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LifeCycle

The Most Difficult Transition For Me...

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  Has been going from "living forever in heaven with the Lorduh, Yay!!!!"  To "Well, fuck, this is it?  That bastard Richard Dawkins was right?  Well shit, fuck, SHIT!!!!!"

 

I mean, one day you're immortal and the next, you're mortal.  That's literally the way it worked out for me... When I realized it was all bullshit, this was the most powerful and sobering epiphany. 

 

Who else hates that their immortal super-power was taken from them?  How are you coping?  If only you could crush a planet or a galaxy to make you feel better...  But guess what, you can't!  You're just a mere mortal!  hahahahaha

 

But seriously.  I battle with this being it... I want to believe in something else so I'm always looking for the latest NDE or "spiritual" experience...  If there's one thing that gives me hope, it's that this universe is an enigma.  There's vastly far more we don't know than we do...  It's just that the things that we do know don't do the afterlife idea any favors.  *sadface*

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Even though "this is it", this still is something amazing.  Life is amazing!  You have your wife, your kids (maybe).  Your friends, your family.  Your ambitions, your hobbies. 

 

That was always one of the biggest things about religion that bugged me...making people not accept that life was all that you have. 

I don't think there NEEDS to be anything else.  The horrible state of the world and humanity aside, there are definitely things in your life that bring you happiness.  Focus on those and hopefully the afterlife thought will subside eventually.  I can't say for sure though, since I've never had it :/.

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You know, if you really think about it, living -forever- would kind of suck.

 

I don't think there's a paradise that can exist where you'd simply be blissful forever. You'd eventually go insane.

 

For those who play video games, I'd liken my image of 'heaven' to the Shivering Isles from TES:Oblivion.

 

For those who don't know, it's a sort of Demonic Realm, kind of like a hell, where the Daedric Lord of Madness rules. It's split into two areas, one for dimentia, and one for mania. It's very colorful, seems like a bright and wonderful place, but everyone there is completely insane.

 

I really can't imagine 'heaven' as Christians understand it not turning out to be a place like this after a while.

 

The whole blissful immortality thing makes no sense. We're just not wired to exist that way and it would drive us completely mad.

 

It's one of those things that sounds nice in theory, but in practice it would be a horrible torturous fate, just as much as being tossed into the flames of Hell as modern Christians imagine it to be. It just might take a little longer before it really sucks.

 

We're talking about Eternity here, so honestly, being okay with existing for a few thousand years wouldn't really matter in the long run. It would still -suck forever- once it kicked in. Even if you'd be fine with a couple of million years, you're still dealing with an infinite amount of insanity and suffering beyond it.

 

So, no. I'm not missing the whole 'live forever with God' deal. It's still a terrible fate and I much prefer not existing once I'm done here.

 

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=3bPq3Gn4z04

 

Perhaps a better example of what I mean about the 'effects'...

 

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=2fxVeAVl2I8

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I don't get bummed about it, I just try and spend as much time enjoying myself as I can, and as little time stressing as possible.  I take the time to notice how my children grow and change, and how my wife grows even more beautiful as she ages.

 

And who knows, maybe thousands/millions/billions of years down the road the matter that made up my body will become a part of something else, and I'll live again!!!..... sort of.......

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I never wanted there to be anything beyond this life, I'm tired.

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I never wanted there to be anything beyond this life, I'm tired.

Yeah, but what about all the resurrection body stuff! Not feeling tired and all that stuff... The universe (multi-verse) is so vast.  It would take forever to explore it all. 

 

It would have been cool to me... If it were true. 

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When you die, you won't know you've ever lived or that you're now dead. Christianity's view that we will never die is merely a placebo. But, I agree, that it totally sucks that we have this horrible ability to know that someday we will die. I've been around animals a lot, and it's obvious they know death when they see it, but don't seem to have any thoughts about it when it's no longer in front of them. This makes me envious of the animals. My way of dealing with it is to just try to not think about it, and by keeping my mind occupied with other things like learning about this wonderful universe we live in.

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I think Adrianime is right. The Xtians planted this seed of eternal bliss or eternal .torture in the minds of millions. I am convinced that many knew from the beginning that it is not true. I mean it is crafted to deceive. That's obvious once we opened our eyes. As to the ones who knew and those who know, I wish there were/is a hell for them. Well, not for eternity perhaps, but a shorter time, say only a million years.

