I’ve been thinking about death lately. I know, I know, but it’s winter what can I say. Anyway, I was thinking if one is healthy and death suddenly appears it really has little effect on the suddenly deceased other than the fact he/she is dead, but, minimal pain is involved; healthy life, then extinction.
But, when I think about dying, anticipate it, I face the existential dilemma of no longer being here, in this my familiar environment which may not be perfect but certainly has pleasant aspects that I will surely miss, which is the reason, I guess, that thoughts of death are generally not thought of in a positive light.
Which then leads me to wonder what’s next; the idea of a descent into nothingness is pretty hard for most of us to bear, which explains the various incredibly complex explanations and anticipations of preternatural existences man has thought up over the millennia. There’s the heavenly realm, a Zanadu-like ideal city and Valhalla, the home of the gods. And then there are the more new-agie notions of rejoining the Collective Consciousness and the ancient Hindu notion of reincarnation leading eventually, if one is lucky, to re-unity with the Atman.
I guess some would call this fantastic, even delusional, but when I think of the absurdity of maintaining a sense of our individual significance in a world of billions of people and dolls in a limitless universe I guess entertaining thoughts of an after-life isn’t so terrible.
Even utter extinction isn’t very scary, when you consider all the millennia you didn’t exist before you were born.
the impersonal life!
excellent image– i find mutilation and dismemberment (accidental or otherwise, but while still breathing) more a focus for concern, myself. it seems to please me to be anxious about lots and lots of things, and that holds a nice variety of options….
Yes; drawing on the God within does seem to make some sense.