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Exchristianity and Mortality


DarkBishop
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Hey Everyone,

     I have a question, primarily for our older members in the forums. I was talking to my uncle the other day, who is also Agnostic but was never really an indoctrinated Christian. He did go to the altar, pray, and later get baptized. But it was at his mother's request at the time. Not from his own volition. We were talking and he mentioned that as he is getting older the consciousness of his mortality is coming more to the forefront. And that knowing that there is probably no afterlife bothers him at times. 

     So I was kinda thinking on that a few days later. I pictured my possible death based on the family deaths I've witnessed. My children standing around a hospital bed. Older, about my age now. Picturing myself 70-80 years old. Taking my last breath and even now in my early 40s the thought tickled the back of my brain, "What if I am wrong", which is crazy, I mean I've seen in multiple ways already how the Bible and its teachings are all made up. But that childhood indoctrination and later adult indoctrination is still back there in the recesses of my mind. One of my worries is getting dementia or alzheimers and reverting back to my earlier Christian life as the disease progresses. Or like my thoughts about my possible death. Laying there knowing I'm dying and having last minute fears. 

     Do any of you have thoughts like that cross your consciousness like I did? I know seajay had a similar thread in got questions. I guess mine pertains more to how mortality affects your thoughts as our window of life on earth closes in our later years. As an exchristian, having been indoctrinated in the past. 

     I ask because that is a path every one of us will eventually have to walk. 

 

Best regards,

DB

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The standard Christian view of an afterlife consisting of Heaven or Hell is absolutely wrong, I have no doubt about that. Some kind of existence beyond the grave is of course possible, though I've seen no evidence. I like the Alan Watts take on "spiritual" matters, it seems reasonable and even makes sense in its own way, though again, no evidence. As I said in SeaJay's thread, I see two possibilities: 1) Die and just cease to exist and there is no one around to realize it, no problem. 2) We are an expression of All That Is and the real us can never die. Again, no problem.

 

Being the only animal with a sense of mortality has its perks and drawbacks as well!

 

Being in my 70s with a Stage 4 cancer I can relate to the concept of mortality. Honestly, it doesn't bother me because I had a great life. Everything must die, so how big a deal can it be?

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2 hours ago, florduh said:

The standard Christian view of an afterlife consisting of Heaven or Hell is absolutely wrong, I have no doubt about that. Some kind of existence beyond the grave is of course possible, though I've seen no evidence. I like the Alan Watts take on "spiritual" matters, it seems reasonable and even makes sense in its own way, though again, no evidence. As I said in SeaJay's thread, I see two possibilities: 1) Die and just cease to exist and there is no one around to realize it, no problem. 2) We are an expression of All That Is and the real us can never die. Again, no problem.

 

Being the only animal with a sense of mortality has its perks and drawbacks as well!

 

Being in my 70s with a Stage 4 cancer I can relate to the concept of mortality. Honestly, it doesn't bother me because I had a great life. Everything must die, so how big a deal can it 

 

I'm hoping I have a good attitude like that when I know my time is near. I've only been truly deconverted 4 years now. By the time I've been deconverted 34 years or so. I'm sure I will have a stronger resolve. As long as my mental faculties are intact anyway. 

 

I didn't realize you had stage 4 cancer. Are the doctors hopeful for remission or is that off the table now? 

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Simply, and sincerely...

In my early 60's with no family, more and more each day I look forward to the time I won't care any longer about anything in this world.   The concept of "eternal rest" has a lot of appeal.

I've seen enough here.

Mean people suck.

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I think the only real unknown is what happens to consciousness.  Personally, I'm okay with being rid of this body that seems to be having more problems with each passing day.  I even look forward to not having to constantly struggle to keep the thoughts of my ADHA addled brain in check.  But the quintessential "me"... well, I'd miss having him around.  He's funny, creative, quick-witted, kind and giving, and would feel absolutely terrible about leaving anybody behind.  Like Florduh said, everything changes; but maybe the "real" doesn't pass completely.  Maybe it just changes into something new.  Maybe all those things that make "me" will live on in my sons and the others I've loved.  Maybe I'll be aware of it and maybe I won't.  But I am aware of the possibility, which makes me want to be the best "me" I can be right now.