 

The point is that if it weren't for religion we would all know the deal from the age of discretion until death. That's a lot easier to accept than having been tricked into a false belief in eternal life only to learn the truth after many years. I think had we known who we are and the limitations thereof we would look at life as a lucky accident which we would want to take full advantage of by enjoying it to the best of our ability. That's still true today. So, DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN!    bill

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I experienced, and I suppose I still am experiencing, that feeling of - oh, shit - so I really am just mortal.

 

A few days after my deconversion really took effect, I felt very fragile.  I looked at myself, and thought, this is it.  I depend on this body to exist.  It made me feel very small and weak.

 

But - I began to get over it.

 

And, I realised that in some way, it takes the pressure of being a super duper amazing person in my life - because in the end, I won't know about it any more.  I came from nothing, I'll go back to nothing - what have I lost?  Nothing!

 

And being free of that pressure enables me to do the things that I feel are important or pleasurable without as much guilt.  I can live life with a vengeance.

 

 

A bit like in the wonderful quote in my signature from the wonderful novel The Amber Spyglass.

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And, I realised that in some way, it takes the pressure of being a super duper amazing person in my life - because in the end, I won't know about it any more.  I came from nothing, I'll go back to nothing - what have I lost?  Nothing!

 

I think of it the other way around.  Since this is all I have, I find it very important to be the "super duper amazing" version of myself. 

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This idea can bother me if I let it.  As I said in another post, the religion I left (methodism) didn't focus on hell at all, really - so I was never afraid of going there....But they sure made heaven sound awesome!  And it's odd now to realize I won't see loved ones again once they die.....

 

However, the regret I have is that I discovered the truth so late in life. (50s)  I feel like I wasted so much time "doing" religion....All those Sunday mornings, church meetings, retreats, time spent praying, etc., etc.,...... Gahhh!!   I want that time back!!!   *sigh*

 

But I'm trying not to dwell on the past and just make the most of every new day....I'm still so glad to be free of religion....!!

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This idea can bother me if I let it....  

And it's odd now to realize I won't see loved ones again once they die.....

 

Yes, this resonates with me.   It can really bother me at times.

 

TBH, I guess I am also still holding out that there may be some possible afterlife, it's just that the Christian version seems just plain wrong now.

 

But reincarnation?  Some kind of "Summerland" where you can reunite with loved ones?  Something else?  Dunno. 

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I can work myself into a full-blown panic attack thinking about this stuff.

 

I know, intellectually, that one day I will cease to exist.

 

I know, intellectually, that I won't even know about it once it does happen.

 

That doesn't make it any easier to deal with from a purely emotional standpoint. Emotionally I find it difficult to reconcile that one day, everything that makes me ME will stop, like a burned-out candle. I find it difficult to deal with the thought that I won't see "how things turn out."

 

Maybe I'll see flying cars, maybe I won't. Maybe I'll see the end of war, more likely I won't. Maybe I'll see the first man walk on Mars, maybe I won't. All those things I thought for sure that I would experience as a christian, whether from this plane or from a heavenly one, I will not see.

 

Will I care?

 

Well, intellectually, I know I won't. I'll be dead and beyond caring.

 

But I have this nostalgia for the thought of being able to watch the whole universe and KNOW the whole universe, from my place in the sky.

 

In a way, I envy people who die with their thoughts full of heaven. Who is to say that the moment of death doesn't last forever in their experience (as it is their last conscious thought)? Maybe they do get heaven forever... from a purely subjective point of view.

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Who else hates that their immortal super-power was taken from them?

 

I went through something like you described and even experienced the stages of grief related to my loss of my concept of eternal life.  I'd say now I 'hated' that my immortality was taken from me.  Now I don't care.  If you're like me, it goes away with time. 

