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Old 03-03-2014, 01:37 PM
 
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Nope. Once I just accepted the idea of oblivion, it seemed much more palatable. I cherish my family and friends here that much more, and I have less patience for unhealthy or toxic people.

I love a lot of people, and a lot of people love me. That's all I really think matters. I do wonder if I will be sad if I grow very old and the people dearest to me have passed on - that's way scarier than ceasing to exist. But I keep meeting people and making new friends, so it's not a serious concern.
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
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Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
I suspect that you would have less trouble believing it if you had been a part of my family. I've mentioned previously that denial and suppression were my parent's major m.o. It could get extremely frustrating at times and I used to promise myself that when I had my own family, no such dynamic would prevail. Experience taught me that I had underrated the denial path, that when the goal is ending conflict, it wasn't possible to always resolve it, sometimes pretending that it never happened worked just fine.
I think that is just picking your battles in interpersonal relationships. What I had more in mind was denial and suppression of the fear of mortality for oneself, and related things like god and afterlife beliefs.

I agree that there are times when there is no point in even engaging with someone who is angry and acting out, at least until they calm down. I have trouble respecting people who can't control themselves temperamentally, but I haven't been successful in 100% avoiding them, and I have found I can override my tendency to want to reason with temporarily crazy people, to want to defend myself when they are misunderstanding me or just simply making stuff up about me. Sometimes, it's over something so trivial that it's not even worth clearing the air afterwards and we both drop it. So I get what you are talking about here, but I think that is different from whether one's metaphysics are reality-based or not because even if two parties to a disagreement decide to pretend something didn't happen, at least they both KNOW they are pretending ;-)
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
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"I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You canít say it wasnít interesting. My lifetimeís memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."

--The late film critic Roger Ebert
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Old 03-03-2014, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Originally Posted by mark3455 View Post
I became an atheist awhile ago, it just gradually happened. I no longer could believe in many of the things that religion asks you to believe in.
As that happened, I lost a MAJOR security blanket, the notion that there is an afterlife and you don't just disappear after death.
This doesn't bother me so much while in the daytime but a few times, while asleep or half asleep, I find myself thinking about dying and just being… nothing. That or just floating in nothingness, like limbo, which I realize is nonsense. But it's fear of mortality, fear of death, fear of ceasing to be anything. Sometimes, I wake with a start, sometimes briefly yell out like I'm startled and then I startle my wife.

Anyone else? How did you cope with it? Does it ever go away?
I'm frightened of oblivion. I've always been frightened of oblivion...back when I was a deist, and now as an atheist. The belief in an afterlife didn't seem to help much, because it might not exist.

That's why I imagine a magical happy land of rainbows and unicorns after this life, and ignore reality. There are also mermaids. The mermaids are between age 23 and 26. When they reach 26, they revert back to 23 years old. You can ride the mermaids too...and they'll jump through hoops like dolphins at theme parks.

There are fairies there too, and you can fly.

When that doesn't work, like today when I started going down the mental path of nothing in this life matters. It will all be gone eventually. Nothing anyone does matters, I realized that is not true because everything we do will always have happened. It will always have mattered.

Maybe look at that as a form of immortality, if it is of assistance.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I don't believe it is taught, I believe it is simply a side effect of our self-awareness and the core of the human condition. It has been said that self-awareness, when we achieved it, either went too far or is inherently too much for us to bear. It is only in the modern era that we are beginning to have enough understanding of how the universe works to rationalize some of the fear and loneliness of our self-awareness without having to invent gods to, by turns, comfort us and keep us in line.
Well it is not taught in the aspect of "class, welcome to You Will Die 101" but conceptually in lessons like "you will suffer forever and ever and ever when you die if you don't pay homage to this god."

Many children are forced to pray/recite by rote "If I die before.... (blah blah)" long before they have any concept of life and death.
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
"I know it is coming, and I do not fear it, because I believe there is nothing on the other side of death to fear. I hope to be spared as much pain as possible on the approach path. I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state. I am grateful for the gifts of intelligence, love, wonder and laughter. You canít say it wasnít interesting. My lifetimeís memories are what I have brought home from the trip. I will require them for eternity no more than that little souvenir of the Eiffel Tower I brought home from Paris."

