What happens to us when we die?

Discuss any topics related to metaphysics (the philosophical study of the principles of reality) or epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge) in this forum.
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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » February 21st, 2018, 6:35 pm

Jan, for most of our existence we do not care about life, survival or anything else, being either too young, too asleep or too dead. So, we start as a point - a zygote - and we finish as a cell (or perhaps a group of cells that expires together). This is observed reality and inevitable logic.

Yet we care not a jot about existence, nor about life: who would prefer to be in a permanent vegetative state to death? So we only care about conscious existence, and yet we crave its dissolution every night. So, basically, for a while we defy the constant attempts of our environments - natural, cultural and social - to break us down and reclaim us into their relative homogeneity. When the outside world has taken enough pieces of us, being consciously aware ceases to be desirable too. So then consciousness goes away. Yet again.

What is this consciousness that goes away? Our consciousness of a year ago, ten years ago, certainly our minds of thirty years ago are "dead" too. There are many people who are more like us today than the children we once were. This begs the entire question of identity (as obsessed over by numerous philosophers).

Once we die, simply probability ensures that numerous other consciousnesses will continue to develop and emerge that share many similar qualities to those that were lost with our deaths. They will display qualities that may have been seen in us during any given phase of our lives - but they are obviously not the same, given that we are not even the same person we were [x] years ago!

This approximate repetition of qualities, Jung would say archetypes, appears to be the essence of reincarnation. It's seemingly not about the physical transmutation of one's qualities to another body, but their probabilistic relative repetition in any given population. Thus, the relationships between the dead and the "reincarnations" would seem to be abstract.


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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » February 22nd, 2018, 12:08 am

It's worthwhile to grasp something of Einstin's space time to think about and what remains the same thing in identity and perception. What we see as change in three dimensions is merely a different aspect of a four dimensional object. An identity can change and still remain the same. That's a matter of linguistics. There are many ideas about consciousness and my own is that what we call reality is a fabrication of the brain which is a pattern factory that takes the various nerve inputs and assembles them into a dynamic pattern and it has created something called consciousness that lives in this pattern. No doubt we exist in a matrix of forces, some of which we can perceive and most probably there are many more which evade our perception but are not necessarily important for our survival. This consciousness is a reaction pattern created by the brain and when the brain ceases to exist everything about it also vanishes. When I sleep my consciousness has all sorts of fascinating adventures in fantasy patterns invented by my brain. Being awake is somewhat similar but the consciousness reacts to the more permanent patterns out of nerve impulses. Reality is merely another form of brain pattern dynamics.

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Greta
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Greta » February 22nd, 2018, 12:51 am

Jan, the Minkowski block universe - the 4D object you refer to - looks very much like a fictitious mathematical model that ignores the arrow of time and the likelihood that that arrow is caused by cosmic inflation. That is, it appears to be less of a perspective than a misconception. Apparently quantum entities can travel backwards in time to some extent but the arrow of time is otherwise insurmountable in larger terrains outside of black holes.

When I'm asleep I rarely notice any fantasy patterns (dreams). I simply black out and at some point wake up needing to go to the toilet. That's where our consciousness is going - blackness. However, numerous consciousnesses of similar ilks will continue to exist after we go away. While no one will ever look through your same eyes again, you are looking through different eyes to those of the past anyway, linked tenuously merely by the function of some brain cells required for long term memory.

However, some people will be perceiving reality in a very similar way to you, right now (scattered amongst the 7 billion) and in the future, just as you have effectively been the expression of certain tendencies displayed by those in the past. None of this has anything to do with perspectives and everything to do with probability. We humans are ultimately expendable, readily replaceable, portions of society. In Game of Thrones the Night's Watch say "We shall never see his like again" as a requiem. Certainly those who are close will probably never see the likes of their dead again, but strikingly similar kinds of personalities and characters will continue to appear from time to time around the world at different times.

Still, you gents seem to be most keen to talk about the most boringly obvious aspects of death. Yes, dead bodies decompose. Noted. None of that addresses potentially and arguably the most profound moments of our brief lives - when we are effectively dead, but with the brain using its last minutes of oxygen supply.

There have been many reports of blankness before resuscitation from near-death, as with my sleep, but also many extraordinary tales, some with seemingly with a significant sense of time dilation. At the edge of death, whether time dilation is actual or not is moot; it's the sensation of time that matters. Might the sense of an eternal afterlife be crammed into a few minutes?

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » February 22nd, 2018, 1:14 am

Obviously brains differ. Not only do I experience around four or five different fantasy adventures in sleep each night but when awake I can close my eyes and see variations of my visual sense expressions that continuously change in unexpected ways which is a form of visual thinking. As an artist and designer I can close my eyes and visualize all sorts of interesting constructions and graphics and even with my eyes open can see these things on blank surfaces like white walls or white paper surfaces. My imagination never stops.

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SimpleGuy
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by SimpleGuy » February 23rd, 2018, 5:16 pm

The problem is more, is there more than our body attached to us? Is this attachment perhaps the social environment which serves as a saving element or the descendents of the individual. Than somehow have some kind of primitive backup of the person in memory. Is there a bosonic structure attached to the human beeing, that could be called soul. How far have the fermionic matter and the bosonic structure some kind of saving effect of our personality ?