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Copd will take me out for sure. And I can hardly make it through a day because the chronic pain in my whole body wears me down so bad. I doubt it if I will even make it to 70 and I'm almost  67 now. And absolutely not one person in my family including my husband knows how everyday I have to force myself to get out of bed and try to breathe, have a good attitude and put a smile on my face. Not even my best friends know.  Nobody gets to see my suffering. Some days are better than others. There are some days I can barely breathe and I know my time is probably coming. I want to give as much kindness as I can to everyone for the remainder of whatever time I have left. I like florduh's explanation the best. Quote: '' As I said in SeaJay's thread, I see two possibilities: 1) Die and just cease to exist and there is no one around to realize it, no problem. 2) We are an expression of All That Is and the real us can never die. Again, no problem.'' Being agnostic I will want to take my, ''Please Forgive Me'' letter to the grave with me in case I do happen to meet Jesus. Hopefully he will understand where my doubting comes from. I'm ready to go anytime. I personally don't want to leave the earth but sometimes in old age, it is a blessing to get out of the body. I have accepted this.

 

So smile, pass around the jokes, watch funny TV, don't pay too much attention to the horrible news and be kind to everyone if you can. And go eat cake and ice cream. 😀

 

((hugs)) to each and everyone of you today.

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14 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

Are the doctors hopeful for remission or is that off the table now?

Thanks for asking. It was a weird case and impossible to catch early so I am just "managing" it for as long and comfortably as possible. I have no interest in being only technically alive so we'll just see how it goes. Hell, my oncologist could die before I do!

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12 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

Simply, and sincerely...

In my early 60's with no family, more and more each day I look forward to the time I won't care any longer about anything in this world.   The concept of "eternal rest" has a lot of appeal.

I've seen enough here.

Mean people suck.

 

8 hours ago, Margee said:

. I personally don't want to leave the earth but sometimes in old age, it is a blessing to get out of the body. I have accepted this.

 

I didn't think this was as loaded a question as it is. The thought hadn't occured about being ready to just get it over with because of a rough life or body aches and pains. Well It did with the aches and pains. But I was thinking like extreme pain and suffering from cancer or something. But yeah as much as I hurt sometimes now. Im Sure it will be rough 30 years from now. And after I lose some close loved ones. I guess it gets hard to stay motivated. 

 

My great uncle passed a couple months ago. He had alzhiemers real bad, and had already lost his son and wife. He was beyond ready to go. He started refusing his rehab treatments and stopped eating. It wasn't long after that. I actually inherited his masonic memorabilia. My mom was worried that he might not be "saved" because he never went to church. But he was a good man. And I know he believed in something at some point. Not that it really matters. I know he isn't suffering in hell. 

 

8 hours ago, Margee said:

doubt it if I will even make it to 70 and I'm almost  67 now. And absolutely not one person in my family including my husband knows how everyday I have to force myself to get out of bed and try to breathe, have a good attitude and put a smile on my face. Not even my best friends know.  Nobody gets to see my suffering

I'm sorry about all the suffering you go through everyday. I had no idea. (Guess that's that's point huh?) Well you have definitely done your part in spreading kindness toward me and bringing a smile on my face. Ever since my first post you've been nothing but kind and probably even had to bite your tongue at times to stay kind lol. So.e of my views can be controversial lol. Thank you Margee for being you. 😊 

 

8 hours ago, florduh said:

Hell, my oncologist could die before I do!

Well I hope you have many more years to come. 

 

12 hours ago, alreadyGone said:

And as trite as it may seem, none of us knows if we will ever live to "old age".

