Do you fear death?

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Do you fear death?

#22643

Post by Char » 1 month ago

I'm scared of dying. I just can't accept that one day I'll have to disappear. I want to be immortal and forever young. I want to reject death itself. What is the point of living if you'll have to die and disappear forever? Heck, I'll even accept reincarnating as a cat infinite times over death. I mentioned this to my psychiatrist and guess what? She wanted to up the dosage of my medication, but I didn't take the prescribed amount.

Do you fear death? How do you cope with it?

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Do you fear death?

#22644

Post by Guest-3 » 1 month ago

Yes, but I am even more scared of having to live without my family or being in poor physical and mental state. I truly believe that having to live forever when family and loved ones are gone is the worst form of punishment.
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Do you fear death?

#22645

Post by Admin » 1 month ago

I understand, this is a horrible feeling which hit me like a ton of bricks when I was 15. I had actively been abandoning my belief in God since the age of 12 (the age of reason bruh) and all of a sudden, I was like "wait, what am I doing here? One day I'm going to disappear and it's going to be nothing but eternal, dark, cold nothingness" (sorry if this triggers you at the moment). For a week I had intense panic attacks that got so bad my mother had to get me to the emergency room, where I said something like: "It's not only my fear of death, but I'm also scared of my fear of death", the doctor thought it was pretty meta :p.

After a week the fear went away as I immersed myself in my hobby of the moment (creating 3D environments), I had found a purpose in which I could be fully immersed again. Looking back, music, movies, great stories in general largely took the place of religion. I went through cycles of existential crisis, my high neuroticism and very intuitive, open-mindedness couldn't stand not to have anything solid to stand on, I was trying to stay afloat in an ocean of meaningless chaos. So I would run try to build meaning for my life in anything I found shiny at a particular moment: dating, ideologies (Marxism, veganism, new-age nonsense and many others) and immediate pleasures. It was shaky as fuck, and then hair loss hit when I was 19. Then most people here know the story. It became so bad around the age of 21 that my brain nearly disintegrated: major depression, anxiety, panic attacks and as the cherry on top: brief psychotic disorder.

By some miracle, I put myself, my mind back together, still as an atheist until around 2016, a shift happened in my mind, I saw an "up", still without any religious conversion or even the discovering of Jordan Peterson who will boost my recovery. As I was climbing up, growing in my first job, I met the girl who was going to become my wife. On our first date, despite doing on dozens of dates like a pig at the time, I'm struck, I know it's her! In Christian tradition, we have this saying that there is always a woman who converts first, for example, it's pervasive thorough the scriptures and it remains true for figures like Emperor Constantine whose mother converted first. Looking back, my wife played that role for me.

A year later, I find my first Jordan Peterson video and I get it, I get what he's trying to do, he's showing me through the story of Pinocchio (yes) that those patterns in music, in movies, in stories which left me in awe are not secondary but the very structure of reality. The universe is not a cold and dark place, it is actually made of meaning and us conscious beings are what make the universe hold together by interpreting it. Without consciousness, without anybody to experience reality, it might as well not exist. Western materialists got things backwards, they think the hard tangible material reality is primary and meaning is just something we superimpose on it.

This is the Jordan Peterson video in question:



Anyway, you're probably wondering what the hell I'm talking about and it's normal, no one can take you there rationally, it's something you have to realize for yourself. I took a very long time for me, and even as I was transitioning, I wouldn't believe it, I was wondering what was happening to me. The biggest transformation for me was at the beginning of last year when I entered a (very traditional) catholic church for the first time and thought, what the hell, I'll just play along, sing, bow, recite the creeds, we'll see. A few months later, I also start practicing Orthodox Christian meditation. And then it goes even further outside rationality, I can't explain what happened to me, let's say I had several revelations and experiences. If psychosis was the fragmentation of my mind, the process happening here feels like the exact opposite. You find a new center in the life of the church, in Christ himself, which is the key to interpreting the structure of that very bright and alive universe which is made of the love of God himself.

