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#1 Edited by pinner458 (691 posts) -

Since I was 13 I've had thoughts that really got me upset, I'd wonder what would happen to me if I died, where would I go? As I grew older I began to consider the idea of my death more deeply. So as a result I get these occasional bursts of panic where I think "If I have consciousness or not, the world or universe will go on forever anyway, it will never end, surely after millions of years it will just get tedious eventually, ".

I sometimes get so upset thinking about this that it makes me pace around the room and cry, this is serious to me so please don't make fun.

I realized that this looks like it just boils down to "what happens when we die " but I'd prefer it to be a discussion about accepting death,,

#2 Posted by The_Hiro_Abides (1260 posts) -

Self preservation is tough in that way.

#3 Edited by egg (1455 posts) -

well, you will be dead, so you don't really have to worry about it...?

#4 Posted by DeadpanCakes (829 posts) -

...but I'd prefer it to be a discussion about accepting death,,

Personally, it's always been this internal discussion about accepting life. The whole pacing around the room thing is something I'm familiar with as well (in fact it was just happening moments ago) but I've found that relishing in that deep contemplative state for long periods of time really messes with me. If my neurotic thoughts somehow persist through death, and I'm doomed to experience this grueling endless void of infinite darkness, then surely I'd go insane. But insanity and the endless void can wait until after I've finished living my life.

Death is so ambiguous and permanent; life is change and has its fair share of certainties. Eventually, that ambiguity and permanence will be forced on me, and that scares the shit out of me. So, right now, I'm just trying to accept life for what it is and while I can. Maybe by the end, infinite darkness won't sound so bad.

Maybe this is just another way of me saying "ignorance is bliss, and I'm ignorant," and I'm sure that's not very helpful, so sorry for that. Point is, I guess, I'm still trying to figure out this stuff myself, and all I can really do is keep it from getting in the way of my life as best I can.

#5 Posted by Brodehouse (9776 posts) -

Death is the end part of inhabiting a human body. Don't worry about the universe, worry about your human body and what happens to it. Your consciousness is a regulatory mechanism of your human body, it can't exist without it, and these organic machines break down and stop working after a number of years.

Also, you only get so much time to be in a human body, so you might as well do something that you enjoy rather than pacing around crying. Do something that makes you happy, barring that, do something that makes someone else happy. Live a life, it'll be the longest thing you ever do.

#6 Posted by slyspider (1186 posts) -

I donno what happens when you die. I figure I'll figure it out when I die. Makes me not so scared of death (although i still have a health fear of course). When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

#7 Edited by Itwongo (1163 posts) -

Philosophy Bomb is my favorite! I try to stay neutral due to there being no real evidence, but I tend to believe that there is some form of afterlife simply due to self-perception and perception of the surrounding world.

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating. Not that I'm looking to die anytime soon, but still....

#8 Posted by JasonR86 (9651 posts) -

Existential anxiety is a bitch dude. Go read about existential psychology and their ways of discussing death. It might help.

Online
#9 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@itwongo said:

@slyspider said:

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating.

Don't be. I've been dead, and while I can't really remember any of it, I doubt it was terribly exciting.

#10 Posted by egg (1455 posts) -

OP do you wear glasses?

#11 Edited by KentonClay (246 posts) -

At the end of the day, all we are is twitchy piles of carbon and water.

#13 Edited by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -
@video_game_king said:

@itwongo said:

@slyspider said:

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating.

Don't be. I've been dead, and while I can't really remember any of it, I doubt it was terribly exciting.

Same here. Though, in my experience, death is pretty awe-inspiring. It's just not where you're supposed to be while you still have your life to lead. We have this life for a reason.

No one should pursue death, as there really is no rush. We all get there eventually.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@video_game_king said:

@itwongo said:

@slyspider said:

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating.

Don't be. I've been dead, and while I can't really remember any of it, I doubt it was terribly exciting.

