On Life and Consciousness of Death...

On life and consciousness of death...

I'll be 50 within the next 12 months. Until the last few years I hadn't thought much about death. At least, not my own death.

As I age I attend more and more funerals of close friends and loved ones and it's finally wearing on me.

It's like when you're at an amusement park and you're in the line for the scariest ride at the park. You're in line and there's no turning back.

You're not worried yet because the line is so long. So you laugh and joke with your friends and have fun in the line. Every so often you look to see how close you are to the scary ride, but it's still really long and you're not worried.

Eventually you make a turn in the line, look at the ride and realize you are "danger close" (as we used to say in the army). You can see the ride now. Feel the vibration as the cars rumble across the tracks. Your stomach drops and you remember where you are.

That's how I feel. Not quite my turn but it won't be long. I'm tentative now. Pensive.

I know many are still in line ahead of me and that some are yanked out of line early but I'm not worried about that.

It's coming sooner than I'd like. No matter what!


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What Girls Said 15

  • I love the imagery your take presents. To be honest, death has been something that flows through my mind almost constantly. It's like a ritual almost because I constantly have scenarios of my death. When I was younger, i would always have dreams if death but of course I would wake up before that moment. Death is inevitable. It creeps upon all of us eventually. I'm not afraid of death, but I do want to live a long enough life. Don't fret over this. Have you lived a life worth living for? If so, just embrace your impending fate that probably won't even occur for another 10 years if you had a somewhat healthy lifestyle. People will die and with age you've gained wisdom. Just comfort those you can and LIVE! Don't just exist but truly live until you die.

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    • Great post! Gotta admit, got a good laugh at the "you got 10 more years" comment.

      Do me a favor and somehow save my take and your opinion and read both again when you're my age. I think you'll know why I laughed out loud at your comment.

      Not making fun, just laughing because I had the exact same thought at the same age.

      Thanks for posting.

    • Alright. I'll keep that in mind. Hopefully GAG will be alive and my computer also. But I mean You said you'll be 50 soon so I just think you have nothing to worry about. Maybe you'll live to 70 or 100! & No problem. // I'm kind of impatient though. Maybe you could share some of you aged wisdom with me an tell me what really made you laugh. For all I know, I could have Alzheimer's by then!

  • Awe I know how you feel.!

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  • And this is why you live every day as if it was your last.

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    • Interesting. I hear that said but what does that mean to you? Seems everyone I ask has a different opinion on what "carpe diem" means.

    • Doing what you're happiest doing.

  • I think death is something beautiful. You only get to experience and probably is the answer to everything.

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    • There's wisdom there. If death means nothing then neither does life.

  • Tomorrow does not exist, either does yesterday
    All we ever have is the present moment
    Time is a concept which i think shouldn't be taken too seriously. Make every moment count as right now is your life

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    • How do you make a moment count and what difference does it make?

  • For me, deatch can't come soon enough.

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  • I'm 25 and I think about death everyday. I don't fear death, although i'm not looking forward to the agonies of it. I fear that i haven't lived life well. I don't mean this in a hedonistic way, as in 'living life to the fullest', because i'm not in love with life, rather to the contrary. What i mean is: i wronged people, i 'sinned' if you like, and haven't contributed much, if anything to society. And without having to name a certain religion, i firmly believe that one day i will be accountable for the wrongs that i have done, but hopefully also rewarded for the (small amount) of good that i have done. It's tragic, that i can't retrieve a lot of memories out of 25 years of living. I mean, i travelled, had fun, etc but in the end only the good or bad deeds that i have done come to mind, not the 'fun' stuff in life.

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  • Death comes atomaticaly but that doesn't mean we have to give now wait for the and enjoy this moment

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  • We don't know what the future holds, but it doesn't mean that we worry in anticipation..
    live in the present, what is meant to be will happen anyway
    but i know where this is coming from. My mom feels the same. She thinks there is no point in exercising and eating right now...
    please don't give up. Cherish this moment right now

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    • Not giving up. Not depressed. Just expressed my thoughts about the reality of the situation.

      Everyone knows on an intellectual level that this is what awaits us all. I'm only trying to describe how the thoughts creep closer and closer to your waking consciousness.

  • People die!! Regardless of their age!! Young, old, healthy, unhealthy. It's unexpected and unnatural. Tomorrow we don't know what will happen and if we and our families will be alive.. We should be mentally prepared that this might happen at any given time.

    The good news is that people who die go near God. Death is more like a long slumber and people will be resurrected from Jesus in the future

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    • Death is entirely natural.

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    • God is unnatural

    • @I_am_repulsive
      I agree. We are free to make our own choises.

  • Good take!

    It's an interesting way of seeing death.

    Do you know those moments in which you're looking at the window thinking about your life and/or your problems? That's when I think about death.
    It's something that scares me a lot. Being buried, not being able to feel anything, not knowing where I'm going (if I'm going to some place...), knowing that I won't be able to see some people... It makes me so sad and terrified.
    But, at the same time I know that I can't escape.
    So, I hope I have a peaceful death. I hope I die old and lying on the bed.

    I think human beings don't think about death, because they think they're going to live forever. And the same time they're scared because they don't know what death really is. I have to admit that I'm like this.

    I might not be your age, but I know what you mean. It's scary.

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  • Nice take.

    I've thought of my own mortality since I was about 7 or 8.

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  • " It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiasties 7:2 NIV

    The bible says it's better to think about death. Death is the destiny of everyone so the living should remember that. It keeps you sober minded about when you die and knowing that heaven or hell awaits us. Better to think about death and be sober knowing when I die that's it no more trying to get right with Jesus. Then I will have to stand before God and give account on everything I did in this body whether good or bad. Than to party and have so much fun you forget about the truth and that day come unaware like a snare and bam your gone and your destiny as you'll say is sealed. They say eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. Don't live by the motto. Be sober think about death it will save your soul.