Now about death, did you notice how it wasn't even mentioned in those two paragraphs? I can only say this now that I can look back but even as I was reading the Bible (before going to church for the first time), it was very secondary and it still is in many ways. As you immerse yourself into the Christian life, there is like this shift in your brain which makes you understand that there is not really a separation between life now and the afterlife. It starts now and what matters is now, how are you trying to become like God, like Christ, right now. Because judgement is always coming, right now. So this "you just started believing in God because you were scared of death!" would just not work for me. So this is what you wanted to know, do I still fear death? It's hard to answer, it's almost never on my mind. When I think about it, it's more in terms of facing judgement by Christ.

What I care about now is fixing myself here and now so I can bring more love into this world, first to myself (through Christ), and then to others, which is why I'm currently learning to have compassion for myself for the first time, something I didn't even know I was largely incapable of doing until very recently. Now telling you this very condensed story of mine is all I can do on this insanely complicated subject.

I'd say that if you're having suicidal thoughts, or even if you're feeling so down you can't operate anymore, you should consider taking stronger medication, but that should always be temporary.

We're all very different and I know one can't force oneself to follow a path. But if you're really desperate, I'd say why not give it a shot? Find your local Catholic or Orthodox (or if you really have no choice, protestant) church and just, play along, play pretend, and see if something happens. I'm afraid there is no quick fix for this kind of deep existential crisis. If you're very rationally-minded, I'd advise you to immerse yourself in John Vervaeke's "Awakening from the Meaning Crisis" series. It will teach you step by step how the West got there, and how people like you and me got there, and how to pull yourself out of it:



I know it's hell on earth to be in the place you're in right now. I'm sending you as much love as possible through this weird post and I'll pray for your recovery. Don't hesitate if you have any questions, or to tell me "muh big sky daddy lololol cope!" ;).
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Do you fear death?

#22646

Post by Johnson » 1 month ago

I don't fear being dead as it will be like how it was before being born. I think the act of dying is more scary. The way most people go - cancer, heart attacks, strokes - are pretty damn awful and there is so much suffering there.

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Do you fear death?

#22647

Post by blackg » 1 month ago

pjhair wrote:
1 month ago
Yes, but I am even more scared of having to live without my family...
I wish I could forget my family. They all drink too much.
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#22649

Post by Guest-3 » 1 month ago

blackg wrote:
1 month ago
I wish I could forget my family. They all drink too much.
More than you?
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Do you fear death?

#22650

Post by Uncle Grandfather » 1 month ago

No, I don't. I squandered my best years working a mediocre job, not taking care of myself properly, and not living in the moment and spending more non-working days indoors than out. I'm not suicidal, but I have no real desire to live past 45 either.
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Do you fear death?

#22652

Post by blackg » 1 month ago

pjhair wrote:
1 month ago
More than you?
Lol, yes.

Added in 51 seconds:
Uncle Grandfather wrote:
1 month ago
I'm not suicidal, but I have no real desire to live past 45 either.
How old are you now mate?
From Australia: we're all in this together.

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Do you fear death?

#22655

Post by Char » 1 month ago

Admin wrote:
1 month ago
Don't hesitate if you have any questions, or to tell me "muh big sky daddy lololol cope!" ;).

@Admin Do you believe in the afterlife? I studied philosophy and one of the reasons people create gods is because they have a need to explain something. One thing I also heard from my philosophy lectures is that people also have a need for immortality (and I think I heard that right). My mother is a non-believer in the afterlife, but a believer in god. She used to believe in the afterlife after her mother died, but now no more.

One thing I found interesting since I was a child is the relationship between clinical deaths and astral projection. In both of these processes, people see themselves from above and they also sometimes see their soul exiting the body. This is the only thing that makes me believe that some form of the afterlife exists, but that belief is only mild in my case.

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Do you fear death?

#22689

Post by Admin » 1 month ago

Char wrote:
1 month ago
@Admin Do you believe in the afterlife? I studied philosophy and one of the reasons people create gods is because they have a need to explain something. One thing I also heard from my philosophy lectures is that people also have a need for immortality (and I think I heard that right). My mother is a non-believer in the afterlife, but a believer in god. She used to believe in the afterlife after her mother died, but now no more.

