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Author Topic: The big sleep, swimmin' wit' da fishes, 6' under, etc...
BellaDonna
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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2003 12:17      Profile for BellaDonna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Death, in my morbid mind, is something that pops up constantly. Always has. When I first started college I was a biology major in the hopes of someday becoming a coroner. Of facing this fear of death head on by dealing with it everyday. Well that didn't work out, but that's not the point I'm trying to make.

Thanks to Just_Jess_B's .sig (about "After death, that's it?" or something like that) I got to wondering how many other people are like me. I mean everybody probably has some fear of dying, but once my mind gets on the subject it becomes all consuming and I give myself panic attacks. These attacks mostly deal with the idea that I will no longer be here to touch, feel, see, smell, to live. I will no longer exsist. And having a vivid imagination, once my mind gets to thinking about this I complete freak out. As a child I would lay awake at night crying terrified tears over this. I tried to believe my mother about Heaven, and I would eventually fall asleep, but now I don't have that consolation. I don't believe in a god, so for me there is no life after death in my mind.

After living how can I get my mind around NOT living anymore? Am I just crazy? Or do others experience this too?

I think I've rambled enough.

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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein

Posts: 144 | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
littlefish
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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2003 12:27      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well that's interesting. For me, the only people who need to worry about the afterlife are the religious. They need to worry about eternal damnation, or being re-incarnated as a slug. For the atheists a cessation of being should cause no worry, as there will be a nothingness similar to what happened before your birth.

Death doesn't worry me really, everyone dies eventually, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. I suppose at heart I'm a fatalistic existentialist cynic.

Posts: 2421 | From: That London | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
BellaDonna
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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2003 12:46      Profile for BellaDonna     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
as there will be a nothingness similar to what happened before your birth.

That nothingness is what scares me. After experiencing something, going to nothing is where I get freaked out. And to me its not similar to birth cause you're going from nothing to something, where death is something to nothing.

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"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."
- Albert Einstein

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Lex
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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2003 13:06      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
(Disclaimer: Discussion includes things that look like statements of fact. For the most part, I'm just too lazy to write, "there is a theory that..." for everything. Assume all are theories, opinions, or observations.)

I once read somewhere, "Anyone who thinks he knows what happens after death is either a fool or insane."
This would include the belief that there is nothing after death. How do you know? You're pretty sure you aren't going to be damned to burn for all eternity by an angry god or meet any other unpleasant eternal reward, so what is the point in trying to think about it past that? The human mind is not equipped to comprehend its own non-existence. This became a problem when we became able to predict our own non-existence. Suddenly our survival instinct ran into a problem: How to survive when death is assured? Some could not cope, and got all depressed. Some decided not to worry about it and go on with life just like the rest of nature. Most developed "religion" to explain why they are here and more importantly the happy eternal survival they get after death. These people tended to be the happiest and most productive, so their point of view has become the most dominant. You seem to be in the first group. You seem unable to join the third group, so lets try for the second group. These vary, but I'll give you my perspective(s).

Life is like a video game. The best video game ever. A huge immersive ever changing world in which you can pursue any goal you desire, be it getting the highest score, exploring the most areas, becoming the best at one or more of the unlimited variety of skills, and interacting with others. However, unlike a normal video game, you only get one try, and there might not be a sequel. Even if there is, there is no guarantee it will be as good (you know how sequels are). Those who understand this know that even if there is no real point to anything you do in the game, it is the only game available. So, you might as well play it right. Follow the rules, try not to get permanent damage or waste valuable play time in jail, be nice to other players to get help and avoid early game over, complete all the school levels to unlock otherwise unavailable game features even if you don't want to play them now (it's harder if you don't do it right the first time), etc. And when your game is finally over, no sweat. Sure, it is a bummer to have to stop playing, but everyone has to at some point. And you played it well, right? So don't worry, it is just a game after all. And maybe there will be a sequel, but don't pay too much mind to the rumors sites. Imagine, playing a game in which you do almost nothing other than a boring routine and talk about the sequel (like... Everquest?). What human mind can possibly fathom what the cosmic marketing department has in store for us? So stop worrying. Your time here is limited. Enjoy it.

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Your conviction that there is a monster under the bed would be a mere eccentricity if you weren't so heavily armed and it was your own bed.

Posts: 977 | From: University of Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted September 15, 2003 16:35      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
A few years back, I had a Cancer false-alarm.

