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PhilosophyGround >> I'm not okay with death and dying


4/28/09 6:32 PM
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TheDigitalRuler
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meow mix - 
TheDigitalRuler - 
What do you mean when you refer to "believ[ing] in nothing"?

"believing in nothing" = believing that when you die, you just stop and nothing happens after.  There is no after life, there is no heaven or hell, no soul coming back in a different body.  You just turn into dust.

 Gotcha.

I don't believe in an afterlife, nor do I believe that human beings have a soul or spirit which can exist independently of our physical body. However, I wouldn't necessarily say that I believe that at death, "you just stop and nothing happens after." I'm no neurologist, but my understanding is that it is not uncommon for small levels of brain activity to continue for several minutes during and after the point which we would refer to as death. I believe that neurons firing during this period account for the near death experiences that are commonly reported, e.g. seeing a bright light with deceased loved ones all around, or the feeling of being enveloped in an intense, benevolent force.

I'm very curious about what it's like to experience the last throes of neural activity before death. It could very well be the case that, from the perception of the dying person, these few seconds or few minutes of brain activity could seem to last much longer. I don't know, maybe your entire life really does flash before your eyes in that you're essentially reliving every experience you've ever had. Or maybe something completely weird and indescribable happens. No one knows. And while that is pretty terrifying, it's sort of exciting as well.
4/28/09 6:49 PM
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HELWIG
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 "hell would be where all the fun people go"

Really?

Why would being a fun person wind up with you in hell?
4/28/09 7:10 PM
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Pecker
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meow mix - 

 What does it mean to truely live?  Yes, it makes sense to spend the time you'd think about dying on those you'd miss, but without sorting through these thoughts and feeling, can you really enjoy that?

I've had various points where I've realized I will die, and I realize the finality of death, but I think maybe because it is someone my own age is what is effecting me most.

BTW, thanks for the posts, and thoughts.  It is helping me sort this stuff out.


 I'd like to think that to truly live, we must be who we truly are. Without breaking the law, live life to the fullest. For me part of that is working in a job I like doing. It's fun to have a good time as a job. I am truly living when I'm doing what I like. Hiking, biking, training, exploring, traveling. To me this is living. For you it may be spending time with your husband and kids, drinking on a tuesday and posting on the OG :) Doing what you love in life is living.
4/28/09 7:21 PM
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Sir Anodos
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Most people have not made their peace with their own death.

If you are lucky you may get a warning. Many people get a premonition that their time is near. They start to be haunted by the sins of their life. It is because doors are opening and other forces start to be sensed by the person in a liminal space.

Keep in mind that the heaven and hell thing as most Americans see it is really not Christian in nature, but gnostic. The Christian belief is that the universe we live in right now will be made anew and we will have new bodies that don't die, become ill or disintegrate. Heaven or hell is dependent on how a person responds to that new reality rather than separate "spaces."

The time after death is an in between and incomplete time of anticipation of that new creation. So those who will abhor it are in a kind of torment and those who look forward to it are in a kind of paradise. Whether change can take place during this time is unknown.
4/28/09 7:41 PM
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killacox
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HELWIG -  "hell would be where all the fun people go"

Really?

Why would being a fun person wind up with you in hell?


when speculating on heaven or hell one must consider the possibility heaven is filled with suicide bombers or mormons...

dont hijack this thread!~
4/28/09 7:52 PM
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shen
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Edited: 04/28/09 8:34 PM
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Holy... Oh my god, man... I never even thought about this stuff before. Just never thought about it. Ever. It's so deep.

--Wow!

I mean WOW!

Wow, wow, wow...

THIS is some HUGE stuff to think about.

WOW!!!
4/28/09 8:41 PM
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WizzleTeatsv2
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meow mix - 

 What does it mean to truely live?  Yes, it makes sense to spend the time you'd think about dying on those you'd miss, but without sorting through these thoughts and feeling, can you really enjoy that?

I've had various points where I've realized I will die, and I realize the finality of death, but I think maybe because it is someone my own age is what is effecting me most.

BTW, thanks for the posts, and thoughts.  It is helping me sort this stuff out.




A great book to read is "A Year to Live" by Stephen Levine. It's an account of his year-long meditation practice focused around dying. He has spent his life working in hospices and with the dying, so I think he is as good a source as any on how we deal with death.

Essentially, you live one year as if it were your last. This obviously raises a number of questions. What would you do? What's most important to you in life? What kind of unfinished business do you have to deal with?

I started the practice on January 2 of this year. It sounds simple, but it's incredibly intense and rewarding. I have no plans beyond January 2, 2010. I have 8 months, give or take, to really live fully.

I came to this practice because of the deaths of three friends in a very short time period. I suddenly realized how rarely we really live. Most of us wander through life trying to numb ourselves in one way or another. It doesn't matter what it is--it could be sex, relationships, drugs, religion, etc. The question is what are the things that make you feel really connected and alive.

Small things mean a lot to me. Waking up in the morning. Seeing the sun, or the rain. Feeling the wind on my face. Spending time with good friends or my gf. I've realized I don't give a shit about what most people think or think I should do with my life, and that it's OK. I've finally figured out I don't have anything in my life be perfect in order for me to be happy.