Same here. Though, in my experience, death is pretty awe-inspiring.

Not really. The little I can remember of it was really, really boring. Nothing more to it.

#15 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4599 posts) -

Existential crises are pretty common, you shouldn't feel bad about it.

I always thought that arthur c clarke quote about aliens applied to death too - paraphrasing it as 'two possibilities exist: either there is life after death, or there isn't. both are equally terrifying.'

Although then that makes me think of the hamlet quote of 'nothing good nor bad but thinking makes it so', so after going in mental circles for a while I just say fuck it and play video games.

#16 Posted by egg (1455 posts) -

At the end of the day, all we are is twitchy piles of carbon and water.

That may not be true. Carbon and water are not supposed to have consciousness. As far as physical science is concerned, nothing has consciousness.

#17 Posted by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -

I would recommend spending some time with those in hospitals or with disabilities. Not simply to gain some greater appreciation for all you've got, but to interact with the mindsets of those who have had to come to terms with death and those who may never even make it to the age you are today.

I believe there is great joy found within such people. Not because suffering or dying is pleasant, but because such strife is a more upfront way of viewing our lives. A lot of the time we can get away with avoiding thinking about who we are and the potential of death, and we can live within a realm of normal. But that will, as you have experienced, lead to an irregularity wherein things sometimes crumble onto you in a way you can't cope with. It's never too early to consider how you can appreciate the person you've already become.

#18 Posted by TruthTellah (8721 posts) -

@truthtellah said:
@video_game_king said:

@itwongo said:

@slyspider said:

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating.

Don't be. I've been dead, and while I can't really remember any of it, I doubt it was terribly exciting.

Same here. Though, in my experience, death is pretty awe-inspiring.

Not really. The little I can remember of it was really, really boring. Nothing more to it.

For me, it was boring and dark at first, but it got better. Like the quiet, numb moments of first waking up and eventually opening your eyes.

#19 Edited by development (2219 posts) -

Yeah, it scares any person who isn't 100% devoted to the idea of life after death. Just ignore it 'til you die, unless you think it's a good motivator for something.

The "freakout" you describe happens to lots of us. It only typically happens for me when I'm trying to sleep, which I guess is good and bad. I remember asking my mom as a kid if I could go to a hypnotherapist so they could erase my ability to think about death. As an adult, I guess I'd rather have the occasional spurt of "oh, fuck" than live life thinking everything's gonna be just fine. I like to do what N.D. Tyson says: to think of yourself as possibly the greatest extent to which the universe has gained the ability to contemplate itself. It's pretty crazy. Then again, I also think Tyson and other notable scientists are either deluded or lying to us if thinking about it in that way totally alleviates their fear of death. I mean, no amount of beauty or wow-factors are gonna cure the pointless, sad nature of existence.

I guess I went off on a tangent. Uh... hope this helped?

#20 Posted by DeadpanCakes (829 posts) -

I would recommend spending some time with those in hospitals or with disabilities. Not simply to gain some greater appreciation for all you've got, but to interact with the mindsets of those who have had to come to terms with death and those who may never even make it to the age you are today.

And then form a fight club, it'll be great. Seriously, though, this sorta thing really can have a profound impact on how you view death. Until about a year ago, I was in and out of partial and inpatient care, and interacting with people whose only common thread is that they had close encounters with death, and it all really changed me for the better. I don't think it necessarily needs to be a hospital thing, just having somebody to talk to occasionally who also thinks about death, but who thinks about it for different reasons and with different perspectives can be helpful.

@video_game_king said:

@truthtellah said:
@video_game_king said:

Don't be. I've been dead, and while I can't really remember any of it, I doubt it was terribly exciting.

Same here. Though, in my experience, death is pretty awe-inspiring.

Not really. The little I can remember of it was really, really boring. Nothing more to it.

For me, it was boring and dark at first, but it got better. Like the quiet, numb moments of first waking up and eventually opening your eyes.