I had a Thyroid Adenoma, which looks much like a Thyroid Carcinoma from the outside. You can only really tell the difference in the lab after it's been removed. (What's the difference between an Adenoma and a Carcinoma? About 30 years.) As with anyone who hears their doctor say the 'C' word, I pretty-much assumed I was going to die.

The odd thing is, impending death didn't bother me all that much, I was much more focused on practical issues, who would provide for my family, that sort of thing. Maybe it's just part of the irreversable brain-damage that comes with parenthood, but I felt really guilty about letting my family down.

I wasn't looking forward to the process of becoming dead, cancer's not one of the nicer ways to go, so I had a plan involving my car and a freeway bridge, but the actual being dead part wasn't something that occupied my mind. You close your eyes, and stuff stops happening.

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If you watch 'The History Of NASA' backwards, it's about a space agency that has no manned spaceflight capability, then does low-orbit flights, then lands on the Moon.

Posts: 10669 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
-ct-
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Icon 2 posted September 15, 2003 17:44      Profile for -ct-   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by Lex:
...Life is like a video game. The best video game ever. ....

it sucks and i seem to be losing at it

anyone ever have a tarot card reading?

used to do that to myself , untill FAR too many things that were predicted came to pass

most noteably, my g-ma on dad's side dying
had NO idea anything was wrong and hadn't seen her in a few years
last reading, about 5 years ago, told me i'd be dead by 35, that's 2 years from now...
i kinda put them away and haven't touched them since
every so often i do think about that and the closer it gets,
..well i was gonna say the closer it gets the more worried i am, but i'm not - i just think of it more

i'm still not sure of that though, since the card that came up was "major change", and death was indicated or at least pointed to by the other cards
not to mention, everyone on my dad's side has been dead or married by 35 and i sure don't have any prospects, let alone g/f's...

being the techinical geek i am, i can't see how any of that made ANY sense, but like i said far too many things have happened that were foretold

now, add all the stress i have in daily life and things are not rosy around here

screw the game, where's the cheat codes?

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Things are always darkest... just before you pull your head out of your butt, void where prohibited, keep away from flame, surcharge(s) may apply.

www.harddriveHELL.com and demoniclemon.com

Posts: 1906 | From: nowhere, man | Registered: Jan 2000  |  IP: Logged
Just_Jess_B

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Icon 14 posted September 15, 2003 19:09      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Originally posted by BellaDonna:
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
as there will be a nothingness similar to what happened before your birth.


That nothingness is what scares me. After experiencing something, going to nothing is where I get freaked out. And to me its not similar to birth cause you're going from nothing to something, where death is something to nothing.
Sorry if the thread start was the fault of my signature, but the reason I put it up there was because it spoke to me about how we live our lives, where the thrill and stimulation of living is so taken for granted that sometimes we simply "punch the clock" until we realize that we've frittered away all of our time on aimless pursuits. Sometimes we are dead to life before we even die -- what an important thought!

Bella, I quoted you here because last night, I had this discussion with WinterSolstice. I've spent my life wishing I had never started life, wishing I wasn't, and now that I have so much to live for, I sometimes think I won't have enough time to live it and regret knowing that when I die, I won't remember him, either because I will have moved on to my next life or I simply won't be. I love him dearly and deeply and I regret and resent I will only have a limited time to coexist before one of us moves on.

Of course, like Mr. Roy pointed out, I am often one of those dead before my time, not going into the world to risk my heart, mind, life, opinions, ideas and be applauded and shouted, or, as most of us tend to be, ignored.

I am afraid of what might not come next. I can imagine not hearing, breathing, feeling, tasting, seeing, smelling, but that really involves assuming I would be trapped in my own mind. The worst part would be to leave behind the people I have come to love, and that's where you have to really work hard to remember to tell the people you care about that you appreciate the effort they take to make your life better simply by being in it.

I'm a reincarnationist, by nature, but the atheist views of Mr. Roy really touched me. I enjoy thinking of Benjamin Franklin's theory on the soul when I become frightened:

You see I have some reason to wish, that, in a future state, I may not only be as well as I was, but a little better. And I hope it; for I, too, with your poet, trust in God. And when I observe, that there is great frugality, as well as wisdom, in his works, since he has been evidently sparing both of labor and materials; for by the various wonderful inventions of propagation, he has provided for the continual peopling his world with plants and animals, without being at the trouble of repeated new creations; and by the natural reduction of compound substances to their original elements, capable of being employed in new compositions, he has prevented the necessity of creating new matter; so that the earth, water, air, and perhaps fire, which being compounded form wood, do, when the wood is dissolved, return, and again become air, earth, fire, and water; I say, that, when I see nothing annihilated, and not even a drop of water wasted, I cannot suspect the annihilation of souls, or believe, that he will suffer the daily waste of millions of minds ready made that now exist, and put himself to the continual trouble of making new ones. Thus finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other, always exist; and, with all the inconveniences human life is liable to, I shall not object to a new edition of mine; hoping, however, that the errata of the last may be corrected.

