back to the beginning: death

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back to the beginning: death

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:07 pm

One day you will die. You will become nothing at all for eternty.

And that, for many, is when the emotional and psychological defense mechanisms kick in. They pursue them in order to obviate the emotional and psychological states engendered when thinking about being nothing at all forever.

Among them:

terror
horror
anguish
despair

Or, perhaps, science will tap some on the shoulder and say, "wait a minute, matter can neither be created nor destroyed; it merely changes forms."

In other words, we are assured, "we do not become nothing at at. Instead, we merely go back to being atomic and sub-atomic particles."

And some will then try to hyperpolize this as the noble sojourn back to "star stuff".

Below, however, are just some of the things that, as far as I know, "star stuff" can never again know or experience:

the love of children, family, friends
the taste of food
the sound of music
the joy of accomplishment
the rush of creativity
the exhilaration of orgasm
the fulfillment of art, film, theatre, dance

But, sure, some folks are still able to delude themselves into believing death is not nothing at all. Why? Because it is not actually zero.

On the contrary, the most deluded insist, it is actually God.

And to that I say this: Would that I could be one of them...
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Lucis Trust » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:12 pm

Does consciousness make the atoms or atoms the consciousness?
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby spivey » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:17 pm

Death is the biggest contribution we give to the planet that supports us. We give our bodies to be decomposed and used to grow other things. A miniscule contribution in comparison to all we get from Earth.

Hopefully our consciousness lies within our atoms and not within our brain. Or hopefully there is a God and heaven and all that jazz. I don't want to die :cry:
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Lucis Trust » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:20 pm

Could consciousness be a thing in itself?
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby turtle » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:28 pm

good topic. the next thing would be ---what do we do in the meantime.

atoms are atoms. consciousness will go with the brain.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby iambiguous » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:02 pm

spivey wrote:Death is the biggest contribution we give to the planet that supports us. We give our bodies to be decomposed and used to grow other things. A miniscule contribution in comparison to all we get from Earth.



Now, thinking this way works for you. Great. I'm glad that it does. And there are many other ways to "put death in perspective". But compared to all that will be taken from me---forever and ever and ever---it just doesn't work for me. It gives me little respite at all from the terror, horror, anguish and despair.

What a bummer.

The only thing that does work for me is pain. Physical or emotional, with death it is all taken away in turn.

Jim Morrison:

People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.

Beautiful friend, The End.

That's as close as I can get to any, "peace of mind".

Well, I guess I'll go back to watching Eraserhead.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby cheegster » Sun Apr 10, 2011 9:03 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Jim Morrison:

People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.


That quote is one of my favourites. I used to have it up on my wall as a poster.

BTW, nice OP iambiguous. I didn't initially reply though because I don't have much to add to it.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby TheEnd » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:53 am

The brain, the mind. They work through electrical impulses sent around the body. Electricity is energy and energy never dies. Just by living from day to day we are immortalized.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Archangel » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:04 pm

Eternity ahead, eternity behind - in between lies life, a fraction of eternity that wants to BE eternal. It can never be that, because there is no eternity, just as the Universe we live in has a begining, it has an end, along with everything in it. -As i see it, people think about death in two (2) situations: in grave danger and in times when they have too much spare time. -If they have too much spare time, it simply means that they are not living at FULL capacity, and every such a time life is wasted. -Live your life as much as possible, seize the day - death will come by itself but life won't, it needs to be invoked.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Arcturus Descending » Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:48 pm

turtle wrote:good topic. the next thing would be ---what do we do in the meantime.

atoms are atoms. consciousness will go with the brain.

Well, if we truly have the consciousness which goes with or extends out from the brain and mind, we also have the awareness to live our lives in such a way that death DOES NOT REALLY MATTER. But then again, death WOULD matter if we could recognize it as a force which compels us to live our life in a significant way, seeing as much meaning and rarity within our lives as we can, along with the suffering (death) other side of that coin.

