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Why is it that despite no longer believing in an afterlife and specifically rejecting the xian idea of heaven and hell, the threat and reality of death is so bloody overwhelming and all-consuming?!

 

It's like there's this pressure to make this life count, every passing minute of every day will never *be* again, and so if you don't make the most of it, it's gone and it's lost forever.... and why is it that so much of 'life' can seem to be spent thinking about the past, what was, what could have been, what 'should' have been, and about the fact that there's only so much time left and then you start thinking about what is and what could be and what 'should' be?

 

And then so much of life is spent thinking about death, those you've lost, those you might lose, and then of course losing yourself forever... no more you... no more thoughts or knowledge or understanding or awareness, just nothing.

 

Just me then?

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I know exactly what you mean. I've been looking at the photographs my mother had at the time of her death three years ago. So many people in those photographs have died. It's weird to look at these photographs and know those people had their days of life but now they are no more, other than in the memories of those still living and in these photographs. All of this brings home the fact that life is short and precious.

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When I was a christian, the fear I had was how I would die. Would I be called to suffer as a martyr? Would I be murdered or linger painfully from an illness? I wondered what God or even Satan had in store for me in my last moments here on earth.

 

I had the fear of hell smoldering in the back of my mind as a believer. It wasn't a strong fear, but it was a possible scenario. As an excer, it hit me hard as I realized there is no conscious afterlife I would wake up to. It took me some time and a lot of thought to shake the fear of death. The real fear is the fear of non-existence. I had another moment of realization that made that fear disappear. I didn't exist for billions of years, and I taste the black abyss every night. There is nothing to fear. It's true peace.

 

Living forever would make a person totally mad after awhile, unless humans are made to be robots as in the christian version of eternal life. Furthermore, we do live forever. The matter/energy we are made of can't be destroyed, but will live on in another form of life! Even water is eternal. The water we drink was also drunk by dinosaurs. EEEwwwww! As for those who died before me, I keep them alive within me. They have become a part of mind.

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I agree with everything you wrote Agnosticator, but it seems to me that in death there is no peace, death is nothing. I'm probably being nit picky with semantics, but it's just something I've never understood even though so many people make this comment.

 

What has brought me peace is a quote from Epicurus: "Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not."

 

In other words, we, you and I, will never die. When you are dead, you are no more and cannot reflect on it. Thus, you, will always exist. You have to contemplate your non existence to actually die from your own perspective.

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I agree with everything you wrote Agnosticator, but it seems to me that in death there is no peace, death is nothing. I'm probably being nit picky with semantics, but it's just something I've never understood even though so many people make this comment.

 

I agree. I meant that death is nothing to fear and is peace for us now when we think about it. Death is nothing.

 

 

What has brought me peace is a quote from Epicurus: "Death is nothing to us, since when we are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not."

 

I like that quote!

 

You have to contemplate your non existence to actually die from your own perspective.

 

Right. Death can only be seen and understood by the living, while the experience of death can't be experienced when we don't exist.

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When I was a christian, the fear I had was how I would die. Would I be called to suffer as a martyr? Would I be murdered or linger painfully from an illness? I wondered what God or even Satan had in store for me in my last moments here on earth.

 

I had the fear of hell smoldering in the back of my mind as a believer. It wasn't a strong fear, but it was a possible scenario. As an excer, it hit me hard as I realized there is no conscious afterlife I would wake up to. It took me some time and a lot of thought to shake the fear of death. The real fear is the fear of non-existence. I had another moment of realization that made that fear disappear. I didn't exist for billions of years, and I taste the black abyss every night. There is nothing to fear. It's true peace.

 

Living forever would make a person totally mad after awhile, unless humans are made to be robots as in the christian version of eternal life. Furthermore, we do live forever. The matter/energy we are made of can't be destroyed, but will live on in another form of life! Even water is eternal. The water we drink was also drunk by dinosaurs. EEEwwwww! As for those who died before me, I keep them alive within me. They have become a part of mind.

 

I relate to your responce very much agnosticator.

I 'test' the whole concept of death with sleep. I DO NOT know I am 'here' until my alarm wakes me up in the morning. I think this is how it will feel.

 

My biggest fear will be HOW I die? :twitch:

 

I LOVE the whole idea of recycling and reincarnation and I am open to this concept, even if it is just for my 'peace of mind'. I just ordered a book that I

 

can't wait to read on this very issue. It's about matter/ energy and I am hoping that it might bring me a little peace with the whole death thing. Can't hurt anyone.......................:shrug:

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Getting to the place where one does not fear death is a difficult road that most people don't travel.As a retired Fire/Medic we overcome fear through training and practice,then there is only acceptance.

