What happens to us when we die?

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Felix
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Felix » December 7th, 2016, 7:01 pm

Sisideas: Yes, death terrifies me. The thought that this consciousness (mine) at some point will no longer exist has left me with the terrors, almost as if I had managed to think myself into a "flight or fight" response, where I get cold sweats, nausea and palpitations.
Do you have a fight or flight response to sleep? I presume you lose consciousness during sleep.

Suicide could be called a craving for sleep, a respite from one's current reality. The problem is there is no guarantee that one will wake up from it, as one does normal sleep (then again, there is no guarantee that one will not die in one's sleep anyway.)

So the question is: is suicide a solution to a problem? The problem is consciousness - or actually one's restricted variety of it. Does extinguishing that consciousness through suicide (assuming it does extinguish it) solve your problem? No, it does not solve the problem, it merely refuses to confront it. What would solve the problem of having to live in the restricted state of consciousness that one finds so painful, so dreadful, that one desires to escape from it by any means" (suicide being the ultimate means of escape).

The solution seems obvious: change one's state of consciousness, one's perspective on life, abandon all of the sacred but illogical mental conceptions that have become your signposts to death. Can you do that? Or do you find that prospect more frightening than suicide?

I said this earlier in this thread, in complete sincerity: if you will let go of your ego and all of its cherished way(s) of life, whatever they may be, suicide will lose its charm. This requires courage.

You can be in the world but not of it, but if you choose to leave the world, you lose that option - along with all other living options.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Godisnolongerneeded » December 8th, 2016, 12:11 am

I have no solid belief system in a state beyond that, I am! I take living being an opportunity to feel, think, experience etc... I have no fear of death, but I couldn't end what I am intentionally, even If as I age, pain or misery become the predominant factors of my existence, I hope to embrace the end as a indication of the importance of the time (I was) not exactly relishing the end (death) just knowing that I have made little to no impact on the universe, time, and everything but have affected the people who I knew and maybe it'll be enough? I am animated space dust momentarily bond to a consciousness and to dust I return. A fluke. Life after death isn't the best question life at all should be. Just my opinion.

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Sisideas
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Sisideas » December 8th, 2016, 8:06 am

Reply to Felix:Do you have a fight or flight response to sleep? I presume you lose consciousness during sleep.
Most inciteful comments, thank you. In short, no and yes: I do not have a flight or fight response to sleep and yes I do have an unconscious sleep. It is most apposite that you bring up suicide, as from an idiocentric point of view (rather than a general philosophical standpoint) I am someone who suffers from depression (circumstantial not clinical) and have come very close to "suicide by stealth": mentally giving up on life, sufficient to seriously affect my physical health. However, for the moment, I would like to elaborate the thread of my first post.

"Why are we so concerned about it?"(death). Here we are 1500 odd post on a topic, and a history from Egyptians, Norse gods; virtually every religion there is has a consideration about death why? I strongly feel that this question should be answered/understood to a consensus in order for this thread to progress. For this to happen there needs to be, in my opinion, a separation of the intellectual from what I will for now call the emotional. We have an "emotional concern" about death and we try to reconcile that emotional feeling with our intellect. I would feel that this statement would have to be conceded to in some form for the progression of the thought the evidence although circumstantial is as I have alluded to in our apparent obsession with it.

To continue; The "emotional concern" is just that, NOT rational, out with our animal nature; we are just a form of matter; like a ..say a brick, we don't find bricks in consideration of their demise. It must, therefore, follow that a mechanism innate to our animal being is at work. I would contend that this is an expression of the basic animal instinct to survive. We are, in effect, programmed to live and the coercive manipulation of the programming is to be fearful of pain and death.

There is, I suspect, for some a reticence to the acceptance of a such a controlled implication that we can be seen as "puppets" playing out the game of life. that might lead people to shy away from the notion of being fearful of death. I can find it difficult to really understand those that would claim to have no fear of death, for surely this would suggest that they have no instinctual nature to survive? BUT:

That is not to say that for many of those that would claim no fear of death have not in fact employed some form of either conscious or unconscious rationale with which to cope with what must be as I said in my original post Life as a "real bitch". How does man make sense of the paradox he can see; to be programmed to live to inevitable death. This reality is the "emotional concern"; the root cause of man's obsession with death; he see it but is impotent to do anything about it.