That is where MATTER (brain) really meets and harmonizes with consciousness (awareness).
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby turtle » Mon Apr 11, 2011 4:07 pm

arcturus rising wrote:
turtle wrote:good topic. the next thing would be ---what do we do in the meantime.

atoms are atoms. consciousness will go with the brain.

Well, if we truly have the consciousness which goes with or extends out from the brain and mind, we also have the awareness to live our lives in such a way that death DOES NOT REALLY MATTER. But then again, death WOULD matter if we could recognize it as a force which compels us to live our life in a significant way, seeing as much meaning and rarity within our lives as we can, along with the suffering (death) other side of that coin.

That is where MATTER (brain) really meets and harmonizes with consciousness (awareness).

so we are going to live our lives so that death does not really matter. the only way that happens is to take drugs. we do not handle death well. we need to concentrate on how to treat each other better in a life that sucks. as long as we all have to suffer, lets have a big group hug.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby statiktech » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:11 pm

iambiguous wrote:One day you will die. You will become nothing at all for eternty.


This isn't necessarily true. We aren't "alive", but that which constitutes us doesn't cease to exist altogether. We disperse like anything else.

And that, for many, is when the emotional and psychological defense mechanisms kick in. They pursue them in order to obviate the emotional and psychological states engendered when thinking about being nothing at all forever.

Among them:

terror
horror
anguish
despair


Defending what?

Or, perhaps, science will tap some on the shoulder and say, "wait a minute, matter can neither be created nor destroyed; it merely changes forms."

In other words, we are assured, "we do not become nothing at at. Instead, we merely go back to being atomic and sub-atomic particles."

And some will then try to hyperpolize this as the noble sojourn back to "star stuff".


A return to the inorganic doesn't necessarily entail a return in the exact same form. We don't wither away into babies and find wombs to die in. Also, this kind of 'Atomism' has been around in philosophy longer than it has in science. Epicurus and Democritus are a couple of examples I know of.

Below, however, are just some of the things that, as far as I know, "star stuff" can never again know or experience:

the love of children, family, friends
the taste of food
the sound of music
the joy of accomplishment
the rush of creativity
the exhilaration of orgasm
the fulfillment of art, film, theatre, dance


How do you claim to know anything about "star stuff"?

But, sure, some folks are still able to delude themselves into believing death is not nothing at all. Why? Because it is not actually zero.


...zero what?

On the contrary, the most deluded insist, it is actually God.

And to that I say this: Would that I could be one of them...


I'm not sure I've met anyone who actually believed death is God. In fact, I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby statiktech » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:22 pm

Lucis Trust wrote:Could consciousness be a thing in itself?


Well consciousness is 'knowable' and phenomenal, so no.

Does consciousness make the atoms or atoms the consciousness?


I'd say the latter, but indirectly.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby phyllo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 5:31 pm

so we are going to live our lives so that death does not really matter. the only way that happens is to take drugs.

You don't need drugs. Religions talk about this - deities may or may not be involved, depending on your preference. Look at the way Japanese samurai warriors used Zen Buddhism to help them face death.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:47 pm

Archangel wrote:Eternity ahead, eternity behind - in between lies life, a fraction of eternity that wants to BE eternal. It can never be that, because there is no eternity, just as the Universe we live in has a begining, it has an end, along with everything in it. -As i see it, people think about death in two (2) situations: in grave danger and in times when they have too much spare time. -If they have too much spare time, it simply means that they are not living at FULL capacity, and every such a time life is wasted. -Live your life as much as possible, seize the day - death will come by itself but life won't, it needs to be invoked.


For the approximately 3,500,000,000 folks around the globe who live literally on the equivalent of $2 a day or less, subsistence is all they really have time for on most days. Death they leave to God and the ecclesiastics.

More than just a few no doubt yearn for nothing at all from time to time. But I already covered that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby iambiguous » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:00 pm

statiktech wrote:How do you claim to know anything about "star stuff"?


I only know what the hard guys tell me on the Science Channel. All of the heavier elements that compose you and I exist only as a result of super nova explosions.