 

You must choose your thoughts like you choose your outfit when getting dressed. Then practice putting them together like accessories in an outfit. Our survival instincts together with empathy cause us to war internally with the idea of our own demise.We then project this fear onto our lives like spray paint.(friends and family)

 

It is an aspect of our higher brain function that we can control through practice.If you are too afraid to die then you are too distracted to live.

 

I don't often share this but I've been clinically dead and been revived before(43min.)as a result of an accident in the line of duty.It was the reason for my deconversion and is the reason I no longer fear death. I've seen what waits for me and it's a welcome state of being. :grin:

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I LOVE the whole idea of recycling and reincarnation and I am open to this concept, even if it is just for my 'peace of mind'. I just ordered a book that I

 

can't wait to read on this very issue. It's about matter/ energy and I am hoping that it might bring me a little peace with the whole death thing. Can't hurt anyone.......................:shrug:

 

I'm not into reincarnation, because it says that "you" will live again literally as another being with a previous life. The whole karma concept gives me the creeps like other religions do. I get my peace from knowing I am eternal without being another "I". My matter/energy will become an intimate part of another life. But if it agrees with you, and you can find your peace within reincarnation, go for it!

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I LOVE the whole idea of recycling and reincarnation and I am open to this concept, even if it is just for my 'peace of mind'. I just ordered a book that I

 

can't wait to read on this very issue. It's about matter/ energy and I am hoping that it might bring me a little peace with the whole death thing. Can't hurt anyone.......................:shrug:

 

I'm not into reincarnation, because it says that "you" will live again literally as another being with a previous life. The whole karma concept gives me the creeps like other religions do. I get my peace from knowing I am eternal without being another "I". My matter/energy will become an intimate part of another life. But if it agrees with you, and you can find your peace within reincarnation, go for it!

 

I should have said a little more......I really think that is more what this book is going to say...that matter/energy enters another life. I don't like the whole karman thing either, but if someone is into that - that's ok by me.!

 

If there is such a thing as karma - I KNOW I was snotty nosed 'princess' in my last life who didn't treat people well..........so this life, I had to live as a 'commoner', and learn how to treat people nice..............:grin:

That's why I'm always tryin' so hard!!:lmao: (Just in case cause - I want to go back to being a rich princess again!!)

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If you are too afraid to die then you are too distracted to live.

 

QFT!

 

but I've been clinically dead and been revived before(43min

 

43 minutes? How is that possible? I'm not challenging you here, I'm just interested as I've never heard of such a long length.

 

My biggest fear will be HOW I die?

 

Margee, I had malaria while I was in Costa Rica. I laid in bed for 3 weeks with a temperature so high (42C IIRC?) that I was hallucinating. Everything I drank ran right through me and I had to run to the toilette every few minutes and drink Gatorade by the gallon. At some point the pain became tolerable and death became not a big deal to me. It was the first I'd ever felt that way. I think we are wired to deal with whatever comes our way. Our brain tricks us in the end and we are able to go through much more than we think we can. In fact, I've found that issues other than death are far more frightening and painful. Breaking up, being in trouble, having financial difficulties, etc...

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I LOVE the whole idea of recycling and reincarnation and I am open to this concept, even if it is just for my 'peace of mind'. I just ordered a book that I

 

can't wait to read on this very issue. It's about matter/ energy and I am hoping that it might bring me a little peace with the whole death thing. Can't hurt anyone.......................:shrug:

 

I'm not into reincarnation, because it says that "you" will live again literally as another being with a previous life. The whole karma concept gives me the creeps like other religions do. I get my peace from knowing I am eternal without being another "I". My matter/energy will become an intimate part of another life. But if it agrees with you, and you can find your peace within reincarnation, go for it!

 

Reincarnation is a wash. As the Epicurus quote notes, once you don't exist, "you" can't experience or contemplate the fact. Reincarnation would be the same. How can I come back as a dragonfly? If I don't know it's "me" it's not me.

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Hi Vigle,It was a cold water rescue that went south,vehicle in a river.Hypothermia slows the consumption of o2 and damage from hypoxia. Myself and both victims survived,I just got to them and buckled the harnesses and my brother Firemen did the rest.