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  • Makes me think of the late great Mr Hicks:
    The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.
    Bill Hicks

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  • "Never forget Death, lest it not forget you..."

    I love this myTake. @UnderTheRadar You literally took me on that ride.

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What Guys Said 11

  • Take heart, my friend. There is no reason to believe that consciousness is a function of the brain, and by extension there is no reason to believe that consciousness ceases with death. Idealist philosophers like Bernardo Kastrup have clearly shown that the default and most logical assumption is that consciousness persists beyond death.

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  • i started thinking about it all the time since my 20's. So it will only effect me less.

    One thing that helps that I ask myself is:
    Would I rather die a warrior or die as a coward?

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    • Is there a difference and does it matter? None of us is getting out of here alive anyway.

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    • Will it matter posthumously though?

    • who knows? Maybe it will.

  • to be serious here. i think you should at least look into the 25 years of positive therapeutic human studies on elevating death anxiety with l s d. i hope i dont get baned for saying that. but yeah it was mostly swept under the rug when people started taking it as something to be "played with".

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    • I don't want to elevate death anxiety. Alleviate maybe. Elevate, not so much.

  • www.2045.com

    You'll probably live long enough for this.

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  • I'm not afraid of death, just of dying; there's innumerable ways to die horribly, or embarrassingly/pathetically. XD

    Still, that doesn't do much to address your fears... Look, man, I'm not sure if you're religious or not; if you are, then think of where you'll go after death (and if you're worried, be more devout)! However, if you're an atheist (like me) then there's, paradoxically, even less to fear; oblivion is guaranteed, regardless of some deities fickle judgement!

    Now, "oblivion" may sound scary, but it's not. In fact, "oblivion" cannot even BE scary, because "oblivion" isn't a place you go (unlike in the elder scrolls) but what YOU become, meaning that you will not feel fear, or sadness, or anything; you'll be gone.

    Think of it this way: if you cease-to-be upon death, then YOU WILL NEVER ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE BEING DEAD! You could say that really, you'll never die. I mean, sure, you will, but YOU will never know it!

    Sorry, that probably didn't help. I tried! XD

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    • Never heard someone try to sell the idea of oblivion as being better than an afterlife.

      You said "regardless of some deities fickle judgement!" If the God of the Jews, Christians and Muslims IS in fact the cause of all existence, then "fickle" is not an adjective that would (or could rather) apply. You wouldn't even need to be a theist to agree with that logic. It would not be possible for something eternal/infinite to have any contradiction.

      I suggest you read the arguments for the existence of God before you dismiss theism. Your "fickle" comment is something that logically could not follow if true. Not trying to convert you- I just noticed that you have dismissed theism without listening to the arguments for it.

      Thanks for the kind words though. I do understand your point about why we shouldn't fear oblivion. Eg. It doesn't scare me to ponder what life was like before I existed so it won't bother me after. I'm going kicking and screaming though! lol

    • Aww, don't go kicking and screaming! XD Go like a badass, instead! =P

      Ah, so, a theist. Then why not embrace death as the beginning of something better? :3

      Mmmm, I really LOVE arguments, but I'm going to resist this one; that's not the point of this post, I don't believe =)

  • Death doesn't really scare me honestly. If there is a after life then sure that would be awesome (Hope its the good one). But if not then tough deal life's like a box of chocolates you never know what your gonna get (Forest Gump). Live life to the fullest in my opinion.

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  • Great take, don't know why you went Anonymous.

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    • Thanks. Why anonymous? I don't really know. Lol. I typed it out on my phone and didn't edit. Long posts typed on a phone are rarely a good idea.

  • Buy the ticket take the ride.

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  • its never late to find Christ. and win the eternal life on His side.

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  • Cool story. (not being sarcastic, mind you).

    I'm surprised you only started thinking about your own mortality very recently.

    I think about my own death at least once a week, and I've thought about my own death since I was, I don't know, maybe 16.

    But yeah, I guess "welcome" to semi-old age. Now I'm sure you can see why so many old-farts are depressed. I can't imagine what's it like to be alive when most of your friends/family has passed, etc. Guess that means you gotta make younger friends!

    But "pensive," yes, that's a good way to describe everything.

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    • It isn't that I just now started thinking about it. It was always there. (I was deployed during gulf wars I and Ii so I saw plenty of death.)

      It's just a different mentality. Thoughts before were the "yanked out of line early" kinds of thoughts. So you think "If I eat right and exercise " or "if I can just manage to dodge the IEDs" I will be fine.

      There's a line that Cervantes says when reflecting on life as it is that goes,...

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    • oh shit, that wasn't you. . . lmao

      when i got ot the end, esp the part about surrendering dreams= madness, i was thinking it was hella profound, and i started feeling deeply for you lol.

      it was confusing b/c he quote starts out "i have lived nearly fifty years. . ." and you yourself are 50, right? and you were in war, so i assume you've seen "life as it is." so = P (I disagree with you! the quote you provided was quite germane!)

      his writing seems interesting, i'll have to check him out.

      cheers : )

    • oh, and that part about asking "why" and it referring not to why they were dying but why they had lived--THAT can make a man think

  • wow that is sad... I'm so sorry my parents turned 51 recently they seem to think about it as well and me i'm only 25 but I think about death sometimes too. I often think about it accompanied by religious beliefs. it really just bums me out. So I avoid thinking about it, sorry you are at that point. May your life be filled with happiness my sincere well wishes

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