Guys guys guys. Earth death and moon death: veeeery different from my understanding.

#21 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Guys guys guys. Earth death and moon death: veeeery different from my understanding.

Probably. I mean, you can come back from a Lunar death pretty easily if you act fast enough. I haven't heard that from anybody down there.

#22 Posted by Slag (4222 posts) -

@pinner458:

I try not to think about it, sounds dumb I know, but that train of thought just isn't helpful. I do my best to fill up my time enough, so that I don't have time to dwell on things like that. I guess one way to look at it, is to live for now and have no regrets, that way when the inevitable does happen you'll be as ready as you can be.

I don't blame you for getting upset, it's a scary thing to contemplate.

#23 Posted by jsnyder82 (730 posts) -

Just think about it like this. Do you remember what it was like before you were born? Of course not. Death will be exactly the same.

#24 Edited by TheHT (11093 posts) -

You are composed of matter fundamentally the same as all of the universe. Your mind was borne by your body, and your body was born from this earth, and if you choose may return to it. Eventually all things run their course. The Sun, the planet and its organisms, the billions upon billions of other stars and systems that comprise a galaxy. You will die just as an ancient massive star billions of lightyears away from you will die. The expiration and restructuring of matter is something that happens all over this universe.

Our consciousness affords us more than an existence spent carrying out autonomous functions, waiting for deconstruction. Awareness and capability enables us to learn about this world, about space and time, to philosophize about ethics, develop elaborate stories, cook fancy food, build a spaceship, create music. Death is the last experience that we will all share. The finality of our forms, the luck that we were the ones to grow into them, gives value to all life.

#25 Posted by Feanor (1387 posts) -

Relax, its just a ride.

Take some mushrooms.

#26 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

I just want to live forever; is that too much to ask?

#27 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5372 posts) -

I've had similar experiences of apprehension and obsession on the subject, but I'm personally able to find solace in my faith. Regardless of our belief on the afterlife, I think the most important thing to focus on is life, those around us and how we decide to spend it with them as well as ourselves, because like truthtellah said we'll all get there eventually. It's just a matter of how we choose to spend our time beforehand.

Even saying that, I don't expect you, me or anybody to stop thinking about it. That's what makes us distinctly human. Our conscious ability to perceive and think about the things both around and about us. It can be both a gift and a curse at times. Even if we have deeply wonderful fulfilling lives, we still can't help but wonder what happens when it all ends? Of course we all have our own thoughts and opinions on what does. Nothing? Eternity in heaven/hell? Maybe just being reincarnated and starting life anew?

It can definitely be overwhelming at times and I can certainly empathize.

#28 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5372 posts) -
@theht said:

You are composed of matter fundamentally the same as all of the universe. Your mind was borne by your body, and your body was born from this earth, and if you choose may return to it. Eventually all things run their course. The Sun, the planet and its organisms, the billions upon billions of other stars and systems that comprise a galaxy. You will die just as an ancient massive star billions of lightyears away from you will die. The expiration and restructuring of matter is something that happens all over this universe.

Our consciousness affords us more than an existence spent carrying out autonomous functions, waiting for deconstruction. Awareness and capability enables us to learn about this world, about space and time, to philosophize about ethics, develop elaborate stories, cook fancy food, build a spaceship, create music. Death is the last experience that we will all share. The finality of our forms, the luck that we were the ones to grow into them, gives value to all life.

I seriously think that's a beautiful way to look at things duder.

#29 Posted by pyromagnestir (4283 posts) -

Never had no problem with death. It's the life part that makes no fucking sense to me.

#30 Posted by punkxblaze (2968 posts) -

@itwongo said:

Philosophy Bomb is my favorite! I try to stay neutral due to there being no real evidence, but I tend to believe that there is some form of afterlife simply due to self-perception and perception of the surrounding world.

@slyspider said:

When you die, you find out the biggest mystery of all time!

This too. I find the prospect to be exhilirating. Not that I'm looking to die anytime soon, but still....