It helps me forward, to believe that, in nature, so many things renew, and all things having to do with life have cycles of renewal. Why would we be given such a gift as thought if it weren't something spectacular. Are you ready to believe it's only a bunch of chemical stimuli which have no innate value? Other animals have similar stimuli but do not question their existence.

We do. In that respect, I close my eyes and accept these two things: I will reincarnate until I have become Enlightened and remove myself from the suffering cycle of Birth and Death, or I will not exist after this life, at which point I've bypassed the whole thing and gotten to the end result anyway.

It's not our deaths, but that we leave behind those we love to learn to move forward without us.

Little morbid, I know, but take comfort in knowing that you are quite intelligent if you are questioning whether there is something beyond it. To question faith is to question existence, and in that right, you are questioning what your role in existence means. That's very important to do as a person, and the focus on life and the fact it is fleeting is the whole point of the mid-life crisis -- when one takes stock realizing one has less than half of their life lived and one finds their existence wanting.

Happy searching! I'm going on a soul-searching expedition to re-connect with my convictions and beliefs. Want to come along?

Just thought of something. We evolve as such in our lives, from infancy to old age:

I wonder... I wish... I believe... I know... I assume... I hope... I wonder...

Jess [Big Grin]

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Opinion is not Truth; that is why each has its own definition. Illiteracy sucks.

Posts: 1370 | From: Whaddya mean, Arizona? | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
unclefungus
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Icon 6 posted September 16, 2003 02:22      Profile for unclefungus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
death is a bridge, I'll cross and burn it.

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Professional software should not have dancing paperclips.

Posts: 613 | From: changes, right now it's Jacksonville or Fayetteville | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Lex
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 04:15      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
anyone ever have a tarot card reading?
Use of strategy guides and cheat codes can quickly ruin any game.

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Your conviction that there is a monster under the bed would be a mere eccentricity if you weren't so heavily armed and it was your own bed.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 09:30      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had my share of encounters with the reaper - my sister had a battle with adrenal cancer, my mom cracked her head, my bro had a freak accident with a stick that left him blind in one eye and almost dead of a raging infection (all have since recovered more or less fully, thank goodness), I've fought for lives while on the ambulance, and you guys already know about my recent encounter with the reaper. And my grandmother died in March. She's gone. She's not coming back. She can't fix my quilt; she can't make one for my baby second cousin. I don't know where she went - heaven if it exists I guess - back into the cosmic dust if it doesn't. THat doesn't matter though, because we remember her.

I stay out of graveyards. They belong to the dead. When my turn comes, I will make the passage, but I am neither waiting nor afraid. Without birth and death life can't exist. We are all mortal. We can't escape that, nor should we. Now go out and either dance in the rain or play in the sun.

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 10:05      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Quoth Xanthine: Now go out and either dance in the rain or play in the sun.

Very true words.

I was going to make some kind of post/thread elsewhere "Life doesn't suck," as a moment of positive thinking of an otherwise cynical person [Smile] . Today has been a surprisingly good day, and I am rather shocked and pleased by this. I really thought today would absolutely suck, and I was relatively blown away. I was working quite hard last night, and making a further dash this morning to work on my physics homework, and was not at all done when I had to leave today, and when I got to class, my prof. told us that it wasn't going to be due until Friday! I breathed a sigh of relief, and felt worlds better. Right now, I'm typing up a lab report for class in .75 hrs, and think I will in fact be done on time [Smile] . I elected not to go into work this morning, to give myself a little extra rest, and to work on the aforementioned homework, and despite the stress of that, I think it left me a tad more relaxed. Last night, I found myself kind of in an insomniac state after thinking a few sullen thoughts about something I shouldn't have given as much thought to as I should have, but through the magic of finding a good comfortable spot in my bed, I more or less collapsed, to the extent that I left my laptop open, and was in #jot all night long :-P. Less is better, particularly when it comes to thinking. Oh, and when I got in today, I saw that parking in my usual area was gone, and I figured "I'll probably have to park halfway across campus," but after driving around a bit, I found a parallel parking space that was easy to pull into, and was in front of the building I had to go to - and I actually made it to class on time (something I don't even do when I'm in my office). While in class, I was thinking that when this day was over, I would just go home, and sit/lie down, and do not much of anything. I changed that thought to one of getting a good walk around my area in before that. I think today is going to be a good day.