 

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What I miss most is the idea of being able to watch the people down on earth and see technology and science unfold in the future. I was promised a heaven where we could teleport at will, including off planet (yeah, don't ask where I got that idea from, I'm not really sure) and some people even thought that in heaven there work be work, not just singing all day. I was looking forward to teleporting myself all over the universe, seeing distant stars and planets, and building awesome technological devices with no time constraints to limit me. I do miss that view of heaven. I have to try to be satisfied with pictures from our biggest telescopes and the understanding of the natural world that we have now. I daydream about the future sometime, about our children's children (even if I don't personally have any, the human race isn't about to stop reproducing any time soon) and hope that they get to experience cool stuff some day. It's nice to work on science and know that I'm doing a little bit to contribute to that future I will never see. The problem with transfering my wish for personal immortality onto the entire human race is that some day, hopefully farther into the future than I can imagine, the entire human race will cease to exist. No one will be left alive to experience the universe ending. That makes me feel sad. But then I try to remember just how far into the future that is; our decentants will have evolved into something rather unlike us (assuming they survive that long) well before the universe dies. I guess that will have to be good enough.

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Yes, the switch from regarding myself as an immortal being to a mortal human has been a daily struggle for me for the past year and half since I deconverted. 

 

I'm only now starting to find myself enjoying the idea of mortality. Sometimes I will be walking down the street, worrying about something, and then I perform a little trick where I just blink my eyes shut for a second, and I think, this is what death will be like, just like turning off a light. And the thing I'm worrying about gets put into perspective and it doesn't matter at all. 

 

I think it takes time to add imagery to a new belief system. I was a Christian for a long time and the longer I believed, the more baroque the mental imagery that accompanied my beliefs became. 

 

When I stopped believing in Christianity, and realized I was atheist, I felt empty because I didn't have any imagery to accompany the new way of thinking. I think now my brain is slowly creating new imagery to go along with the new way of thinking, and as this process continues, I will continue to feel better and be less stressed.

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I tell you one thing that has helped. It's going to sound stupid, but seriously, I still can't believe how much this one memory has ameliorated the fear of death for me...

 


General Anaesthetic.

 

 

 

You slowly go to sleep, no dreams, no consciousness, no... anything at all.

 

Then, some time later, suddenly you're back with no memory of the time you were out. That period of time you were out? Yeah, that's basically being dead. When you look back on being anaesthesized, you'll remember it as nothing... and nothing is really not that scary because you don't ever actually experience it.

 

 

Incidentally, general anaesthetic had a pretty big role to play in my original deconversion. One day I'll actually tell the story of my deconversion, as opposed to the aftermath, but that day...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is not today. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

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"living forever in heaven with the Lorduh, Yay!!!!"

 

Eh, I'd rather not, but some of the other post-life scenarios people have come up with are interesting. Not likely, but interesting.

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I mean, one day you're immortal and the next, you're mortal.  That's literally the way it worked out for me... When I realized it was all bullshit, this was the most powerful and sobering epiphany.

 

I have to agree with you that this was also the most difficult transition for me.  In fact it was so difficult that somehow, I transitioned back to the thought that I was immortal.  I don't think I could ever be happy with the thought of being mortal.  I don't know how the others do it.  I tried for 9 years, and it makes me severely depressed and suicidal, even when heavily medicated.

 

Rejecting Christianity doesn't mean you have to reject spirituality.  Materialism is a sad philosophy, in my opinion.  But it's just that, a philosophy.  No one can prove that a spirit world does not exist.  I don't find it difficult to believe that I am a spirit being having a human experience.  I know my body will die, no doubt about that, but I believe my consciousness will continue living after physical death.  I believe I have an astral body.

 

This thought makes me feel happy, hopeful and free!  This thought has set me free from depression and medication.  They say the truth shall set you free, therefore this thought, for me, is the truth.  smile.png rolleyes.gif

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Materialism is a sad philosophy, in my opinion.  But it's just that, a philosophy.  No one can prove that a spirit world does not exist.

 

Nobody can prove that a spirit world does exist, and that's the relevant point. Just because one can't prove a negative doesn't mean that Jesus, Thor, Xenu and the Pink Unicorn actually do exist. The responsibility lies in proving a claim, not disproving something that's invisible and undetectable.

 

There would be some comfort in thinking I would not die just because my body failed, but I can't just decide to believe that when evidence (or lack of evidence) doesn't lead me in that direction. Many people don't need evidence to believe something, but I can't simply believe my wishful thinking makes it true.

