Jimmy Strobl

This conversation is closed.

How do you feel about death?

How do you feel when thinking about death, your own and other's?

Edit: Extra (totally optional) question: what are your preferences for your funeral?

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    Jan 13 2014: I feel fine about death Jimmy, because it is part of the life/death cycle. I have faced death already, survived, flourished, learned, grew and evolved with the process. Part of what I learned more about, is to live life fully....meaning total engagement in every moment, because each and every moment is an opportunity for learning and growth.

    As a volunteer in a terminal care facility for a couple years, I observed that the people who have difficulty with the dying process, often have regrets.....they didn't do something that they really wanted to do....didn't resolve issues with people....didn't tell those they love how much they love them....etc.

    I was with my brother and sister-in-law when she was dying, and one day, my brother was telling her how much he loved and appreciated her throughout their marriage of 30 years. All of a sudden, she looked at him amazed and said..."I never knew you loved me so much".

    They were happily, contentedly married for 30 years, raised two great kids, and never told each other how important their relationship was to them....they just didn't talk about it....probably each thought the other "knew". They talked a LOT just before she died, and it was really beautiful to observe.

    My preference for a funeral, is that all my friends and family have a HUGE party and celebrate my life, as it was shared with them. They all know this, and tell me that they will happily participate.....I LOVE them and the plan:>)
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      Jan 13 2014: I was actually awaiting your response for this question Colleen. Being that you had a NDE, I really wanted to know what you had to say. It is amazing that you were able to find value to your life during that process. I'm actually trying to not take everything for granted since I never know when the moment of my death will come.
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        Jan 14 2014: In my perception Orlando, you are very wise to be aware of NOT taking anything or anyone for granted. I have found that being in the moment, with curiosity, appreciation and gratitude helps with that process. I enjoy being HERE....NOW.....and whatever happens after that, will be another adventure. Every moment, and every person whose path we cross, offers a precious opportunity. This is the first day of the rest of our lives, and it could be the last day of our life as well.

        Facing death, either our own, or the death of a loved one often reminds us of the importance of life. Yes, I had a near death experience 24 years ago, and it was a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow. I experienced "value" during the process because of curiosity and willingness to learn something.......I'm also kind of determined, and maybe a wee bit stubborn:>)

        The prognosis was that I would not live, and when I lived, the prognosis was that I would never function "normally" again. Well, I'm here, and functioning at a relatively high level for an old gal:>)
        BTW, around the same time as the near fatal head injury, I was ending 24 years of marriage, diagnosed with cancer, my mother and father died. I was in a whirlwind of emotions! Did you ever hear the saying....."what doesn't kill us makes us stronger"? I vouch for that:>)

        To move through the challenge, required genuinely experiencing and exploring ALL thoughts, feelings, and emotions as an adventure, and thankfully I had learned that process with other less traumatic challenges. I will be exploring, with curiosity, until the moment I take my last breath.
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          Jan 16 2014: Hello Colleen. Do you remember your NDE well? I know that this was a great shock for me and it took a very long time to understand what had happened. I've had no doubt than that I'm not my body - I'm my mind/soul, do not need any language to communicate - our psyche or soul has an ability to be instantly "telepathic". This sensation was the same as I felt in my very early childhood, when I clearly knew that my body was only a clumsy, ridiculous, very temporary vehicle.

          Have you seen anything (while could not use your physical sight)?
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      Jan 16 2014: You're such a wholsome person, Colleen.
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        Jan 16 2014: Thank you Vera, and I appreciate you:>) I decided a LONG time ago that I prefer to learn sooner rather than later!

        Yes, I remember the NDE....as much of it as possible. It took me a long time to accept it, because it certainly WAS NOT in any way part of my belief system at the time. That is why I did so much research, read 100s of accounts of NDEs, and explored the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross when I was well enough to do so. I also guest lectured at the university for years about it, in a sociology class called "Death, Dying and Bereavement".

