Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

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Audrey ochs
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Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Audrey ochs » January 1st, 2014, 11:37 am

Note: For this topic, death means becoming nothingness.

Does it make sense to have any emotions in regards to ones personal death? Does it make sense to feel sadness, anger, fear, etc. whether in regards to becoming nothingness or in regards to leaving behind all that you love? For upon becoming nothingness, one is not even aware of his becoming nothingness. Upon leaving behind all one loves, one is not even aware that he has left behind all that he loves. Why be afraid of your cessation when you will never actually experience your cessation? Why be sad that you will never see your child’s face again when you will never actually experience never seeing your child’s face again? Why have emotions in regards to something you will never actually even experience? And in this way, I am not sure that it is logical to have emotions in regards to ones personal death. Yet at the same time, alive, you do have awareness that there will come a day when you will no longer be. There will come a day when you will no longer see your child’s face. Even though [because this will happen upon your nothingness] you will have no awareness that it has happened, it will in fact still happen, and alive, you do know this. And in that sense, maybe it is logical to have emotions in regards to your own personal death. What do you think?

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Being_1925 » October 14th, 2018, 4:54 pm

That is a very good description of what happens on death. One could not write any better. Only the matter that was our body keeps existing, as molecules or atoms.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 14th, 2018, 8:10 pm

Every one of our ancestors survived. Obviously. Over aeons those who most wanted to survive most desperately tended to outlast those with a less powerful drive, especially during the most difficult times.

So the emotional response is not conscious but an innate drive, the inner beast that automatically writhes and struggles furiously when under threat.

The situation is relative. Under usual circumstances staying alive is incredibly desirable and thus oblivion speaks only of loss to us - loss of all the great things about life. However, when the loss is only of struggling for breath on a machine that goes beep every few seconds in a sterile room, covered in tubes etc, then oblivion would probably start looking wonderful.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 14th, 2018, 8:48 pm

Zero time, zero space, what's there not to like upon return to that which is truly eternal.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 14th, 2018, 10:29 pm

What's not to like?

You'll be dead. The carnival will be over, possibly forever, or we start a new "carnival" from scratch, having to wade through all the same horrors of childhood and the teens. At this stage being alive now looks like by far the best option.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 15th, 2018, 1:31 am

Greta wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 10:29 pm
What's not to like?

You'll be dead.
Which is the same as never having been born. Didn't notice any inconveniences or limitations during that long period and not likely to notice any afterwards. True also that most Eastern religions strive to preempt being born so clearly, it's not so strange an idea.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 15th, 2018, 3:38 am

Has anyone carefully considered not being upon death? Whenever I do so with a clear mind and focus I find the thought truly frightening. To the point that my mind loses focus and dodges the thoughts I'm trying to make it have. Just wondered if others had had this experience.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by chewybrian » October 15th, 2018, 1:39 pm

Eduk wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 3:38 am
Has anyone carefully considered not being upon death? Whenever I do so with a clear mind and focus I find the thought truly frightening. To the point that my mind loses focus and dodges the thoughts I'm trying to make it have. Just wondered if others had had this experience.
I think nearly everyone would admit this experience if they were honest. I know I felt this way for a very long time, but...
Hecato says: 'cease to hope and you will cease to fear...'--Seneca
...stoic philosophy provides relief through the process of separating those things we can control (attitude, effort, opinion...) from those we cannot (health, wealth, reputation, death...). I am no longer having that same experience due to a different outlook on the same events which previously troubled me. This is not to say a switch is turned, but rather progress is made, and the world, though effectively unchanged, then looks very different over time to the observer who is making progress.
Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself.--Epictetus
If you take these words to heart then you must release the fear that you have attached to these 'threats' yourself, because it is the only rational response.
'What's in there?'---Luke Skywalker

'Only what you take with you.'--Yoda
This is a simple concept which is very difficult to pass on to others because they act on habit and don't believe they can control their emotions. There is no percentage in being angry, frightened, sad or bewildered by events outside your control. The rational response is to focus effort on what you can control to have the best experience you can in the situation in which you find yourself. In this case, it makes no sense to waste energy worrying about death when you could be busy doing what you can to enjoy the life you have now.