Today could be your final day. Stuff happens.

 

 

Yeah stuff happens. But we can't plan for that stuff. If that happens it'll probably be over before I know it anyway. No time to really think about it other than a quick, "oh shit!!" Or "Fuck didn't see this one coming". 

 

I'm more concerned about the long progress of old age and terminal illness. Your thoughts when you know time is short. 

 

I really hope you find some happiness to live for. In the great scheme of things your 60s seems young to wish for death. Maybe that's because my mom is in her 60s and I would hate for her to die. Im a bit of a mommas boy. At the same time I'm not in your shoes. I have all of my family still. I would probably have trouble myself if they were all gone. 

 

DB

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12 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Maybe all those things that make "me" will live on in my sons and the others I've loved.  Maybe I'll be aware of it and maybe I won't.  But I am aware of the possibility, which makes me want to be the best "me" I can be right now.

 

This is what I'm striving for as well. I think I did an OK Job with my boys. Probably could have been better. With everything going on in life I feel like I'm slacking with my daughter. The past few years it's been easy to get self consumed, losing family members, friends, dealing with covid, I've tried to step back lately and realize she was going through all that too, on top of her brothers moving out while we were divorcing. That all had to be rough. So I've been spending more time when I can with her. 

 

In the end I feel like that is ultimately how we live on. We influence those we are closest to the most. They will carry on traits and pieces of our personality to instill in others just as others from the past have passed on their values, personalities, etc to those that influenced us to be who we are. So even if our consciousness goes away. We are still here. 

 

I hope for a conscious afterlife. But I know that's probably not gonna happen. 

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It's been some time now, but I remember a documentary that interviewed several people, maybe 15 or so, and they were all over 100 years old. All were in reasonably good health, some rather active and even dating. All were eventually asked the same question, "How long is too long?" Every damn one of them said 90 should be the limit; all your friends/family are dead, you've done whatever you intended to do in life, and living just gets old.

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18 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

In the end I feel like that is ultimately how we live on. We influence those we are closest to the most. They will carry on traits and pieces of our personality to instill in others just as others from the past have passed on their values, personalities, etc to those that influenced us to be who we are. So even if our consciousness goes away. We are still here. 

Over the past year, I've started dabbling in woodworking.  It started out small--little keep boxes and display shelves and such.  But lately I've made a few things that I'm really proud of.  I've made chess sets for both the boys, a shoe rack for Ms. Professor, a table from my grandma's first pump pedal sewing machine... These will all, I hope, become family heirlooms; and I will live on and be remembered as they are passed down. 

 

This newfound hobby has also given me a new sense of patience, perspective, and creativity.  I don't use store bought kits to make things.  I do it all from scratch and imagination.  I also don't use a lot of power tools beyond a planer, sander, and miter saw as needed.  Instead I do everything by hand, using different hand saws, chisels, a hand planer, a rasp or two.  This seems extreme; but it is deliberate.  Not only does this force patience and zen; but it also puts me in touch with the long standing tradition and techniques of woodworkers from years long gone by, before there were tablesaws and a rotary jig for every kind of scroll or cut.  It forces me into the moment with the reminder that time marches on.  I like being there.

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7 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Over the past year, I've started dabbling in woodworking.

If you're not too busy, I could use some new wooden teeth.

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On 9/10/2021 at 5:36 PM, DarkBishop said:

I guess mine pertains more to how mortality affects your thoughts as our window of life on earth closes in our later years. As an exchristian, having been indoctrinated in the past.

 

     I ask because that is a path every one of us will eventually have to walk. 

 

 

 

I really love/hate this thread. But I am so glad you started this topic. Thank you because I really needed to talk about this getter older. Personally, I hate it and it has caused me a lot of grief in the last couple of years. It is a blessing and a curse to make it to 67 without dying in a plane crash, car accident, sickness like so many others. My own sister left the earth at 40 with a brain aneurism which I have really never recovered from. I just live with it. She was my twin flame...my Chinese twin. We were 11 months apart. There has been an emptiness in my heart for 25 years now. But I have also been lucky enough to have friends that made me laugh throughout the years... including this site which I constantly posted on for many years. I was a 'youngin' when I joined this site. Lol Many people die so young, so I am always grateful no matter what I have had to deal with.