Oh, and for anyone who's actually near someone they love (or maybe even a perfect stranger), a friend of mine tells me that today is "National Kiss Day." Take that to mean whatever you want it to mean.

I'm not even going to talk about death, because there's really nothing that can be done about it. Just make the most of your time here, and when death comes, it comes. It's one of those inalienable rights we all have [Wink] .

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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neotatsu
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 11:16      Profile for neotatsu     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm, touchy subject... Personally, I don't fear the reaper. Never have. As a matter of fact, the only thing I feared as a child is winding up with alot of the problems that I currently have, heh.

On the subject of disease, etc, I have one nagging problem that I can't seem to be rid of, which makes living..well, a living hell. I have a headache. Not just some little nagging headache, I mean 24/7-365 for three years now... Sometimes it's not too bad, and easily ignorable, then other times, like now, it takes all my energy to keep my mind focused, and I start trembling/crying/blacking out.. I've been to several doctors who've tried several theories on the cause from blood pressure, stress, I've had cat scans, MRI's, and some tests I'm not even sure what are.. All came up with the same conclusion, which is nothing, except for the cat scan, which came up with what "looks like a bacterial infection". They gave me some anti-biotics and that's about it.. I took them, of course, and I still have my headaches. I don't have medical insurance anymore, and even if I did, my doctor dosn't have any other suggestions as to what it could be, and my request to have gotten a second cat scan to see if the 'infection' was gone seemed to go ignored, and now it's too late. I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, not sure I want to. At this point the only thing I can do is endure with the thought that I'll get to hold Twinkie in my arms again..

Now, if one and all shall excuse me, I'm going back to lay down, only signed on to see if I'd gotten any response to my posts lastnight. [tired]

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I'm curious... About what, you ask? EVERYTHING!

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addiew
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Icon 1 posted September 16, 2003 19:26      Profile for addiew   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have had a few encounters with death- I was once very sick and made a conscious decision to let myself die. I felt in peace and no longer afraid of death.

Sometimes I think about dying suddenly (like a plane crash etc) that freaks me out- maybe because its the idea that death then wouldn't be 'under my control'
have you thought about talking to a professonal about it?

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My LiveJournal|homepage- shameless, I know

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 12:39      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Heh, as far as sudden, uncontrollable and unpredicatable catastrophes go, I'm a good deal more afraid of what would happen should I survive as opposed to if I die. Then again, at the rate I'm going, I'd probably just walk away with a couple scratches. : [evil]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

Posts: 7670 | From: the lab | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Lex
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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 15:24      Profile for Lex   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Knock on particleboard.

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Your conviction that there is a monster under the bed would be a mere eccentricity if you weren't so heavily armed and it was your own bed.

Posts: 977 | From: University of Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Too Cool To Quit
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Icon 1 posted September 17, 2003 18:23      Profile for Too Cool To Quit     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ooh, a very touchy subject to me. I recently had a bacterial infection that caused me to be so deathly ill that the intensivists that were tending to my life support didn't know if I could hold on for another 5 minutes. Needless to say, I saw the light, and just happened to be small enough to turn around and come out of the other side.

Death itself doesn't scare me. But the thought of the things I'd leave undone and things lost at my demise does bother me quite a bit. Although others could tend to these tasks it still bothers me. As far as religion goes, in my belief, (I am a reborn christian) If I mind my p's and q's, I have little to worry about. Because regardless of what religious beliefs are correct, most beliefs as to what things are-unforgivable-seem to be very similar. So as long as Im doing alright, I'll be alright. So I'll just sit back and smoke the holy weed until the day christ calls my name.

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Alright now, that's the last straw, I'm calling the ass taxidermist to tell him to stop making hats in your size RIGHT NOW.

Posts: 1097 | From: North Carolina | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
crazyarlo
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Icon 3 posted September 18, 2003 09:42      Profile for crazyarlo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Belladonna: Yes, I have felt EXACTLY the same way, and had the same experiences. Thought u might want to know that you are not alone in this.
Posts: 238 | From: Southern Ohio ... SURF OHIO, BABY! | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged


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