What happens to us when we die?

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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » January 17th, 2018, 11:31 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
January 17th, 2018, 10:34 pm
What happens when we die? That blind impress of something that has been repressed during the business of living becomes an object of awareness.
So you notice something about yourself that you'd missed?
Hereandnow wrote: I like Marlin Brando's response to the question, when your life is done, what will be your final thoughts. He paused and responded," What the hell was that all about?"
This is perhaps a standard underlying state of mind for most people, suppressed for the sake of functionality. Feigning confidence so as to move forward.

When you die, what would you hope to happen?

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 10:56 am

Greta:
So you notice something about yourself that you'd missed?
I've noticed lots of things, but one that stands out is the failure of any ideas in all I've read to explain human suffering. I mean, Being was thrust into existence (so to speak) in some Big Bang, and 13 billion years or so later it decides to torture itself though the agencies of, well, us. What is that all about? It doesn't make sense, which means our explanatory theories about being here fail in this.

I don't know what value is. Or anything, really. To stand before the world and know this is remarkable.
When you die, what would you hope to happen?
As for all: Existential redemption.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 11:20 am

END VIEW

As my life unrolls
Towards its distant goals
Of decay
And extermination,
Is my mood inspired
By my time expired
Or merely
Constipation?

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 1:34 pm

THE MAJESTY OF DEATH

The majesty of death
Cannot reign without love.
All power draws its strings
From the intimates of common things
That cross and tie our lives
From day to day, one to another;
The touch, the look, the joy
Of living in a world to share
In happiness and misery.
Time blooms with wondrous insights
That intensify when held in hands
Together.
To feel and know each other=s universe
Weaves a web of mutuality that
When ripped by death
Leaves threads
Swinging in a midnight wind.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 1:45 pm

FRAYED AT THE END

Along the way
One collects.
Sparsely,
If one has the wit to realize
The trip may be long
And pockets meanly shallow.

Youth and simple fascination
And an innate sense of order
Folds acquisitions into sense
Which fit most sensibly to stores.
But time overwhelms
Most economic husbandries
With plenitude.

Memories ferment and melt
To Pollock patterns.
Order and disorder meld.
Stars and tissue paper,
Unstrung pearls and graveled skins
Of tangerines long consumed.
Furniture no longer squats
In set configurations.
Curtains sag. Corners soften,
Faired by dust and crumbs
Into spider playgrounds
Where choruses of flies ensnared
Hum in symphony.

Dying must,
I belatedly perceive,
Be approached with caution.
Powers fade and disappear
In minute secret phases,
Like coins percolating
Through a pocket hole.

Distant objects blur.
The spines of books
No longer shout
What lies within.
Their colors smear
As by a moistened thumb
Into colored cacophones.
Sounds struggle through
A buzz and whistle static.
Anaesthetic numbness
Gloves my fingertips.
A ghostly dental shot
Has thickened up my mouth and tongue.

Soon I must be enwrapped
In white sterility
Within a chrome corral
Where hungry tubes
Will suck my openings
And pump intrusive stews
Bestowing to my life
A marginal extension.

Steaming from my center,
Like a lump of melting CO two,
Cold fear billows out
White clouds to lift me up
And off to nothingness.

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Hereandnow
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 2:24 pm

Both excellent and provocative poems. A question strikes me: How is it that metaphor is so capable of delivering deeper meanings? It is because we cannot see ourselves clearly save through others things in the world. An old person is a sagging chair or the bent shadow of a Sycamore: these images carry connotative values of their own, and when applied as metaphor, they can show us how the two, the metaphor and its reference, are the same; and in this the world discloses itself to us.

We live analogically, for language itself based upon the likeness in things. That is what concepts are.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 2:31 pm

And that is why we cannot fully imagine what seeing things in higher than three dimensions is rather difficult or damned near impossible. We have no metaphors for that.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 2:53 pm

Yes, but metaphors are there, for the making of new meaning. All we make as meaningful today is but grist for the mill for tomorrow (metaphor noted). Where will this go? Are there any definitive metaphors? That would be God: the definitive metaphor, i.e., the Truth.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 3:11 pm

As with some birds and other primates, humans have a skill with constructing tools to deal with problems. Our truths are useful as tools to manipulate difficulties and solve them, but as with other tools these truths eventually wear out so we must construct new ones which are sharper. Gods, are among these truths and with the others, eventually they wear out and are replaced.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 3:32 pm

You're a pragmatist. I think what falls away is pragmatic application. The term often survives. But also, in poetry, those ancient meanings bare the weight of the ages and are primordial and preserve thing s lost in cultural transformation. This is why Heidegger loves the ancients so.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 5:03 pm

Pragmatism means discovering what works and using it. At the age of 92 I have found it never fails me and never falls away.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 5:20 pm

I have a lot of respect for 92. I'm also a pragmatist. It's a movement in philosophy that had its heyday around the time when you were in your prime (or maybe now is your prime?). It faded, but then came back. I think they were right. But they weren't poets.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » January 18th, 2018, 5:37 pm

Although I write some poetry I don't consider myself a poet. I also do art. See https://siivola.org/jan/ . But I don't consider myself an artist. I'm just an animal trying to stay alive.