 

 But I truly hate getting old, even though I am truly grateful to have made it this far. It's a rock and a hard place to be in. As most older people would say,  it is not fun to watch when your friends die or get sick. It's heartbreaking. I've had a few losses in the last few years.  So a new kind of 'stress' enters this stage as you get older. Just when you think all is going well, one of your friends is being tested for leukemia. (happening right now) Or you have to watch your girls' marriage go down the drain before it hits it's 5th anniversary and her 14 year old (my grandson) has already been going missing in the last 2 years and is now addicted to pills and alcohol at 16 years old (now) and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  Even after we have tried EVERYTHING. Yeah, there are some new stresses at this stage of life and if you don't put on your invisible boxing gloves to fight back and keep surviving, you would jump off a bridge. You  need to be real fucking strong and if your not, you might lose your mind. Do I want to live to see my grandson kill himself? No thank you. I'm not sure my invisible boxing gloves would get me through that pain.

 

My own demise was caused by heavy smoking and being around too much aerosol cans of hairspray for the last 48 years. So sucks to be me. I remember begging god to take away the desire to smoke from me. Ya'd think he would do that for one of his children, eh? Anyway, I walk everyday as far as I can and do a lot of deep breathing exercises to help me keep moving. The chronic pain started about 9-10 years ago when I was rear-ended twice within 3 years. I do everything I can to manage that pain. Somedays I wanna give up and most days I put on my invisible boxing gloves and kick it in the ass. I get real mad and I won't allow the pain to rule over my life.

 

I know this post is long. I wasn't going to write it  (and i almost deleted it) but this is my support group and sometimes I really have no one to talk to because people will say, 'this wrinkle is for this reason' and  'this wrinkle is for that reason'. Fuck that. Wrinkles are caused by stress and getting old. I hate the wrinkles.  I've decided that I am going to my grave with  my blue eye shadow and bright pink lipstick on no matter how ugly this wrinkled face gets.

 

I almost lost my house during the pandemic. They say no stress when you get older??? Yeah, right. You think the bank helped me? Nope. i took in boarders. Blood, sweat, tears and inconvenience. That's how we made it. So you better save  a shitload of money and make sure you got lots if you ever want to retire. And make sure you got a lot of hobbies and money to do them because retirement is not all what it's cracked up to be. Unless you have enough money to fly around the world and do whatever you want, you'll be sitting around wondering what to do next. Just like the Professor has said of the new hobby he has taken up. Excellent Professor! You have encouraged me. 

 

As for my friend florduh, he's not allowed to leave. I have cast my magic spell of healing over him and whatever the fuck is going on, I command in the name of Ex-c for him to be healed. Nope, florduh can't go nowhere. I won't have it.  

 

OK. I have rambled on enough.  Put on those invisible boxing gloves because life is bittersweet and you need to stay as strong as you can to make it through of of it. Never give up. I plan on going out with the biggest fight of my life. Hang out with supportive people and make friends with people who make you laugh. There is laughter in between some of the horrible stressors we have to go through in life so always take advantage to laugh and have a good time. 

 

The main message I want to portray is for you to continue to be strong mentally because life is very hard at times.  

 

Love you all. You are my people. And I am grateful for 11 years that I can come to this site and get shit out of me that I can't anywhere else. Thank you for that.

 

Love from old and grumpy Margee.......

 

 

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1 hour ago, florduh said:

If you're not too busy, I could use some new wooden teeth.

Trying to spruce up your appearance won't automatically make you more poplar.  You're alder-nough to know that; so don't beech at me if it doesn't work, oak-ay?