 

It is our fragile nature that the xians and organized cults use to prey on the fearful.Fear of death is the initial variable that cults use to initiate Stockholm Syndrome and indoctrination into their ranks.Without it their babble "hope" and reward combined with punishment holds no sway.

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If there is such a thing as karma -

 

The Great Karnak knows all, so you'll have to ask him:

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnwyQFe3wRA&feature=player_detailpage

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I know exactly what you mean. I've been looking at the photographs my mother had at the time of her death three years ago. So many people in those photographs have died. It's weird to look at these photographs and know those people had their days of life but now they are no more, other than in the memories of those still living and in these photographs. All of this brings home the fact that life is short and precious.

 

 

 

Yes this is what I was meaning. I'm not really afraid of death, I'm not even afraid of the process I don't think - it's more the reality of 'non existance' that I find difficult. Not just when I finally die, but in the years leading up to it. Watching other people die. Yes they live on in our memories, photographs and 'things' they've left - especially those who are creative and leave *something* of themselves, say poetry or art or film... but its not quite the same as really existing.

 

I just find it hard and odd and a little disconcerting that all I have left of my grandparents and my dad are memories, I can't even really remember their voices anymore, or properly what they looked like or felt to the touch. I don't remember their laughter or their smell and I can no longer ask them about their memories and their experiences and they're not recorded anywhere, all that life, experience and knowledge and relationship and 'history' all just gone forever... I can just about remember a few experiences and sadly many are the more unpleasant or sad ones!

 

The most poignant bit left is the emotion I felt for them, and the ache - the gap that they've left - that's what I find overwhelming. I think perhaps what I fear is growing old and losing bits of me as my memory fades, losing bits of my history, my personality and obviously losing more family and friends and living with the ever increasing gaps and aches that they in their turn create....

 

 

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Margee, I had malaria while I was in Costa Rica. I laid in bed for 3 weeks with a temperature so high (42C IIRC?) that I was hallucinating. Everything I drank ran right through me and I had to run to the toilette every few minutes and drink Gatorade by the gallon. At some point the pain became tolerable and death became not a big deal to me. It was the first I'd ever felt that way. I think we are wired to deal with whatever comes our way. Our brain tricks us in the end and we are able to go through much more than we think we can. In fact, I've found that issues other than death are far more frightening and painful. Breaking up, being in trouble, having financial difficulties, etc...

 

Thank you Virgile for sharing that.

 

I knew of someone else who suffered malaria.They told me how awful it was. I am so sorry you were sick, but sharing that did give me a sense of peace.

 

And I agree Virgile - the living 'things' of life can bring a lot of pain. A lot.............

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I don't often share this but I've been clinically dead and been revived before(43min.)as a result of an accident in the line of duty.It was the reason for my deconversion and is the reason I no longer fear death. I've seen what waits for me and it's a welcome state of being. :grin:

 

Please Happychef - Tell me more about this? Please, please? :bounce:

 

 

I have only read about this..............I find it fastinating...........

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Hi Vigle,It was a cold water rescue that went south,vehicle in a river.Hypothermia slows the consumption of o2 and damage from hypoxia.

 

As they say in German EMS services... "You ain't dead until you're WARM and dead". I'm sure you over there have a very similar proverb? ;)

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I LOVE the whole idea of recycling and reincarnation and I am open to this concept, even if it is just for my 'peace of mind'. I just ordered a book that I

 

can't wait to read on this very issue. It's about matter/ energy and I am hoping that it might bring me a little peace with the whole death thing. Can't hurt anyone.......................:shrug:

 

I'm not into reincarnation, because it says that "you" will live again literally as another being with a previous life. The whole karma concept gives me the creeps like other religions do. I get my peace from knowing I am eternal without being another "I". My matter/energy will become an intimate part of another life. But if it agrees with you, and you can find your peace within reincarnation, go for it!

 

Reincarnation is a wash. As the Epicurus quote notes, once you don't exist, "you" can't experience or contemplate the fact. Reincarnation would be the same. How can I come back as a dragonfly? If I don't know it's "me" it's not me.

 

My thoughts exactly! IMO reincarnation isn't anything more than an interesting conversation. But back in my pagan days, I bought into it a little more, and subjected myself to a past life regression session. During the session, I had a mental image of some sort of past life as a human. Is there a rational explanation for this? Is this no different than the mind dreaming?

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Is there a rational explanation for this? Is this no different than the mind dreaming?