--The late film critic Roger Ebert
It's not death that I fear, but the dying process does cause some apprehension.

My mother dies suddenly, literally dropped dead fixing dinner. For her a great way to go, but one hell of a shock for everyone else.

My dad's dying process took a long time as disease worked its course on his body, and he was miserable for far too long, or longer than I would want to be. Yes drugs did help with his comfort, but we all knew, including him this would only get worse and worse until he died.

Today they exist only in memories of those that loved them. I learned a lot of life's lessons from both of them, and cherish my memories of them, knowing that they exist only in my memory. No fairy tale ending of seeing them again.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:25 AM
 
40,117 posts, read 26,779,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I don't believe it is taught, I believe it is simply a side effect of our self-awareness and the core of the human condition. It has been said that self-awareness, when we achieved it, either went too far or is inherently too much for us to bear. It is only in the modern era that we are beginning to have enough understanding of how the universe works to rationalize some of the fear and loneliness of our self-awareness without having to invent gods to, by turns, comfort us and keep us in line.
Each stage of our species evolution required a different spiritual paradigm . . . and so it is with the levels of spiritual maturity in each individual life within each given evolutionary stage of our species existence. There is no one-size-fits-all, mordant.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
When that doesn't work, like today when I started going down the mental path of nothing in this life matters. It will all be gone eventually. Nothing anyone does matters, I realized that is not true because everything we do will always have happened. It will always have mattered.

Maybe look at that as a form of immortality, if it is of assistance.
^^^^
I like this thought and I will post it on the wall somewhere.

"The present is a form of eternity and existence is a form of immortality."
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Old 03-04-2014, 01:01 PM
 
3,315 posts, read 1,883,350 times
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Originally Posted by mordant View Post
This was a very insightful post.

Some people find even the temporary loss of self-awareness frightening; these are the people who feel a sense of loss of control, perhaps like they are falling, when they literally "fall" asleep; or who fret that they may never wake up and so resist sleep. They are intuiting that these "little deaths" are a harbinger of the "final death" to come.

But most of us think nothing of deep and dreamless sleep, even look forward to it. That is how I look at actual death. It is, in and of itself, no big deal. My only worries are that it might come because I've been impaled by a steering column in a car accident or had my throat slit by a robber or after a months-long agony of cancer or something like that. It is the process, not the final outcome, that gives me any trouble. And I can manage those anxieties because any of those things could happen without death as the outcome, too, and taken to its ultimate conclusion, one could worry 24/7 about random things, to no good purpose.

I had not thought about identification with mind vs body or other focuses such as the removal of the things one values about living, such as social interactions and emotional contact with loved ones. Such orientations would have a rather large influence on how one approaches the fact of their own mortality. I tend to be rather heady, and so identify with the mind. I can see where being in thrall to the illusion that "you" are "your body" or "your relationships" -- or indeed the illusion that "you" are not largely an illusion in the first place -- could really complicate the fear of death.
I am one of those people. It is fine if I fall without realizing it but one of the reasons I don't like medicine is some medicines make you drowsy and the feeling of falling asleep has scared the living daylights out of me.
I find sleep to be a waste of time too. I always have to be doing something (big on multi-tasking) so the idea of doing nothing for an eternity is pretty depressing.

Last edited by Nickchick; 03-04-2014 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:41 PM
 
Location: "Arlen" Texas
2,384 posts, read 1,560,398 times
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I can't say that I do. In fact not too long ago I had a dream that was so realistic I didn't realize it was a dream until waking. In it I was in a building fire and was going to suffocate from smoke. My thought was, well, this is how I go. No fear, prayers, or panic, no shout out to God. When I awoke I felt relieved it was a dream, of course, but also surprised that religion was not even a factor in my thoughts, though I was raised in a church going family.
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