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24 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Trying to spruce up your appearance won't automatically make you more poplar.  You're alder-nough to know that; so don't beech at me if it doesn't work, oak-ay?

I don't really want wooden teeth. Those are only appropriate for splinter groups. You'll never be forest to make my teeth, that just goes against the grain. Okay, I guess I'll finish with that.

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5 hours ago, Margee said:

Or you have to watch your girls' marriage go down the drain before it hits it's 5th anniversary and her 14 year old (my grandson) has already been going missing in the last 2 years and is now addicted to pills and alcohol at 16 years old (now) and there is nothing you can do to stop it.  Even after we have tried EVERYTHING

 

Well Margee I really hope this is a classic case of young dumb teenage bullshit and that he pulls himself out of that path of destruction. Unfortunately we can give sound advise, we can love em, and we can be there for them when they come back. But we can't make them make the right decision. It'd be nice if we could. 

 

5 hours ago, Margee said:

know this post is long. I wasn't going to write it  (and i almost deleted it) but this is my support group and sometimes I really have no one to talk to because people will say, 'this wrinkle is for this reason' and  'this wrinkle is for that reason'. Fuck that. Wrinkles are caused by stress and getting old. I hate the wrinkles.  I've decided that I am going to my grave with  my blue eye shadow and bright pink lipstick on no matter how ugly this wrinkled face gets.

 

I'm glad you wrote it. These are the types of things any of us could be faced with as we get older. I will be devastated aswell if my children or future grandchildren have to face what yours have. It sounds like they have a rock to lean on in you. Your a tough woman. Keep putting on those gloves and kicking ass 💪. Because your not allowed to go either. 

 

In a way it kinda makes me feel bad for my mom. She's seen me go through more than one divorce. Seems every time I think I've found the one, it ends up failing. Me n ExBishop are still trying to mend fences but I often wander if she will ever accept me as I am now. And now my mom also has to deal with the thought of me losing my faith. She is very much a fundamentalist Christian. So I'm sure that puts some stress on her soul that like you, she doesn't allow me to see. 

 

5 hours ago, Margee said:

Love you all. You are my people. And I am grateful for 11 years that I can come to this site and get shit out of me that I can't anywhere else. Thank you for that

 

Thank you and your welcome. We love you too Margee.

 

 

 

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As I've all too gradually come through the process(es) of de-conversion, I've found greater peace in the realization that belief in any human spirit is speculation on the same level and of the same nature as belief in a god.

After all, isn't it the same thing?

 

I could be wrong of course, there may exist some part of us which lives and exists outside the physical temporal self.

But as near-universal as is such belief I don't believe that anyone who lives now or has ever lived has had any real reason to believe in such a thing. It truly seems to me that people believe in a human spirit because they want to.

To believe in a human spirit enables belief in the possibility we can forever know and commune with those close to us. It allows us to believe that the things we hope to learn and experience may yet be learned, those experiences yet gained, even when we do not do so in our present lives.

When I believed in a God and the promise of eternal life, I sometimes imagined planting an endless hardwood forest and then watching it grow.

 

There is much, very much I love about this life. Given a choice I would live forever.

I see and believe in infinite possibilities for my human self, given time and physical viability.

The list of things I would wish to do, to create, to learn and experience seems infinite.

 

But time, the limits of this physical body, and the never-ending contention with other humans is what it is.

We can wish it away, deny it, or hope for better, but we will all meet our end and eventually decompose into dust.

Whether there is anything more we will all discover one way or another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, alreadyGone said:

We can wish it away, deny it, or hope for better, but we will all meet our end and eventually decompose into dust.

 

This is what I do. I Hope for more than this life. But I know the odds aren't in favor of it. Hope is nice tho. When I play the lottery. I hope to win millions of dollars. For a brief time I'm allowed to think about all the stuff I would buy and things I would do. But in the end. I never win. But it's still nice to have that hope. 