Felix: You brought up some fascinating observations and solutions in regard to suicide and consciousness some of which are apposite to me but too many to go through individually. but I do have some comments that hopefully are not going too far off topic:

As a philosopher/freethinker, I try to look at the most honest perception of reality my idiosyncratic persona can deduce. As such I try not to see things as "problems" or "solutions" but more in terms of "what is".

If from a completely "rational" look at life where one might consider "input" output" say in terms of enjoyment, that the balance for most people in the world, simply does not equate. what I mean is that for most people, life, in an objective reality, is simply appalling: the imbalance of enjoyment to an absolute miserable drudgery of existence is dreadful and for many, without hope of change and yet they go on, why? Because for whatever reason, they can't see as such, the compulsion to survive is so great they continue.

Not sure where I'm going with this, as it is far too bigger topic to give justice to it here but just to say that from a personal point of view I have come to that reality of looking at life and finding FOR ME the balance of needs met and pain did not equate and I resigned to give up; not till I was confronted with the reality of what I was doing, committing suicide by stealth, did the survival instinct kick in and I "decide" to live. Life is most definitely not of pure intellectual rational. Our intellect can give us an understanding of "what is" but not an answer to the emotional.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Metathought » December 10th, 2016, 11:13 pm

Saw038 wrote:
My point is, if you look into the physics of nothingness, you find there is always a somethingness to it.
From the viewpoint of Aristotelian logic,
a thing cannot be A and non-A at the same time.
How can there be a somethingness to nothingness?
Perhaps the problem is one of semantics.

Saw038 wrote:
“You see the material universe that we and can conceive only constitutes roughly 5% of the total energy in the universe.
The rest is primarily dark energy (around 70%) and then dark matter (around 25%).”
I assume that your use of the term “something” applies primarily to the material universe that we can see (or detect) and the term “nothing” applies to its opposite.
Although dark matter has not been directly observed, its existence and properties are inferred from its gravitational effects such as the motions of visible matter, gravitational lensing, its influence on the universe's large-scale structure, and its effects in the cosmic microwave background. Dark matter is transparent to electromagnetic radiation and/or is so dense and small that it fails to absorb or emit enough radiation to be detectable with current imaging technology.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter
Based on the above-stated report, even though dark matter has not been directly observed, its existence is determined by inference.

In view of this, can it be categorized as “nothingness”?

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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » December 10th, 2016, 11:33 pm

Felix wrote:The solution seems obvious: change one's state of consciousness, one's perspective on life, abandon all of the sacred but illogical mental conceptions that have become your signposts to death. Can you do that? Or do you find that prospect more frightening than suicide?

I said this earlier in this thread, in complete sincerity: if you will let go of your ego and all of its cherished way(s) of life, whatever they may be, suicide will lose its charm. This requires courage.

You can be in the world but not of it, but if you choose to leave the world, you lose that option - along with all other living options.
I did something like this when depressed and thinking about suicide in earlier times. I "killed" my ego. Just let go. Stopped caring, stopped worrying. I would simply drift through the day somewhat disconnected, but calm - because "I" was gone and no longer mattered.

Invariably, after a period in this minimised ego state my work performance improved, everyone seemed more pleasant and cooperative, and I even played music better. Then, after a period of improved performance I'd start feeling like I had something to lose - I was attaining, gaining opportunities. Up grew the ego, down went performance and down went happiness. Then rinse and repeat until the cycle annoys you enough to stop insecurely inflating your ego when things are going well.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Felix » December 11th, 2016, 12:29 am

Yes, Greta, it seems to be a never ending job, but someone's gotta do it....
Sisideas: not till I was confronted with the reality of what I was doing, committing suicide by stealth, did the survival instinct kick in and I "decide" to live.
Thank you, I'm glad you caught yourself falling... there are an awful lot of people doing that: killing themselves slowly, with drugs, alcohol, or just sheer complacency. That's why it's important to make the effort to know thyself, stare into our psyche and try to see why we think, act, and believe as we do, how much of it is the result of conditioning.

I doubt that anyone is totally free of the fear of death, some have very little fear of it, because they've become convinced their consciousness is not merely temporal. They may have had a profound near-death or eternity experience, or they're natural mystics. But it's not something you can just talk yourself out of.

