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Born as Many, Die as One

November 11, 2010   •   By Master Hobbit

Posted under: Mind, Spirit, Lifestyle, Relationships


Born as Many, Die as One

“Every man is born as many men and dies as a single one,” said the German philosopher Martin Heidegger.


Wow!  That's a bit disturbing.  And mysterious.  What did he mean by that, exactly?  I thought about that statement some.


 At the end of our lives, we are what we have made ourselves, or perhaps, what we have allowed ourselves to become.  A little provocative, i suppose, when we think about how we became the person we are now.  It perhaps is difficult to envision us being a different man from the one we know.  Possibly we think that who we are was inevitable - a part of some grand cosmic plan. 


But, it probably was more likely the sum of a stream of little influences, a choice made and another rejected.  A piece of 'bad luck' here and some good fortune there.  Perhaps a chance encounter changed our course.  Maybe a trauma, hurt or fear steered us to the left or right, or made us close a particular door, vowing to never have that happen again.


A single man, in the end.


Yet, we begin life with such grand potential, with many possibilities and paths before us.  I don't believe we are a predestined man in the sense that we make no meaningful choices, though some may so characterize their reality that way.  I've reflected on some key choices over the years, ones that were path changers.  I often wonder what would have happened if I had chosen the other path.  What end would it have delivered to me?


I know that some of those choices were made because I was fearful and insecure.  I wince when i think of these.  I suspect many of the men I potentially could have been were snuffed out by those moments, those choices.  I wasn't a free man.  I also suspect that many of those men can be resurrected, if I want them to be.


I read a saying some time ago, can’t recall from where, but goes like this: Old age begins when regrets replace dreams.  I don’t ever want to get old in that sense.  I have too many dreams.


I guess the point of all this is to say that which ‘single’ man we will be in that final day is yet to be determined. 


We only have to decide it is so.


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About the Author: Master Hobbit

Master Hobbit is the creator of 4060men. After a marriage of over 30 years ended in divorce, he journeyed for over 5 years as a single midlife man. He remarried in 2012. He is also the owner of the blog platform,, and a blog platform review site,

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