 

Maybe that's me not being able to fully let go. But I dont hope for heaven. Not my ideal afterlife anyway. So meh. I'm me and that's all I can be. 

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What happens after you die?  Lot's of things happen after you die - they just don't involve you.  ~Louis C.K.

 

This sentiment used to be my biggest hang-up concerning death.  The idea that things would be happening without me being aware or experiencing seemed intolerable.  I like knowing the whole story; not just the end, but all the little details that interweave to move the characters along.  For the past XX years, I've been one of the main characters in the story as it is told in my experience.  But I've never been the main character.  I've shared that role with siblings, girlfriends, sons, friend and foe alike.  Antagonists have come and gone; and sometimes it has felt like motherfucking Samuel L. motherfucking Jackson has been motherfucking narrating several motherfucking episodes in a row. 

 

The story will someday go on without me; but it will go on.  And the role I've played in the story will always be there, even after I'm gone.  Whenever the story is told, I'll be there.  Sometimes as the hero; sometimes as the buffoon.  I'm one of the main characters now; and the story wouldn't be the same without the roles I've played.  I'm okay, now, with somebody else taking over the story when it's my turn to exit, stage left.  Because whoever takes it will always be part of my story; and I will always be part of theirs.

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On 9/10/2021 at 2:49 PM, florduh said:

 

Being the only animal with a sense of mortality has its perks and drawbacks as well!

I read this and wondered if this could really be true. I've seen cats seeming to react to their own dying process as well as to the death of their kittens. I happened to run across this article this morning:

 

https://aeon.co/essays/animals-wrestle-with-the-concept-of-death-and-mortality?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

I don't know that the article presents compelling proof but still I think it is easy to minimize the thoughts and feelings of animals because they do not speak our language. This is the last paragraph of this article:

 

   "We humans like to think of ourselves as a unique species. However, little by little, all those traits that we have been relying on to ground this uniqueness have been falling, as the science advances and reveals the staggering diversity and complexity of animal minds and behaviour. We now have solid evidence of culture, morality, rationality, and even rudimentary forms of linguistic communication. The concept of death should also be counted among those characteristics to which we can no longer resort to convince us of how very special we are. It is time to rethink human exceptionalism, and the disrespect for the natural world that comes with it."

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3 hours ago, DanForsman said:

I read this and wondered if this could really be true. I've seen cats seeming to react to their own dying process as well as to the death of their kittens. I happened to run across this article this morning:

 

https://aeon.co/essays/animals-wrestle-with-the-concept-of-death-and-mortality?utm_source=pocket-newtab

 

I don't know that the article presents compelling proof but still I think it is easy to minimize the thoughts and feelings of animals because they do not speak our language. This is the last paragraph of this article:

 

   "We humans like to think of ourselves as a unique species. However, little by little, all those traits that we have been relying on to ground this uniqueness have been falling, as the science advances and reveals the staggering diversity and complexity of animal minds and behaviour. We now have solid evidence of culture, morality, rationality, and even rudimentary forms of linguistic communication. The concept of death should also be counted among those characteristics to which we can no longer resort to convince us of how very special we are. It is time to rethink human exceptionalism, and the disrespect for the natural world that comes with it."

No offense intended to the other animals. I think that though some of them may realize something big is up during their last moments, they don't sit around thinking and talking about the day they'll be gone and where they will go like we do.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, I think on this subject a lot, and I'm one of the older members. Nearly 60 and not in the greatest health. I've always meditated on life after death ideas, my whole life, before, during and after christianity. After christianity I took interest in other religions. This is an article that discusses after life models of 15 religions. For me it's food for thought.

Some years ago someone posted here a website cataloging some 5000 near death experiences which mostly boiled down to 5 main ones. One of them alluded to but not really discussed in this article is the void. The void is described as is nothingness.

https://www.therichest.com/most-shocking/15-afterlife-beliefs-from-different-religions/

 

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