        To the extent that we deny death, we also deny life. Living and dying are two aspects of the same event....one cannot happen without the other. Our fear of death is reflected in our fear of life. This is probably why I have observed people who live a full life, dying more contentedly, while those who have regrets have a more difficult time with the dying process.
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      Jan 17 2014: You just inspired me to make more of an effort to let my loved ones know I love them. Thanks.
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        Jan 17 2014: Oh my goodness Obey......that makes my heart sing! You know about the ripple effect right?
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    Jan 6 2014: Here are some of my thoughts on death:

    Quite frankly I'm not afraid of death (why should I? It's out of my control). But this does not mean that I want to die. It just lets me know that the life I'm living is all the more important. To enjoy every moment that I have because the next moment can be taken away. But the beauty of it is that every moment that I have is extraordinary, its magnificent, its beautiful. The fact that we all never think of death, although it is the only thing in our future that is certain, is a great thing. We could never enjoy our life if we constantly thought about the moment of our ending. The goal I think is to fill our life with as much life as possible before its all gone...

    Personally I think life and death is a matter of conscious experience (or we can just say consciousness). If consciousness is indeed a product of our brain functionality and our brain is no longer functioning to produce experience then we are no longer alive....and if anyone invokes heaven and hell, well none of those matter without consciousness. You can't enjoy heaven and suffer in hell without being aware of your experience.

    Also I do not want a funeral. I would just prefer to get cremated and have everyone go on with their day.

    nonetheless I've said enough...I'll end on this quote by Wittgenstein

    "Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present."-Ludwig Wittgenstein
  • Jan 5 2014: Currently, I do not fear the Unknown.
    But I DO fear loss of the Known.
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      Jan 5 2014: “Fear is the cheapest room in the house.
      I would like to see you living
      In better conditions.”

      ~ Hafez

      Best wishes for the new year.
      Have a brilliant 2014!!
      • Jan 6 2014: I dig it. I always have been a bit of a cheapwad. Perhaps it is time to upgrade. Great year to you as well. :-)
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        Jan 9 2014: Without any fear we would be falling apart and be dead in a few minutes. Fear is a great Warning sense, but it needs to be distributed wisely.
  • Jan 11 2014: Death is part of life and I think it should be accepted as such. On my death, I think I have lived a reasonable life and done most of the things I wanted to do. There are always things more I want to do. Like a very good meal, you should always leave a good meal wanting more.

    My grandmother told me that she had lived a good life and accomplished most of what she wanted. She died quietly 3 months later in her sleep and she made sure the tax people got none of her money.

    You asked about funerals - how about none. One day here, next day gone. Cremated, ashes spread in some spots, no ceremony.
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    Jan 6 2014: Yours or mine?
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      Jan 6 2014: HAHA!

      You can choose to answer any or both if you wish Pat! :D
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        Jan 6 2014: I don't think it is as big a deal as it is made out to be except the pain.
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          Jan 6 2014: Yeah, the pain part seems to be the very worst.
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          Jan 13 2014: Pat and Jimmy,
          If it's any consolation, I have been with several relatives and friends going through the dying process, and volunteered in a terminal care facility for a couple years. We have some pretty good meds these days, and the ONLY person I witnessed in pain, was a person who did not take the full dosage of meds because she wanted to feel, and be aware of everything about the dying process....she didn't want to be heavily medicated. There is often physical or mental discomfort, but most pain can be managed.
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          Jan 16 2014: Colleen,

          Since I've worked in elderly care I too have witnessed people dying, I've been on watch for people's final moments and have cared for them until their last breath. But it's not the pain from the final hours that I speak of, rather it's the years of pain that come before that for many. The final years of decay that many experience, it may start with that hip that never healed properly or that wound on your foot that wont close. But for many that aren't terminally Ill and "just dying" out of age the accumulation of pain tend to stretch over many years.

          But then again, I don't think that I'm going to experience any of this as modern medicine will have caught up and outrunned me by then, if I live that long that is...

          Anything will do, I just don't wish to suffer too much.
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        Jan 16 2014: This is true Jimmy....as we age, there probably will be more discomfort. I don't perceive old age as a decaying process, but rather a change in form:>) In my perception, the body doesn't actually "decay" until it is dead. But I think I understand what you are saying.

        I've known quite a few people in their 90s, and they have been as alive as anyone....sometimes more so. I've know people in their 30s, 40s, 50s who seem old, and people in their 70s, 80s, 90s who seem young.