Thinking about death and dying is a great way to realize how valuable life is...and how much of it we waste.

It's funny I saw this thread today. I just sent off my application to become a hospice care volunteer. That's some scary shit for me right there, because two of my friends died from cancer. And that's who I'll be dealing with, every day. Eeek.
4/28/09 8:55 PM
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killacox
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" What does it mean to truely live? Yes, it makes sense to spend the time you'd think about dying on those you'd miss, but without sorting through these thoughts and feeling, can you really enjoy that?"

you may enjoy the idea that if you were to die tomorrow you lived life to the fullest with those you loved

and spending time with those you would miss also leaves them great memories of you to cherish
4/28/09 8:56 PM
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The Patriot
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Just hope you die a fast death, trust me
4/28/09 9:18 PM
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WizzleTeatsv2
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The Patriot - Just hope you die a fast death, trust me


Why? Did you die a slow one? That must have sucked. :)
4/28/09 9:28 PM
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The Patriot
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NO SMART ASS BUT I'VE SEEN IT AND IT SUCKS.
4/28/09 9:30 PM
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WizzleTeatsv2
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Jeez, calm down. I didn't realize you were talking about seeing other people die. Do you think I'm a mind reader?
4/28/09 9:33 PM
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The Patriot
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WIZZLE,,

OK NO PROBLEM I'M JUST VERY UPSET RIGHT NOW.. I THINK I'LL LOG OFF AND COME BACK WHEN I COOL DOWN. PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
4/28/09 9:34 PM
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Dratherbe
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watch "What about Bob?"
4/28/09 10:05 PM
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Sir Anodos
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If you read a lot of near death experiences brain activity as the only explanation is doubtful. Now if consciousness somehow lies beyond the sum of the human body (lets say at a sub-atomic level) then the experience of near death could have what people call a "natural" explanation, but that would still point to experiences that go beyond the body. A theologian/scientist once said that our software is stored on God's server until it can be downloaded to new hardware.

Whoever recommended What Dreams May Come thanks for that. I didn't think the movie was too bad so if the book is much better I will give it a read.
4/28/09 10:18 PM
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FCTV808
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f this place! (too many micros)

*jumps off building*
4/28/09 11:03 PM
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Thomas Hamilton
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The truth is nobody knows what happens. I think that's one of the beautiful things about death. You will one day know, without a doubt, one of lifes greatest mysteries through experience.

The other great mystery is where did we come from? How did we get here? How did all this happen? Unfortunately chances are we will never know the answer to that, and that to me is the real tragedy of life.
4/28/09 11:49 PM
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meow mix
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Why is not knowing where we come from not as scary as what happens when it ends?  Not that I don't care about that, but it just doesn't frighten me.  Then again, with that I look at that as humans are a product of evolution, but the stuff that makes up actual human thought and feeling is something more. 

I guess I have not made peace with my eventual death.  I think I'm closer, actually, oddly enough after this thread.  It's really helped.  I'm feeling more at peace with not knowing what will happen, but I'd still like to know.  I watch my sons and they make me kind of realize how precious life is and how simple things such as watching them mean more than a vacation.

Wizzle, do you think being around death in that way will help you cope better with your own or the death of a loved one?

4/29/09 12:03 AM
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WizzleTeatsv2
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Yes, but I'm not doing it solely for that reason. I'm not sure why but I feel strongly drawn to that type of work.

I think that "coping", as we usually think of it, is really "supressing". When we cope in our society, we ignore grief, we ignore pain and suffering. That doesn't alleviate it or make it go away--it just sticks with us and eventually shows up as something else, usually anger or depression.

I'm not into coping. Give me the full, ugly, real and raw experience of grief over that bullshit any day.
4/29/09 12:20 AM
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springfield
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meow mix -  I'm not okay with death and dying
You will welcome death if life becomes painful enough.
 
4/29/09 12:21 AM
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2JupitersTooMany
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I've been trying to get published, and I just wrote a short story about this stuff that caused me to deal with massive anxiety for a week. If you want it I'll send it. You don't? Good idea.
4/29/09 12:24 AM
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meow mix
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WizzleTeatsv2 - I'm not into coping. Give me the full, ugly, real and raw experience of grief over that bullshit any day.

So instead of coping, you choose to go the route of acceptance.  That makes sense.  Maybe experiencing it first hand is the best way to understand and to deal with it?  And I'm sure that if life is painful, death is welcomed with open arms.  How do you gain acceptance to something that is inevitable?  Something that is intangible?  Or is it tangible?  It's intangible to those watching it happen but tangible to those experiencing it?

4/29/09 12:25 AM
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meow mix
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 2jupiters, sure.  I'll read it.  What is about essentially?
4/29/09 12:26 AM
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springfield
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HELWIG -  What if death is simply an eternal sensation of you being disembodied but in pure mental agony, screaming silently forever?
So I'm not the only one that has thought of this.
4/29/09 12:27 AM
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2JupitersTooMany
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It's probably stupid: Motorcycle commute to where I work in Hastings, Minnesota that inspires some thoughts about the afterlife.

Not sure how to send it. My email is joh0263@umn.edu if you wanna send me one and I'll reply. It's pretty short - 10 pages or so.

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