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by TigerNinja » February 28th, 2018, 5:24 pm

What I want to happen and what I think will happen are two very different things. I want me to go to a land whereby I get everything I want and no one can say otherwise unless they say otherwise and it is stimulation but otherwise never happens. What I think will happen is nothing. I believe we were never alive to begin with as there is no difference between you and a table. They are just atoms. You can't already be dead since you weren't alive to begin with. You can't be alive since there was nothing to determine you as providing the functions for life. You are 'more alive' than other things, but everything is in an intermediary state between the two, whereby you are just a bunch of atoms which has some self awareness, and therefore (foolishly so) you believe that everything that is complex and portrays a few signs is alive. Despite everything being made out of the same thing.
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » February 28th, 2018, 11:32 pm

A table is not a chair, a chair is not a butterfly, a butterfly is not a mouse and I am not an electric mixer. I do not want to go where I have anything I might want because then I cannot want anything and I might as well not exist. Strangely, I still want to exist although there is no real point in existing. I am old which means I had been a butterfly and I find I have returned to being a caterpillar and I sorely miss my wings. Old age is a time when there is a death of hope and frequently a hope of death. Nobody wants to say so but we have maniacs in control who are vigorously chopping this wonderful planet to pieces and delighted to have the opportunity to make everything radioactive and present everybody with an extremely ugly way to die. It is, I suppose, something exceptional to be at the time to watch the planet die but, even though it is a very small and insignificant planet I have become rather fond of it. We live in interesting times,

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Steve3007 » March 1st, 2018, 4:29 am

TigerNinja wrote:...I believe we were never alive to begin with as there is no difference between you and a table. They are just atoms. You can't already be dead since you weren't alive to begin with. You can't be alive since there was nothing to determine you as providing the functions for life. You are 'more alive' than other things, but everything is in an intermediary state between the two, whereby you are just a bunch of atoms which has some self awareness, and therefore (foolishly so) you believe that everything that is complex and portrays a few signs is alive. Despite everything being made out of the same thing.
I agree with you that there is a continuum from things that we generally agree to be alive (e.g. humans) to things that we generally think of as not alive. But I don't think that just because things exist on a continuum it automatically means that they are the same. I'm trying to make a similar point, in a very different context (gun control) to GE Morton on another thread.

If there is a continuum, as there is for many things in life, then we simply draw our own dividing lines, to suit our own purposes, on it.
For evil views to flourish, it only requires good people to say nothing.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » March 1st, 2018, 4:33 am

There is a line inscribed in time and space

That contains my fingertips and face

Determining here I am and will be and was.

Durations of expectations, collections of regrets

That are best installed and stored in dark mementos.

A life is that and more. Patterns to come, shapes before

That flash and flame in delight and shame that cannot be

Discarded. These are the evanescent solidities of me.

The universe no longer spans vacuums of nothingness

Between the sparkles out of stars but is full filled

With dark mysteries who ghost the emptiness in nets

Between the galaxies that we can barely sense.

Odd distortions of the ways that photons streak,

Incoherent revolutions not to be accounted for

Of galactic spins that betray something odd out that way.

Thus do our lives as well encounter elements of occult spell,

A magic out of random unexpectedness from dark woven strands

That shadow through our lives to strike with lightning bolts,

Jolts of horror to rip away quiddities into what has occurred

Conferring upon all creation that all basics have become absurd.

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Barry Sears
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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Barry Sears » March 1st, 2018, 6:33 am

Jan wrote
When I sleep my consciousness has all sorts of fascinating adventures in fantasy patterns invented by my brain. Being awake is somewhat similar but the consciousness reacts to the more permanent patterns out of nerve impulses. Reality is merely another form of brain pattern dynamics.
Love the poem Jan, was it inspired by this thread, or written in another moment. Just a question that has popped up recently. Is sand called sand because it sits between the sea and land? hence sand.

Also a little off topic. I have been captivated and have studied for years a pattern that seems to pass through all of life. This has been captured in glass and stands as my avatar. Discovered by our ancient predecessors, set in stone around the World and painted on our surrounding stars, connected to all of our animals and all aspects of life. A pattern of life.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » March 1st, 2018, 6:44 am

It was a poem I wrote a while ago that seems to fit the topic although it was directed at dark matter. Much of my poetry verges on philosophical topics. It's at https://jansandhere.wordpress.com/ Sand was a name chosen by my family when they tired of the misspellings of the old one.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Steve3007 » March 1st, 2018, 7:09 am

I like the idea that sand is so-called because it marks the boundary between sea and land. I think the atmosphere should be called grace, because it marks the boundary twixt ground and space.
For evil views to flourish, it only requires good people to say nothing.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » March 1st, 2018, 7:17 am

Words in English are quite different from other languages so the relationships are, more or less, random in sounds and actuality. In Finnish, sand is hieka and the sea is meri.

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Gnybus387 » March 2nd, 2018, 7:56 pm

WELL, I do believe in afterlife if that's one thing, because there is a fact i strongly believe is true even if i can't prove it to others. I believe that the mind itself (not the brain, that's the physical representation of the mind) is more real then our bodies or anything on the physical level

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Re: What happens to us when we die?

Post by Jan Sand » March 3rd, 2018, 2:18 am

Whatever makes you happy and gives you comfort. I have never encountered a mind without a body so I have yet to be convinced of that existence.

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