As I age, instances where thoughts of what death is are occurring more often. Not a fatalist and don't feel the end is close...but I can see it over yonder 'round the corner. Beings we aren't believers in the traditional deities and their accompanying dogma, What is it going to look like? At our end of days there won't be a grizzled old man sitting at a gate. In my case, there won't be a prickly devil jabbing at my buttocks with a trident. There won't be angels flitting about...no babies in limbo...no lost souls in purgatory. I'm thinking after the final breath has been taken, the last synapses have fired, its simply black...just as it was before we knew life. We cease to exist in any form in any plane. Perhaps the 'reward' for non-believers is that we won't know it because we aren't capable of thought anymore and it isn't going to hurt because we can no longer feel. What say you?
Heres my two cents worth on being dead......I am a bit of an night owl so I go to bed anywhere from 11:00p.m. to 3:00 a.m. but I extremely rarely have any idea of anything that is going on or has gone on an hour after I retire so I think of being dead as a prolonged nap, sometimes called a dirt nap. BUT I do think I will probably die violently and it will probably hurt like hell..... for a little while.
I think I've got this figured out. Forgive me if explaining it gets a bit long winded.
I once asked a friend who was blind at birth if he saw black. Because of my perspective as a sighted person I couldn't understand what "seeing nothing" meant. Now I picture it as though I had asked "You must be getting radio static in your head because you don't have a radio to translate the signal into something coherent."
[QUOTE] it isn't going to hurt because we can no longer feel [/QUOTE]
No, it isn't going to hurt because there won't be a you to feel any pain or anything else.
I now see life from the perspective of a computer programmer. The easiest way to explain it is this. Are you old enough to remember when billing companies would send out punch cards? They were used in primitive computers that could read information from them, The card had 80 columns and each column could be translated into a letter or a number. For example your phone number would have a 3 digit area code followed by a 7 digit unique number to route a call to your house. Those 10 numbers make up a "field" on the punch card. The field has a specific start point and a specific stop point. It goes from here to here. The columns before that field are not your phone number. The columns after that field are not your phone number. The start and stop points are like your birth and death dates. You life is represented by that field of data in between.
Now imagine that you are standing on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. You are in space dock just outside Earth's orbit. At midnight on January 1, 2000 you launch into space. You travel at the speed of light to a point 10 light years off in space.
Note: a light year is a measurement of the distance light can travel in one year.
When you get there you gaze back at the Earth through a very powerful telescope. What you see is actually the light that left the Earth 10 years earlier. It took that light 10 years to travel 10 light years to where you are now to be picked up by your telescope. Life on Earth, and life on the Enterprise, has aged 10 years as well.That 10 year old light would actually show the Enterprise in its original position in space dock.
Next you decide to return to the Earth at Twice the speed of light while keeping your telescope aimed at the Earth. As you return you will actually see time reverse itself because traveling twice as fast as the light did you're gaining on it. You're seeing light that left Earth prior to the light that left Earth when you did. Returning from your point 10 light years out at twice the speed of light it will take you 5 years to get back to Earth.. When you get there you will find that time has gone backward 5 years. You have experience a 15 year journey. But when you arrive back on Earth you will find that you were only gone for 5 years.
What this shows is that time is "relative" to where you are in space. Its fluid rather than fixed. It makes up what I like to think of as a "tapestry". You are, and always will be, a part of that tapestry. In that tapestry last year remains just as real as today. Did you lose a loved one? You're still with them in that tapestry. Are you going to Europe next year? You've already been there in that tapestry.Forever is just a millisecond.
People a lot smarter than me figured all that out. Mostly it comes from Einstein. Here's where I go beyond them.
They say that the universe began in a singularity. That is a point infinitely small that was so dense that it contained all of the matter in the universe.
Now dig this!
A line exists only in one dimension. It therefore only exists in theory. Imagine a man 6 feet tall with no width or depth. He can't possible exist. Same if hes 3 feet wide but has no height. A pool of water 5 feet deep that has no width or depth can't exist either.
But what happens if those lines, which exist only in theory, were to intersect. Then you have an infinitely small point with length, width, and depth. But you have to add one more line to bring it to life. A time line. Give that theoretical point some time to exist and you have everything you need to create a universe!
Thanks for this! The interview got sidetracked after Neil spoke of wanting his body to return to whence it came. I wanted King to keep going and ask him if he thought his -spiritual- self separated from the physical and might exist in another plane of energy. I deduce at this point that we simply end. Sure, other organisms will benefit from our burial as Neil says, but that is a tangible and physical occurrence. Its quite removed from the Chopra-like thinking that there is a humongous swirling energy existing somewhere that we become a part of at death.
Having recently lost someone dear to me, the thought of death has moved to the forefront of my mind. It is not something I thought a lot about in the past. Our remains will still be part of this world, in some way. We just won't be aware. I think more about having my shit together, so my kids don't have to wonder where everything is, etc. I've heard of something called "Swedish Death Cleaning." You get rid of stuff you don't need and don't want your family to be burdened with when you're gone. I have a lot of death cleaning to do!
My mom died at 45. So once I passed 45 I felt like I had no guide into uncharted territory. Apparently this is common with motherless daughters. So now I'm 60. I fully realize that life is short and we all could go in a blink. I also work in a health related field, I know how fragile life is. One of my close cousins died at 59. Two or three other cousins have passed on.
Death is part of life, no one gets out alive. When it is over, it is over. No heaven or hell, That part that makes us who we are is gone, but on the atomic level our energy is still out there. Those part will be rearranged into something else, but it isn't part of us any longer.