To fear death in some measure is something hardwired into all animals. Generally one of our prime instincts is the preservation of life and yet it is that topic that so many of us ponder – regardless of religious orientation (or not).
Last week I had a series of fairly lucid dreams followed by a short time of conscious reflection on death (maybe 15 min or so). As an atheist (deconverted christian/former seminary student) I believe that death is followed by nothingless – meaning no conscious thought, no afterlife, etc.
In my reflection on death I had a bit of an epiphany – we all die to our conscious selves infinitely. The self we are in the present (now) is wholly unperceived and unknown by our past selves. For example: yesterday – none of us was aware of the self we have become today – shaped and changed perhaps so slightly but still consciously different then the day before. You could say the self we are today is dead to yesterday’s self as far as awareness is concerned.
Bottom line: live in the now, create your bliss and happiness and enjoy yourself. When its time to go, it will be just like it was before you were born – nothing. Don’t fear the reaper…
I agree, that there is no form of sentience after death, at least not in any sense that we can understand. To say, however, that there is nothing when there must be something, but not an afterlife. You see, our molecules continue on, become something else, someone else, but the real fact is, once you die your moral consciousness vanishes and is replaced by something much greater, a oneness with the universe. Something that you cannot even comprehend until you think that life is as life does, and therefor life after death cannot exist, only a wandering consciousness greater than all of us known as the fabric of space-time. There may be no god, I don’t believe there is, but that doesn’t mean that there is no creator. That great, all powerful creator is known as the Universe, and we are all part of it’s consciousness. You see, we’re all really just the imaginings of the universe, and we only die because it wills us to.
@vovinawol, not sure if you are referring to Pascal’s Wager (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal’s_Wager). Doesn’t really bother me much as no tangible evidence has been offered to the contrary. I’d be happy to entertain other theories upon review of tangible supporting evidence.
@thoughtless, Do you have some real tangible evidence for the existence of this “3rd density”?
@abadatha, Pretty much agree with your assessment – not sure I can wholly make the leap to your last two sentences, but I like those ideas regardless.
Think about this…
Let’s say that when you die…everything is finished. Your brain shuts down, and you will never even remember being alive in the first place. Memories go out the window with brain function stopping. Memories are the things that sort of confirm that we “were/are” alive at some point. What I’m saying is…I don’t think we can die. Well, from our “own” perspective at least. Think about it. If you are going to die at some point, there would be no way that you should be remembering any of THIS moment or any other at all.
As a former seminary student myself, I’m curious as to what changed your mind in becoming a pastor/priest? I’m an agnostic now, but I find it interesting how so many of my peers I went to school address this topic of death with absolutely no fear which I found absurd
I don’t believe that there is a god, but that there is only the Universe we live in and the multi-verse without said Universe. The universe only seems unending because, at least to my perception, it’s more like we live on the inside edge of a cylinder, it seems endless only because we’ve not yet found a way to make it all the way back to the starting point.
I probably should state I am agnostic as well (a god/gods may exist), although I am 100% certain that no Abrahamic god exists. I too found it rather unsettling how glibly most evangelicals, christians toss around death and their “eternal reward”.
Probably the single biggest thing that got me out of the pastor/missionary track was a year off from school in which I worked (to get some more money for college). During this time I reflected on my beliefs and realized the entirety of my life had been spent in an insular bubble in which asking hard critical questions was discouraged.
I slowly drifted away – continuing to attend church for the next 10 years, but not returning to pursue my religious studies.
@abadatha, not sure I wholly buy the multi-verse idea, but it is at least plausible. I like to think there is an infinite version of ourselves with forks at all points on our timeline – it certainly is mind-blowing to ponder.
The Multi-Verse theory is just one theory, but it’s a theory that the scientist I happen to follow pretty religiously believes in, and his explanations all seem to make sense. Like the concept that the big bang was just our universe splitting off another universe, like two soap bubbles, or that it was caused by the collision of two universes, again like soap-bubbles.
My only belief of an afterlife is the 6-8 minutes of brain activity after the body is dead. I imagine it to be a dream-like state. If you’ve ever smoked DMT, you understand truly how powerful the brain is inside the dream state. You can experience 5 hours within the span of 10 minutes. Without a body, it’s possible for that 6-8 minutes seem like a lifetime inside the dream. I am at work in a hearing and pressed for time, so I can’t get too into it. The scene in Waking Life with Ethan Hawke and the girl (cant remember her name) laying in bed talking, explains this idea perfectly.
Maybe in this life I am already living inside the dream of my past deceased self. I only have a few fears in this life. One of them is dying by severe brain trauma which would make the ‘dream’ impossible after my death.