"Every Parting Gives A Foretaste Of Death"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher, is universally known as the chief expounder of philosophic pessimism. His major work, Die Welt als Wille und Vorstellung (The World as Will and Idea), which appeared in 1819, epitomizes his philosophical system. Indeed, everything he published later may be called a commentary, an excursus, or a scholium to Die Welt. The major tenet of his system proclaims the primacy of the will; the perennial hindrances to the higher life are the engrossing interests of the selfish will. Knowledge or intellect is the surrogate of that more intimate unity of feeling or will which is the underlying reality–the principle of all existence, the essence of all manifestations, inorganic and organic. This creed of naturalism implies a pessimism which often degenerates into cynicism, but his philosophy also has an idealistic side which suggests that man is ultimately capable of transcending the limitations of individuation. The "Psychological Observations" consists of random comments about the nature of man and his emotions. The same concept is found in the French proverb, "Partir c'est mourir un peu" (To part is to die a little). Schopenhauer writes:

. . . Every parting gives a foretaste of death; every coming together again a foretaste of the resurrection. This is why even people who were indifferent to each other, rejoice so much if they come together again after twenty or thirty years' separation.