Death. #E3Mysteries!

#31 Posted by stryker1121 (1394 posts) -

Just think about it like this. Do you remember what it was like before you were born? Of course not. Death will be exactly the same.

That's what used to scare me when I was a kid..thinking about not existing, not having any kind of consciousness or even being aware of the lack of it. Hard to wrap my head around even as an adult.

#32 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5814 posts) -

Yeah, I've had those thoughts before too.

Nowadays though I'm more freaked out about the fact that I may have a long lifetime ahead of me. I mean, what am I supposed to do with the rest of my life, and why should I even care?

lollifelol.

#33 Posted by ganz32 (22 posts) -

Worrying about things that are beyond your control is such waste of time... I mean, sometimes the why just doesnt really matter.. All living things die, it just is. And you wont know what it is until you get there, that's how it has been for all of time. If thinking about it upsets you then don't think about it, its pointless. If its something your interested in and you really want to explore it deeply that's fine, Or is it an OCD thing??

I myself have a really tedious job that doesn't require alot of brain power so I find myself drifting into upsetting bullshit like life or politics and I have to stop myself because... Why. Why do i want to be upset. I don't, It only causes me stress and pain so i stop. Its not always easy but i keep at it.

Just do what makes you happy the rest of the bullshit is going to be there either way...

#34 Posted by ViciousBearMauling (994 posts) -

I've been in an accident where I stopped breathing and had to be "revived". I didn't see any angels or white light. In fact, I don't remember if I saw anything. It was like being under water, blinking, and teleporting to an ambulance in a lot of pain.

No one alive can give you a answer about what happens with death. But after what happened to me, I really felt like dying then would have been wrong. I wasn't satisfied. I didn't ask out the girl I loved, I didn't get a job I enjoyed, I didn't have kids to carry on my name and memory, I just wasn't ready. All I can say, is to take life and make it yours. Try not to regret anything.

Also, Tekla from Wolfenstein talks about death and what she has to say is pretty interesting.

#35 Edited by Jeust (10538 posts) -

@pinner458 said:

Since I was 13 I've had thoughts that really got me upset, I'd wonder what would happen to me if I died, where would I go? As I grew older I began to consider the idea of my death more deeply. So as a result I get these occasional bursts of panic where I think "If I have consciousness or not, the world or universe will go on forever anyway, it will never end, surely after millions of years it will just get tedious eventually, ".

I sometimes get so upset thinking about this that it makes me pace around the room and cry, this is serious to me so please don't make fun.

I realized that this looks like it just boils down to "what happens when we die " but I'd prefer it to be a discussion about accepting death,,

I support these views:

@theht said:

You are composed of matter fundamentally the same as all of the universe. Your mind was borne by your body, and your body was born from this earth, and if you choose may return to it. Eventually all things run their course. The Sun, the planet and its organisms, the billions upon billions of other stars and systems that comprise a galaxy. You will die just as an ancient massive star billions of lightyears away from you will die. The expiration and restructuring of matter is something that happens all over this universe.

Our consciousness affords us more than an existence spent carrying out autonomous functions, waiting for deconstruction. Awareness and capability enables us to learn about this world, about space and time, to philosophize about ethics, develop elaborate stories, cook fancy food, build a spaceship, create music. Death is the last experience that we will all share. The finality of our forms, the luck that we were the ones to grow into them, gives value to all life.

I'll add that the finality of our forms, the luck that we were the ones to grow into them, gives value to all life and is their ultimate reward their accomplishment.

Death is a reality that all life must face. But we with our lives, what are we? Why are we here really?

The Universe, the human body, a clock. What do they have all in common?

They all work by the harmony generated by their parts, with each single planet, star, cell, wheel fulfilling its intended role. What if we are also a part of the Universe moving according to our intented function, like say a red blood cell in our blood stream. What if that function is shown by our dreams and what we aspire to?