Of course, no one has any certainty about death, but then there is no certainty in life either, we can only play the probabilities. I suppose I just have a hard time believing that the Universe could just carelessly discard some of the remarkable jewels it has created. I'm thinking specifically of some of the remarkable individuals it has produced, including a few I have known. Sure, that's anthropomorphic thinking, but does that necessarily discredit it?

All of our conceptions are anthropocentric, visions of the Universe reflected through the lens of the human mind and soul. It's a marvelous gift, why is it not enough?
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Platos stepchild » December 11th, 2016, 1:05 am

It's true that we're unable to speak of, or understand nothingness. Any attempt to do so puts it into the category of being something. So, if death is a portal into nothingness, then we have no words, or concepts to match it. Death becomes inexplicable, a word devoid of meaning.

But, still we try. Even though death is inexplicable, we nevertheless want to talk about it. If you've ever watched someone die, you might be surprised how, at the very last minute there's a burst of life, as if the person was awakening from sleep. This can happen several times, before the actual end.

And yet, no matter how closely you scrutinize a dying person, there's no clue to the mystery. The flesh changes in a subtle way, the body discharges it's fluids. There is, however a spasm which shudders the body right before it dies. You might just wonder, to yourself: I wish I could shudder like that while having sex.

I wouldn't call it a clue; but, the shuddering does seem significant. I don't know how to interpret it, though. It's as intense as it is brief. At the crescendo of the shudder, the light in the eyes just disappears. To me, this is the portal into nothingness. Of course, there's no way to know how it feels. This is as close as I can get to knowing what happens when we die.

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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » December 11th, 2016, 2:29 am

Another thought, and one perhaps not look at much - a pivotal aspect of this question is the nature of time. If spacetime is at a fundamental level a 4D manifold as described in Special Relativity, then the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Camalot15 » December 29th, 2016, 5:58 am

After you die you will be your self that is to say you will always remain your self the self you were born as. The event self will die.

-- Updated December 29th, 2016, 10:17 am to add the following --

In buddhsm the the origonal self that exists as consciousness with out identity at birth is the called the uncarved block or buddha.The event cuts this origonsl block and gives it local event identity. At death event identity is lost but consciousness remains its self ss the buddha. We are all really the buddha at heart.

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Brent Powers
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Brent Powers » January 4th, 2017, 4:10 pm

"Death is not an event in life," says Wittgenstein. It is unknowable, unthinkable. If the mind is the brain, then nothing can persist after death, since the brain is part of a physical system which ceases to operate at death by all apparent evidence. Statements about a soul or subtle body existing posthumously must be taken on faith or the conviction arising from imagination or revelation.

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Leon
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Leon » January 9th, 2017, 5:40 am

An interesting issue is if "I" am my particles. Hilary Putnam argues that "I" would have already existed in distributed form before birth and will exist in distributed for after dying. Actualy I exist in distributed form right now, because I will be the meatball that is now still the cow.

But then again the thought experiment of a Startrek-transporter: "I" step into a transporter and am transported to Mars. Am "I"still there? Or is something missing? My particles are the only thing that are transported. Not?

Now consider the "fake-transporter": "I" step into a transporter, am put to sleep very fast, transported very fast to Mars the regular way, and get waked-up. What exactly is different for "me". The speed of transport?

What exactly is "living in distributed form"?

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Qualiam
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Qualiam » January 17th, 2017, 4:05 am

Since many here have agreed that no one can know for certain what happens to us when we die, I will just give my personal conception. But I have what I believe are strong reasons for this conception.

First I will rephrase the question to reflect that it is only my opinion about myself:
What will happen to me if I die?

And so I should first define what I think I am, this “me” that might die.

I believe that I am not primarily a body, but a mind, and even senior to that, an idea. I believe that I am fundamentally an idea. Not an idea in the mind of God, or an idea in anyone's mind, but an autonomous idea, existing always, unchangeable and eternal.

This is perhaps a form of idealism, similar to Plato's Theory of Forms, though there seems to be some controversy about what Plato was really saying. I would appreciate any comments about his Theory of Forms from someone who is familiar with it. I am ordering a book on Plato, just reading reviews now to make sure I get a good translation with notes.