The death of stars somehow begets life. I wonder how that happens?

statiktech wrote:...zero what?


Zero as in "nothing at all".

statiktech wrote:I'm not sure I've met anyone who actually believed death is God. In fact, I don't even know what that's supposed to mean.


Well, there are some who believe anything is everything else. It is all supposedly a manifestation of the one reality that is seamlessly intertwined into some sort of, uh, transcendental Spinozan contraption.

Hell, I'd settle even for believing in that.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby statiktech » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:46 pm

iambiguous wrote:I only know what the hard guys tell me on the Science Channel. All of the heavier elements that compose you and I exist only as a result of super nova explosions.

The death of stars somehow begets life. I wonder how that happens?


Good question. I also wonder why "star stuff" [or "star dust"] is thought so widely to be a sufficient description of our origin.

Well, there are some who believe anything is everything else. It is all supposedly a manifestation of the one reality that is seamlessly intertwined into some sort of, uh, transcendental Spinozan contraption.

Hell, I'd settle even for believing in that.


Ah, I get ya. Like the difference between "All is God" and "God is all". The former suggests that God is in everything that exists, whereas the latter suggests that God is [limited to] the universe. So, for the former, "All is God", death is inherently a "good" and necessary thing as it is the work of God. However, the problem is that people interpret "God" differently. Spinoza was a great example to use because his conception of God was widely misunderstood. His thinking was extremely deterministic, to be sure, but "God" was more of an indwelling and causal mechanism than any corporeal matter or deity.

I think where he and similar thinkers, like Schopenhauer with his conception of "The will", find solace is in our relation to nature. We come from, and return to, the inorganic by the same driving force[s]. Thus, we do not cease to exist, but necessarily return to that which makes necessity of what constitutes us.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:34 pm

turtle wrote:
arcturus rising wrote:
turtle wrote:good topic. the next thing would be ---what do we do in the meantime.

atoms are atoms. consciousness will go with the brain.

Well, if we truly have the consciousness which goes with or extends out from the brain and mind, we also have the awareness to live our lives in such a way that death DOES NOT REALLY MATTER. But then again, death WOULD matter if we could recognize it as a force which compels us to live our life in a significant way, seeing as much meaning and rarity within our lives as we can, along with the suffering (death) other side of that coin.

That is where MATTER (brain) really meets and harmonizes with consciousness (awareness).

so we are going to live our lives so that death does not really matter. the only way that happens is to take drugs. we do not handle death well. we need to concentrate on how to treat each other better in a life that sucks. as long as we all have to suffer, lets have a big group hug.

Well, I actually did qualify that as you can see from the above. Aside from that, turtle, not everyone feels this way. There are some who do realize that drugs ONLY postpone the inevitable and that the very actions they are taking to "sweep death under the carpet" may bring death more quickly.

Does life totally suck for you, turtle?

I don't think that we CAN even handle death. And the more we try, the more death takes control of us. We can be aware of it by "seeing" it as a guide in the way we choose to live our lives. I don't know if death is the ultimate final reality but if it is...I do agree with you on one level...and if it isn't, well, the same holds true....

:romance-grouphug: :romance-grouphug: :romance-grouphug:

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself.
~Samuel Butler

It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.
Carl Jung
Last edited by Arcturus Descending on Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby turtle » Tue Apr 12, 2011 2:45 pm

for me life sucks 99%. my psychoanalyst says i am depressed. do you have serious doubts about heaven.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Arcturus Descending » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:31 pm

turtle wrote:for me life sucks 99%. my psychoanalyst says i am depressed. do you have serious doubts about heaven.

There was a time when I had serious doubts about heaven...and god for that matter. Now, I don't concern myself about heaven or god. Perhaps I might about a god, but only insofar as not closing my mind about anything that might be possible...and of course, there is that possibility that there is SOMETHING to the god thing but I certainly do not feel it is anything that we can possibly touch on, except only insofar as our human thinking can take us.