Like what Charles Perkhurst said:

"Purpose is what gives life a meaning."

This gives insight to the happiness of fulfilling our dreams and being integrated in society. If you consider the universe a system like society, a planet rotating and doing the translation movement is both fulfilling its function and integrated in the universe.

If we consider ourselves by this perspective it gives a new definition to death. Death may occur when there is no longer a function. After it being fulfilled, or when our dream has being abandoned, but not necessarily as we may find another, if it is our will. Or death may occur simply by overlapping our expiration date. ahah

This is my belief.

#36 Posted by adam1808 (1425 posts) -

You need Jesus boy.

#37 Posted by crithon (3111 posts) -

hey, as scary as life can get you'd be surprise by the little thing. That happen to me one time I got kicked out of a hotel for over drinking. I eventually meet up with an art hero I have admired for over 20 years and told me so much about life that blew my mind.

#38 Posted by Ekami (256 posts) -
@adam1808 said:

You need Jesus boy.

Is this a superhero comic? Sounds awesome

#39 Edited by Icemael (6314 posts) -

Your life is fueled by your constant death: every moment of life is a moment of death. As for death in the sense of a final end to consciousness, that is something we can neither imagine nor say anything about, and which we know of only as a scientific myth. Before science, life went on after the body failed (in Elysium or Hades, in Paradise or in Hell). Only with science did these myths come to an end, but the scientific answer that has replaced them is no less mythological. The only death science knows of is that of the body, that is to say of the biological machine, which has no necessary connection to consciousness.

#40 Posted by Phoenix778m (243 posts) -

I wrote this from a religous perspective but only to illustrate basic concepts of fear of death and right and wrong as a societal archetype. ...It may or may not calm some thoughts. If satan was cast out of heaven. Then good and evil existed before life. Our souls are a testament to this; for if the kingdom of heaven is inside of you, so must be the kingdom of hell. In this life we are free to choose either good or evil, heaven or hell, pain or pleasure.

So what of this irrational fear of hell after death? The pain of being born did not stop the process. Just as the pain of death will also come. Those that seek only the pleasure of this world and deny the pain of death will soon forget about the miracle of birth. For if they had remembered the pain of being born they would also remember the pleasure of their mothers embrace soon after. If the earth is our mother, does she not embrace us upon death? Would not the pain of death also become a pleasure. We were not afraid of entering our womb. Why should we be afraid of entering our tomb?

If we fear the pains of hell, do we not also fear the pleasures of heaven? We would accept good for evil, and evil for good because out of fear we choose to be blind to both good and evil. If we know ourselves, the good and the evil. We will know that we are complete. We will choose good for ourselves; and not deny the evil of others. We will understand the pains of evil that others call the pleasures of heaven, Those that our blind to the dawn of birth and to the dusk of death will only find hell in those who claim to have created a heaven for you.

We will not fear hell because we've created a heaven in ourselves.

#41 Posted by adam1808 (1425 posts) -

@ekami said:
@adam1808 said:

You need Jesus boy.

Is this a superhero comic? Sounds awesome

Marvel just acquired the rights to it.

#42 Posted by Clonedzero (4198 posts) -

I had this same thing for awhile, i used to freak out about it. Caused lots of sleepless nights where i pondered all this shit.

Now? Whatever i'll probably die someday, unless i become immortal or something somehow. Not gonna rule anything out. It's gonna happen eventually, why worry about it? Death honestly doesn't really scare me anymore. Being horribly crippled o r disabled scares the shit out of me though. I'd probably kill myself if i went blind of deaf or was severely paralyzed.

I mean i could slip and fall walking down the steps from the bathroom and break my neck in the next ten minutes, or i could die when im like 90-something.

I wouldnt worry about it too much, it'll happen someday, probably not anytime soon hopefully. It's all good.

