. And the price is high. Our former friend, student and sempei, lost his friend, his teacher, his community within the dojo, and the few joys of being tough by someone who can truly see him, enjoy to still improve and hold of the tide if for an hour or minutes, and the joy of sharing his knowledge.
I truly mourn my former friend, my former student, and former member of our community. and a faith socrates called one worse then death.