As far as heaven, we can either wait to see if there is going to be one after death :lol: or we can create our heavens here on Earth for ourselves and for others, if they would let us try.

If, and that's a BIG if, there is an afterlife, some kind of an afterlife that our consciousness somehow remains a part of, I personally feel that it is a good idea to at least try to learn to experience, in the here and now, not just the suffering, but also the happiness and bliss or at the very least, to attempt to experience some kind of interior calmness/stillness. Otherwise, how will we be able to experience it there? I think it would be a continuum of sorts....like everything is.

But of course, these are just my musings....they don't have to be your thoughts. :lol:
"Look closely. The beautiful may be small."


"Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me."


“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt.”

Immanuel Kant
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby turtle » Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:40 pm

do you think my psychoanalyst is right. you see my thoughts. am i depressed.

what do you fear mostly in your thinking about god and an afterlife.

by the way i pleasure myself plenty. and i like what i do. but having that joy makes it even harder when a loved one dies.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby anon » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:03 pm

turtle wrote:do you think my psychoanalyst is right. you see my thoughts. am i depressed.

Does the idea that you might be depressed depress you?

I agree with this excellent advice:

turtle wrote:we need to concentrate on how to treat each other better in a life that sucks.

I think if a person does this as a real discpline, and not just another idea to accept as a nice and reasonable one, that person will benefit psychologically and help make the world a better place. To some degree we have to learn to feel fulfilled while soberly understanding the world as it is. Our culture doesn't promote that ability - on the contrary, it promotes the association of fulfillment with avoidance.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby turtle » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:20 pm

anon thanks. can you write more about that fufillment through avoidance thing.

i am depressed. my psychoanalyst is right. what i see in the world makes me sad. i think it is terrible out there. and the delusions we continue to hold on to sometimes causes so much trouble.
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby anon » Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:33 pm

turtle wrote:anon thanks. can you write more about that fufillment through avoidance thing.

i am depressed. my psychoanalyst is right. what i see in the world makes me sad. i think it is terrible out there. and the delusions we continue to hold on to sometimes causes so much trouble.

Ajahn Chah wrote:You see this goblet? For me, this glass is already broken. I enjoy it; I drink out of it. It holds my water admirably, sometimes even reflecting the sun in beautiful patterns. If I should tap it, it has a lovely ring to it. But when I put this glass on a shelf and the wind knocks it over or my elbow brushes it off the table and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.

Elisha Goldstein wrote:The question isn’t, is your glass half full or half empty? The question is, are you able to see the glass as already broken?

That we will die, that loved ones die, is something most people would like to ignore, in order to live a "fulfilling" life. We don't think we ignore, but we do. We don't really feel it. But I think avoiding certain truths, because they are uncomfortable, is in fact a recipe for anxiety and depression. The urge to avoid suffering, and the plans we make and pains we take to construct personal heavens for ourselves, are in fact the reason we suffer so much.

I'd blame advertising, and sometimes I do, but advertising is based on the real ignorance that most of us have with respect to suffering (i.e. angst) and fulfillment. Something isn't right, and we grasp at the wrong things in the attempt to make it right.
"Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries." - Blaise Pascal

"The bombs we plant in each other are ticking away." - Edward Yang

"To a fly that likes the smell of putrid / Meat the fragrance of sandalwood is foul. / Beings who discard Nirvana / Covet coarse Samsara's realm." - Saraha
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Re: back to the beginning: death

Postby Archangel » Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:14 pm

turtle wrote:we need to concentrate on how to treat each other better in a life that sucks.
A good way of accomplishing that is to start treating YOURSELF better. The world isn't ugly in itself, just the image of the world can be ugly (or beautifull) - so change the image! Be fatalistic! -Only when you accept the good and the bad in the world as ONE will you aquire the power to seize control over your life and ENJOY in it...
-It's not impossible that the universe is an ugly thing in itself, but even if it is - our thinking about it makes it far WORSE than it would normally be...
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