#43 Posted by NTM (7320 posts) -

I don't so much cry at the thought of me dying, at an old age that is (dying a horrible death early is sadder because of what it may do to my family, and I don't like seeing them hurt). Dying at an old age is just depressing because I won't have what I know and love, nor the ability to explore aspects of existence and see what comes in the future, which will hopefully be the betterment of humanity, as well as the great technologies we may have that can and/or will help us out here on earth, and in space exploration, which I believe will happen; I want to see these things. The thought of my family dying however, before I am dead, can make me cry. There have honestly been a few times when I lay in bed and thought about it, and I teared up. This stuff however are things we shouldn't concern ourselves with right now, and focus on the good things in life. I personally don't believe in life after death, but it's an idea I'd love if it were true.

#44 Posted by HurricaneIvan29 (582 posts) -

The feeling I get when thinking about this is best described as enthrallment! A pragmatic view of death and the dying conscious is impossible to comprehend, and to think at some point we will all know what happens next. Sure we might not comprehend that we are experiencing it because our conscious will die as well, but then what does it feel to have a dead conscious!

I believe the closest we get to the this phenomena is sleeping without dreaming (not sure if we ever don't dream since our brain is always on). We don't remember dreaming or not dreaming, but we also don't feel as though we blinked from the time we fell asleep to waking; there's an empty void of memory and cognizance. The best we can do is try to train ourselves to remember the period between falling asleep and waking, but I think this would just lead to vivid dreams.

Ahh man, the thought of this is just captivating.

#45 Posted by Casey25 (138 posts) -

Yeah, but video games, guys. Am I right?

#46 Edited by pinner458 (691 posts) -

Yeah, it scares any person who isn't 100% devoted to the idea of life after death. Just ignore it 'til you die, unless you think it's a good motivator for something.

The "freakout" you describe happens to lots of us. It only typically happens for me when I'm trying to sleep, which I guess is good and bad. I remember asking my mom as a kid if I could go to a hypnotherapist so they could erase my ability to think about death. As an adult, I guess I'd rather have the occasional spurt of "oh, fuck" than live life thinking everything's gonna be just fine. I like to do what N.D. Tyson says: to think of yourself as possibly the greatest extent to which the universe has gained the ability to contemplate itself. It's pretty crazy. Then again, I also think Tyson and other notable scientists are either deluded or lying to us if thinking about it in that way totally alleviates their fear of death. I mean, no amount of beauty or wow-factors are gonna cure the pointless, sad nature of existence.

I guess I went off on a tangent. Uh... hope this helped?

A lot of these replies have been really helpful, it's good to hear that it's not a rare thing to get freaked out by these thoughts, but your description of "oh fuck" really nailed what I feel when I get worried about life after death. When I get panicked and flustered and want to hug someone because I'm so scared, all that's going through my head is "oh fuck, oh fuck, shit shit, fuck" until I convince myself to think about something else. I'm glad and thankful this community has people that are willing to discuss something like existentialism in a meaningful way.

#47 Posted by DookieRope (37 posts) -

@pinner458 If you are so worried about something so constantly it is moving you to tears on the regular I would recommend professional help. A therapist can help you work through these issues and give you mental tools to help work through these bouts of anxiety you describe through a process called cognitive behavior therapy. As a person that suffers from severe OCD and generalized anxiety disorder I wish I had started dealing with the various issues that make me extemely anxious earlier in life and didn't wait till I was in my mid-twenties to seek help. Hope things get better for ya dude but I am afraid the solution to your problem isn't found on a message board on a gaming website.

#48 Posted by pinner458 (691 posts) -

@dookierope: You're making an incorrect assumption that I'm unhappy or mentally stunted by these thoughts, but I only get these brief moments of panic thinking about eternity a few times a year, if that. People are too quick to recommend "professional help" on here.

Also, don't belittle the power of a gaming forum, especially Giant Bomb!

#49 Posted by Haruko (291 posts) -

Let it all end I say... Also this

@crithon said:

#50 Posted by Neonie (438 posts) -

I just want to live forever; is that too much to ask?

second.