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I tell you one thing that has helped. It's going to sound stupid, but seriously, I still can't believe how much this one memory has ameliorated the fear of death for me...

 

 

General Anaesthetic.

Or alcohol blackout :(

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Or just sleep in general...

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I tell you one thing that has helped. It's going to sound stupid, but seriously, I still can't believe how much this one memory has ameliorated the fear of death for me...

 

 

General Anaesthetic.

 

 

 

You slowly go to sleep, no dreams, no consciousness, no... anything at all.

 

Then, some time later, suddenly you're back with no memory of the time you were out. That period of time you were out? Yeah, that's basically being dead. When you look back on being anaesthesized, you'll remember it as nothing... and nothing is really not that scary because you don't ever actually experience it.

 

 

Incidentally, general anaesthetic had a pretty big role to play in my original deconversion. One day I'll actually tell the story of my deconversion, as opposed to the aftermath, but that day...

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is not today. GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

I can relate. I had a surgery a few years ago. I recall talking to the assistants in the operating room and the the next thing I know I'm waking up somewhere else with someone telling me they had to give me a shot of Demerol because I kept trying to take out my IV. There were no dreams, no thoughts, and no memory of the lack of memory. It was simply a time of nothing and I don't even know how long that "nothing" lasted. It was this event that led me to realize my conscious mind is locked up inside my head and it's not going anywhere when I die.

 

Letting go of the immortal thing has been good. I appreciate this life for what it is and don't discount it like I used to. Life is short and I wasted too much of it thinking I would exist forever.

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  Has been going from "living forever in heaven with the Lorduh, Yay!!!!"  To "Well, fuck, this is it?  That bastard Richard Dawkins was right?  Well shit, fuck, SHIT!!!!!"

 

I mean, one day you're immortal and the next, you're mortal.  That's literally the way it worked out for me... When I realized it was all bullshit, this was the most powerful and sobering epiphany. 

 

Who else hates that their immortal super-power was taken from them?  How are you coping?  If only you could crush a planet or a galaxy to make you feel better...  But guess what, you can't!  You're just a mere mortal!  hahahahaha

 

But seriously.  I battle with this being it... I want to believe in something else so I'm always looking for the latest NDE or "spiritual" experience...  If there's one thing that gives me hope, it's that this universe is an enigma.  There's vastly far more we don't know than we do...  It's just that the things that we do know don't do the afterlife idea any favors.  *sadface*

 

I don't know for sure 'this is it.' But if sensory experience ends when this body dies, so be it. Queen sang, "Who wants to live foreverrrrr?" I don't necessarily want to. Five decades ago I wasn't here. At least not in this form. Some time in the future I won't be here again. No life, no responsibilities. Sounds like a sweet deal.

 

But historically speaking...my own history, I mean... I seem to be constantly having sensory experience...sometimes it is waking life, sometimes it is dream life....some sort of sensory experience may replace these after this body dies. Not saying I hope I continue having sensory experiences forever, just thinking it might be a possibility.

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I mean, one day you're immortal and the next, you're mortal.  That's literally the way it worked out for me... When I realized it was all bullshit, this was the most powerful and sobering epiphany.

 

I have to agree with you that this was also the most difficult transition for me.  In fact it was so difficult that somehow, I transitioned back to the thought that I was immortal.  I don't think I could ever be happy with the thought of being mortal.  I don't know how the others do it.  I tried for 9 years, and it makes me severely depressed and suicidal, even when heavily medicated.

 

Rejecting Christianity doesn't mean you have to reject spirituality.  Materialism is a sad philosophy, in my opinion.  But it's just that, a philosophy.  No one can prove that a spirit world does not exist.  I don't find it difficult to believe that I am a spirit being having a human experience.  I know my body will die, no doubt about that, but I believe my consciousness will continue living after physical death.  I believe I have an astral body.

 

This thought makes me feel happy, hopeful and free!  This thought has set me free from depression and medication.  They say the truth shall set you free, therefore this thought, for me, is the truth.  smile.png rolleyes.gif

 

99% of the time, neither the thought of mortality nor immortality enter my mind. But when it does, it's fun to think about. :-)

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