My view of what I call Pure Idealism might sound quite radical, even grandiose and egoistic. But it is a reasonable position to hold, when looked at from my certain perspective. My perspective is that everything is an idea. And only an idea.

First of all, I have observed that there is nothing at all of which I cannot say, “That's an idea.” Including everything that I am saying here, and everything that I have ever read, everything I have ever seen or imagined. I don't know of any other entity, besides an idea, of which that can be said.

But it is important to recognize, in this perspective, that all these ideas, which are infinite in number, are not given birth in a mind, by processes in a mind. They are all autonomous, needing no genesis, unable to be extinguished. All ideas exist, in timelessness, and no idea can be annihilated. And ideas are of the highest reality.

In this perspective, ideas are activated by a mind. Mind is just one idea in the infinity of ideas, it is the idea of an activating agent for ideas. Part of the idea of what I am, is the idea of a mind that can activate other ideas.

So this timeless idea is the me that has activated the ideas of a physical space/time universe, a body, a world, and life and death. If I die, the body that I have brought into physical existence (physical existence being just a strongly activated idea) will go through the process of death, but I, the pure idea, will continue unchanged. I will still activate ideas, though perhaps not the idea of another biological body. Perhaps I will activate the idea of a non-physical realm, a gentler realm than this rather onerous world. And perhaps I will not activate the idea of time, but dwell in a timeless realm. I don't know for certain what I will activate, but I know for certain that I will continue. My awareness will be seamless, from this world through death to the next realm I choose to activate.

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Qualiam
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Qualiam » January 17th, 2017, 4:23 am

Greta wrote:Another thought, and one perhaps not look at much - a pivotal aspect of this question is the nature of time. If spacetime is at a fundamental level a 4D manifold as described in Special Relativity, then the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality.

I like this point. I know people who have had near death experiences and they say that while they are "dead," they are in a place of no time. They may describe it differently, because it is hard to describe to the rest of us who are so embedded in the medium of time that we have a hard time imagining no time. But this is why some of them say their entire life flashed before their eyes.

But your point that the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality is well taken. I think many scientists, especially those familiar with Special Relativity, would agree. This is another reason why I think that ultimate reality is composed of a timeless, infinite sea of ideas, with our awareness sailing over it, choosing which ideas to believe in. And one of those ideas was space, and one was time.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Platos stepchild » January 21st, 2017, 6:07 pm

Qualiam wrote:
Greta wrote:Another thought, and one perhaps not look at much - a pivotal aspect of this question is the nature of time. If spacetime is at a fundamental level a 4D manifold as described in Special Relativity, then the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality.

I like this point. I know people who have had near death experiences and they say that while they are "dead," they are in a place of no time. They may describe it differently, because it is hard to describe to the rest of us who are so embedded in the medium of time that we have a hard time imagining no time. But this is why some of them say their entire life flashed before their eyes.

But your point that the passing of time is an observer effect rather than an objective reality is well taken. I think many scientists, especially those familiar with Special Relativity, would agree. This is another reason why I think that ultimate reality is composed of a timeless, infinite sea of ideas, with our awareness sailing over it, choosing which ideas to believe in. And one of those ideas was space, and one was time.
I'm of a different opinion, regarding time. I don't know whether it's fundamental to reality, or if time is how consciousness unfolds. But, at the very least, I believe that time is fundamental to how we experience reality. As such, a timeless reality is beyond our experience. In my youth, I dreamt of a Platonic realm, ethereal and beyond corruption. Despite my best efforts, though I could never imagine how a bridge might span between corruption and incorruption. How might the abutments of such a bridge be rooted in both sides? Surely they would be of this world or the other; but, time cannot blend seamlessly into eternity.

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Re:

Post by Fcacciola » February 2nd, 2017, 6:28 pm

pjkeeley wrote:
Actually you can talk to the dead.
Are you going to back this claim up with any evidence?
Let's suppose that the OP actually happened to have evidence.. how would he respond to this question?

Being this a forum so fundamentally non-local, both spatially and temporarily, and, so indirect, how does one can possibly show evidence for a factual claim like that one?

And more importantly, what does a lack of response to a question like this really says about the claim?

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