Your mind may be 'running' from these thoughts because of the notion you have that death is a thing to be feared, when in fact we simply don't know. Remove the fear and your mind won't try to 'save' you from the thoughts any longer, yet you may find no need to dwell on it, either. I suspect a lot of irrational action takes place as people try to run from what they fear, yet do not, cannot understand, or misplaced hope, on wishes that can not come true.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 15th, 2018, 2:38 pm

Chewy. I found it to be more of an interesting experience than a traumatic one. Besides it's pointless to lie to oneself, death is certainly scary. Or at least dying is scary.
As you already eloquently said. Not much point in dwelling overlong an things out of your control.
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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 15th, 2018, 4:59 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 1:31 am
Greta wrote:
October 14th, 2018, 10:29 pm
What's not to like?

You'll be dead.
Which is the same as never having been born. Didn't notice any inconveniences or limitations during that long period and not likely to notice any afterwards. True also that most Eastern religions strive to preempt being born so clearly, it's not so strange an idea.
The Easterners try to pre-empt being reborn as an alternative to living in other realms. If the alternative was total annihilation they would be furiously angling to have an extra life.

Complete loss of being is the second worst thing that can happen after prolonged hopeless suffering.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 15th, 2018, 6:06 pm

Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 4:59 pm
Jklint wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 1:31 am


Which is the same as never having been born. Didn't notice any inconveniences or limitations during that long period and not likely to notice any afterwards. True also that most Eastern religions strive to preempt being born so clearly, it's not so strange an idea.
The Easterners try to pre-empt being reborn as an alternative to living in other realms. If the alternative was total annihilation they would be furiously angling to have an extra life.

Complete loss of being is the second worst thing that can happen after prolonged hopeless suffering.
Don't know you mean by living in other realms but according to Hinduism, Buddhism or the Tibetan Book of the Dead it's best not be born at all but if you weren't enlightened enough to avoid the consequences strive to be born as a human all of which is nonsense anyways.

The complete loss of being as the second worst thing doesn't make sense either because you'd have to be alive to experience that, at least to some extent.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 15th, 2018, 6:33 pm

I can think of worse things than complete loss of being and prolonged hopeless suffering. They are near the top of the list though :-)
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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Greta » October 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm

Jklint wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 6:06 pm
Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 4:59 pm

The Easterners try to pre-empt being reborn as an alternative to living in other realms. If the alternative was total annihilation they would be furiously angling to have an extra life.

Complete loss of being is the second worst thing that can happen after prolonged hopeless suffering.
Don't know you mean by living in other realms but according to Hinduism, Buddhism or the Tibetan Book of the Dead it's best not be born at all but if you weren't enlightened enough to avoid the consequences strive to be born as a human all of which is nonsense anyways.

The complete loss of being as the second worst thing doesn't make sense either because you'd have to be alive to experience that, at least to some extent.
You are an educated man so you well know what is meant by "living in other realms. The Hindus' alternative to being human was existing in other realms without reincarnating. Since the thread is about emotional reactions - perceptions of reality - the actual reality doesn't so much matter in context. Their beliefs shape their attitude towards death and, I guess, it could reduce their death dread. As to post-mortem possibilities, I personally remain agnostic as I lack experience at being dead. I'll let you know what it's like when the time comes.


Eduk, what is worse than prolonged suffering or obliteration?

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Eduk » October 16th, 2018, 2:44 am

Loss of being of genes. Particularly your direct bloodline.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Emotions in regards to ones death (becoming nothingness)?

Post by Jklint » October 16th, 2018, 3:18 am

Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm
As to post-mortem possibilities, I personally remain agnostic as I lack experience at being dead.
I'm not agnostic at all regarding death. The before and after of your in-between are equal to each other or put differently zero=zero since none of us, including the whole human race, were destined to be here in the first place. That being the case what condition should death encounter but the one which preceded life. Agnosticism may be valid in many cases, just not in those that pertain to absolutes.

Greta wrote:
October 15th, 2018, 11:13 pm
I'll let you know what it's like when the time comes.
That's kind of you but I'll probably get there before you without knowing I was ever alive. That, of course, would preempt me from informing you first. Sorry about that. But what the hell, C'est la vie!

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