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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » January 18th, 2018, 6:10 pm

Hereandnow wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 10:56 am
Greta:
So you notice something about yourself that you'd missed?
I've noticed lots of things, but one that stands out is the failure of any ideas in all I've read to explain human suffering. I mean, Being was thrust into existence (so to speak) in some Big Bang, and 13 billion years or so later it decides to torture itself though the agencies of, well, us. What is that all about? It doesn't make sense, which means our explanatory theories about being here fail in this.
Suffering makes sense to me. The universe is growing and developing - from something simple and mindless to something much more sentient. This is happening on all levels; what was once the stuff of clouds and rocks has long been spontaneously reforming itself into feeling body systems and brains, of which ours are just a couple - Sagan's star dust on the move. If you are an infant, then you struggling your way out of chaos and turmoil; if you are old and wise, you probably feel pretty good most of the time because you have achieved more mental and emotional order, including more acceptance of, and capacity to ignore, physical pain.

On another level, our body routinely kills and slews its own cells when no longer required. The situation for us animals is the same. We are both ends in ourselves and the collateral damage that is part of the process of larger emergences, of which we are part, as they move towards greater maturity and order. Hence theism's - all of society's, really - constant pressure and encouragement to not identify with self but a larger entity. It's long been sensed that mindfulness of our small roles within larger entities at least existentially provides the optimism of feeling more useful than doomed.

My guess is that life (or what emerges from life) that's much more advanced than us today will suffer less intensely, just as we today have an easier time of it than ancient people living their short and dangerous and perennially perplexed lives. When ye olde worlde metaphysics are removed, de Chardin's Omega Point concept makes good sense - the natural product of evolutionary processes; constant inversion and eversion, consumption and output over time that creates ever more integration and interconnection in the fabric of reality, concentrated in nodes.

Summary: I'm optimistic about the deep future.
Hereandnow wrote:I don't know what value is. Or anything, really. To stand before the world and know this is remarkable.
Everything in reality is remarkable, extraordinary and generally mind blowing if considered deeply enough. The view from the inside is not one that facilitates understanding :)
Hereandnow wrote:
When you die, what would you hope to happen?
As for all: Existential redemption.
Why should we need to be redeemed? We are complex, interesting and generally fabulous beings that have been thrust cruelly into life - screaming, afraid and helpless - without a reliable manual, and been forced to stumble our way, somewhat blindly, through a few decades until death or despair.

All anyone does, or has done, in this life is the best they could muster at the time. Do you think you could have done better at certain times in your life? If so, then you must have overestimated yourself and your capabilities. The fact that one feels like they have underachieved makes clear that they did not take all factors into account when assessing what they could do.

Thus I see us all as largely innocent and utterly blameless at a deeper existential level, even if guilt for entropic deeds must be apportioned in the running of a society. Once you are on your deathbed, sensorily cut off from that outside world, none of that will matter, only the theatre inside your head :)

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Hereandnow » January 18th, 2018, 8:56 pm

Greta:
Suffering makes sense to me. The universe is growing and developing - from something simple and mindless to something much more sentient. This is happening on all levels; what was once the stuff of clouds and rocks has long been spontaneously reforming itself into feeling body systems and brains, of which ours are just a couple - Sagan's star dust on the move. If you are an infant, then you struggling your way out of chaos and turmoil; if you are old and wise, you probably feel pretty good most of the time because you have achieved more mental and emotional order, including more acceptance of, and capacity to ignore, physical pain.

On another level, our body routinely kills and slews its own cells when no longer required. The situation for us animals is the same. We are both ends in ourselves and the collateral damage that is part of the process of larger emergences, of which we are part, as they move towards greater maturity and order. Hence theism's - all of society's, really - constant pressure and encouragement to not identify with self but a larger entity. It's long been sensed that mindfulness of our small roles within larger entities at least existentially provides the optimism of feeling more useful than doomed.

My guess is that life (or what emerges from life) that's much more advanced than us today will suffer less intensely, just as we today have an easier time of it than ancient people living their short and dangerous and perennially perplexed lives. When ye olde worlde metaphysics are removed, de Chardin's Omega Point concept makes good sense - the natural product of evolutionary processes; constant inversion and eversion, consumption and output over time that creates ever more integration and interconnection in the fabric of reality, concentrated in nodes.

Summary: I'm optimistic about the deep future.
I wonder, Greta, if you would be so understanding if you were being hung by your thumbs in a medieval Roman prison. Or if the flames were licking at your feet during a witche's burning, and you were the witch. The point is, the ideas you expound above seem to lack the urgency, the horror, of actual suffering. It is one thing to have science at your back when theorizing; but quite another to be "in it". The latter is the reality I'm alarmed about. I am not so alarmed by the way theory takes care of suffering. It does so handily. But theory like this is like some political theory that justifies the means with the ends: yes its awful, but we are trying to achieve something here, a better world. Such a thing dismisses the true material horror. This latter, as with all things, upon closer look, is something much, much different from what is considered in theory.

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