One thing I found interesting since I was a child is the relationship between clinical deaths and astral projection. In both of these processes, people see themselves from above and they also sometimes see their soul exiting the body. This is the only thing that makes me believe that some form of the afterlife exists, but that belief is only mild in my case.
I do believe in the afterlife. Of course we need to explain things we don't understand so that we can make our lives bearable. Whether it's through science and knowledge (weak), life experience and wisdom (better) or stories and myths (even better). And some things, the highest things cannot be contained even in myth, at least not entirely, and one will only be able to discover them through mystical (Definiton: inspiring a sense of spiritual mystery, awe, and fascination) experiences, through religious liturgy, music, singing, art, sitting in silence, praying, going within the heart, etc.

People who have reached enlightenment, like our Christian saints, believe that truth is already out there, objective, to be discovered, not like a science experiment, but rather like a relationship you would develop with a good friend. It's neither only in the thing itself or in us, but in the interplay, the relationship itself. So it's not that we have a need for immortality, it's that it is the case, but it's one of the things that cannot be revealed to people through science or rational discourse.

As you see talking about this rationally is hard and we quickly hit a wall because the intuitive way of knowing has to be brought back into the equation. Some things are not to be known directly, some transformations, some 'aha!' moments will not come to you from reading about it (even in the Bible, some Christians would crucify me for saying that :p), like you did with astral projection. They're real phenomenologically, they happen to people, scientists will say "nothing to see here, it's just the brain hallucinating" and religious people say that they're very real, dangerous and that they should not be sought.

Science is catching up though, the latest advances in neuroscience are finally showing us the reality of what I'm talking about here: that the unconscious part of us which gets transformed through religious rituals and experiences is way more influent and more in control of us than we had suspected. Thank God, we're getting away from this idea that all problems are psychological and can be addressed by acquiring more knowledge, by solving them rationally: "here's a manual about how to think properly, read it and you'll be fixed!". Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way, and it took a long time for scientists to let go of that paradigm.
"But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” - Mark 1:25 :christian-cross:

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Do you fear death?

#22690

Post by Guest-3 » 1 month ago

Admin wrote:
1 month ago
People who have reached enlightenment, like our Christian saints, believe that truth is already out there, objective, to be discovered, not like a science experiment, but rather like a relationship you would develop with a good friend.
Not just Christian saints, Hindu saints believe the same about truth. Anyway, I largely agree with you but I will just like to point out that science is neither in favor nor against spirituality. Science just follows where evidence leads it to. It's just a process. However, scientists are merely human and they can and do suffer from weaknesses that other humans have, for example being too set in your ways and dogmatic about your belief system. I am baffled when intelligent scientists claim that consciousness can arise from totally unconscious constituents and has material basis. They claim that as brain gets more and more complex, it spontaneously comes into existence. They have no answer for what has complexity of the brain got to do with consciousness. They just pull this theory out of hat in order to avoid the possibility that perhaps consciousness is eternal or has non material basis.

Fortunately not all scientists are as closed minded. Eminent mathematical Physicists such as Roger Penrose admit our ignorance about consciousness. There are other scientists as well. Please look up Donald Hoffman, the professor of Cognitive Science at University of California. He has done great work in this field. Panpsychism is getting increasingly popular. Even Sam Harris doesn't deny that it may be true.

There are three questions that baffle me and I am not sure science can ever fully answer them without assuming the hands of an all power conscious being OR assuming that consciousness is eternal and independent of material universe and guides it's evolution including the origin of life.

(1) Complete explanation of origin of universe
(2) Origin of life (Yes, no body has a fucking clue how life started)
(3) Origin of consciousness

Anyway, I have a lot more to say about this topic but I have to rush to work so I will perhaps elaborate on it later.
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Do you fear death?

#22693

Post by yettee » 1 month ago

As I see it... as has been said here already, there is subjective and objective reality. Subjective reality is our interpretation of objective reality. The experience of escaping the subjective and experiencing the objective is profound, life-changing, and can happen in a great number of ways, including prayer, meditation, getting absorbed into music or sport, drug use, fasting, anything that takes a person away from subjective thought and interpretation. It also happens naturally for most people, throughout the day for varying periods of time and different extents.

For me science and a real understanding of parts of it, far from being a cold clinical thing separate from the profound, can itself be enlightening and profound and brings clarity to the nature of objectivity. Astronomy in particular. Astronomy gives one a sense and actual knowledge of place, and answers questions that are also tackled by religion (how are we here? what are we, what do our bodies consist of and where did it come from? where are we? what happens after we die?) That's my take on it anyway.

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