 

Here's one:

 

Memories exist in neural connections in the brain. Brain traumas and diseases like Alzheimer's reveal that when these neural connections are destroyed, memories are destroyed. When the brain decays and dies memories will be destroyed. There is no logical reason for maintaining that there is a parallel entity (spirit or mind) that exists independently of the brain and which maintains memories that will be accessible to us only after we die or after this imagined parallel entity enters another body.

 

As Martin Gardner says, "Almost any hypnotic subject capable of going into a deep trance will babble about a previous incarnation if the hypnotist asks him to. He will babble just as freely about his future incarnations....In every case of this sort where there has been adequate checking on the subject's past, it has been found that the subject was weaving together long forgotten bits of information acquired during his early years" (Gardner 1957).ref.

 

People who are highly susceptible to suggestion will come up with almost anything under hypnosis.

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Hi Vigle,It was a cold water rescue that went south,vehicle in a river.Hypothermia slows the consumption of o2 and damage from hypoxia.

 

As they say in German EMS services... "You ain't dead until you're WARM and dead". I'm sure you over there have a very similar proverb? ;)

 

This is very cool.

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You know, when I was an on-fire-for-God Christian I didn't fear death in the least because I was certain I was going to heaven. How arrogant is that?

 

I still don't fear death because it's going to happen to everyone including me. But what I really really fear is dying at the hands of another person or being on somebody's hit list.

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Why is it that despite no longer believing in an afterlife and specifically rejecting the xian idea of heaven and hell, the threat and reality of death is so bloody overwhelming and all-consuming?!

 

It's like there's this pressure to make this life count, every passing minute of every day will never *be* again, and so if you don't make the most of it, it's gone and it's lost forever.... and why is it that so much of 'life' can seem to be spent thinking about the past, what was, what could have been, what 'should' have been, and about the fact that there's only so much time left and then you start thinking about what is and what could be and what 'should' be?

 

And then so much of life is spent thinking about death, those you've lost, those you might lose, and then of course losing yourself forever... no more you... no more thoughts or knowledge or understanding or awareness, just nothing.

 

Just me then?

 

No, I'm with you! Even in my believing days, I thought life was a precious gift not to be wasted. When my long, painful, final struggle of faith came, I was advised to "just wait on god." What is that?!?! KatieHmm.gif Is it "wait," as in "serve" god? Or was it that my life was a waste and God can't manage the timing of it? I think "wait on god" is a pat, thoughtless answer meant to tell the one struggling to just be patient. The fact that I am a living human being is simply lost to a Xian. I am advised to do absolutely nothing with my life, to "wait." No one gets to know when they will die. But if you want to live in the delusion of faith, living is taboo! Xians don't even consider that whatever you decide to do each day, you don't ever get that day back. For a while, I submitted to "faith." For a while, I followed the commandments and tenets of the religion. I even chose against my will to do the will of god and the church. But for a god who can't get his act together and sabotages one individual in the measly speck of time in the chasm of eternity - I am supposed to "wait" and stop living but not be dead? Forget it!

 

There, that's my rant. Sorry - I'm pms-ing and pissed at everyone right now vent.gif

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I don't give death a whole lot of thought, nor does being around it particularly bother me. I've killed lots of critters over the years- ate most of them. Seen a few dead bodies- most at funerals, but also one suicide out behind some guy's shed. I even saw somebody die one time right after a vehicle accident once- bled to death right in front of me. It bothered me for the rest of the day, but that was about it. Everything and everybody dies at some point- it's just what living things DO. Worrying about death is kinda like worrying about when you're going to take a shit next... it's just a biological function. We can and do ascribe more meaning than that to it- but in the grand scheme of things that's all it amounts to.

 

Appreciate people while they're here. Remember them when they're gone. No point in tying yourself in knots over it.

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I prefer my death to be a surprise, hopefully a pleasant one. But as for my life, I think I'll reflect on mainly that. The worst part of death is not death itself but the fear of seeing others you love gone. But other than that, death's probably like sleep. Besides, if it is true that our atoms comes from the dinosaurs and the stars - then I think we'll be fine in the end, even if our brief stretch of consciousness comes to an end. Let's just live our lives and treasure these who we love. That's what we should do about death, in my opinion!

 

 

 

The Circle of Life As Explained by the Emoticons:

 

:Love::sex::lonely::yellow::party::Old::pyth::sing:

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Appreciate people while they're here. Remember them when they're gone. No point in tying yourself in knots over it.

 

That's why my advice to friends with loved ones who died is to celebrate the life.

 

I think the idea of people sharing a laugh at my life would be the best way to relieve the pain. Works for me.

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