        My experience, is that when we focus on the pain, that creates our reality. Every single morning, when I get up, the body protests......oh crap......is it going to MOVE again today??? LOL:>)

        My body has osteoporosis, degenerative discs in the spine, arthritis, old sport injuries that I am reminded of, etc. etc. As I sit here writing about it, everything hurts. SO.....I don't focus on it. No point focusing on that stuff if I am painting my house, riding a bike, skiing, kayaking, hiking with awareness of the beauty and joy all around, or communicating on TED. Gratitude for what I CAN do supports an attitude that moves beyond pain.

        I don't like to suffer or have pain either, so I don't.....much:>)
  • Jan 5 2014: I find that death provides a certain level of comfort more than it does fear. No matter how we live our lives, whether it's filled with happiness or suffering, we will all die at some point. Death is the one constant for every living thing. The only difference is at what time an organism reaches that point.

    There's much more to fear, I think, in the living than there ever will be in death. After you die, there really isn't anything to be afraid of since you've already reached your expiration date, so to speak. The threat of something that may lead to your death loses its significance once you get to that point, I would wager.

    In living however, we can contemplate these things without ever knowing what will happen to us on the other side. We don't know when our time to die will come, or how it will come about for ourselves or our loved ones. 'Will it be quick? Can I prolong my life by just a few more years? Will it hurt?' We have days, months, years to ruminate over these questions. That, in my mind, is probably how we develop things like fear in the first place.

    Suffering and fear are things to do with the living. But for the dead, the only thing we can really say is that they will eventually rejoin the rest of the life cycle as nutrients for other things. If there's more to it, we don't know, but to give back in that way is rather remarkable in itself.
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    Jan 7 2014: of reactions. For some means devastation and grief, for some freedom and hope, for some is life-saving, for some is a reason to let themselves go, for some it's a wake up call, for some it's a means for celebration, for some it's a relief, for some it's a great loss, for some a combination of it all.

    I have always associated death with grief and pain; anger and frustration; sometimes a feeling of impotence; sometimes regret; loved ones who were gone to soon or loved ones who weren't granted the choice to go sooner and suffered excruciating pain; obnoxious funeral traditions where coffins are laid wide open and people line up to walk in front of it and share their condolences; "sorrys" or "I love yous" never said in time or simply not often enough. To me, death equals pain and I would much rather talk about life. And like that character in the movie said, if I were God everyone would live forever...
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    Jan 7 2014: As far as I'm concerned: one dies, one's body decomposes and "c'est finit", so quite frankly, it's not something I look forward to. Then again, I've not had the benefit of dying myself so I don't really know, death could be awesome and there's me neglecting it. And having just said that, I've just remembered an excerpt from the movie "All that Jazz" where a character in it, makes fun of Doctor Kübler-Ross' theory of the five stages of grief. It depicts human behaviour towards death in a very humorous but also rather dark way.

    So, I can only share how I feel about others' death. From an early age I had issues with the typical speech given by adults when, for instance, a dear pet died. It would usually go something like this:
    Adult- Sweetheart, don't be sad, Lola has gone to a better place.
    Me- But where? Was she not happy here?
    Adult- Yes, but it was her time to go to heaven.
    Me(Rather puzzled) would think- We just shoved her down the toilet and pulled the chain, does that mean our crap goes to heaven too? Yuck! Well I'm not going there when I die, thank you very much.

    On a more serious note we are educated to believe death is a natural part of life however that never seems to soothe any pain when it hits close to home and 'natural' becomes the least appropriate adjective. On the other hand, we seem to be okay when death knocks far away from home and in masses. Sadly we even kind of grow accustomed to it, so we read about it in the newspaper while we sip our morning coffee and think what a crap world we live in, but almost unmoved by it, because the harsh truth is, we simply don't care because it's not us or any of our loved ones that's dying. And luckily that's the way it is otherwise we would all be on a constant state of grief.

    Many grieved over the death of Gandhi, Kennedy or Elvis, for instance, but then again, many were thrilled when Hitler blew himself up in a ditch or Bin Laden was murdered. That's the ambiguity of death. It provokes all sorts
  • Jan 7 2014: Continuation. Infinity and Eternity

    Imagine that you are standing on a tower in the middle of a plain; and surrounding you, and stretching as far as your eyes can see to the "curved horizon" are sheep; and it’s your job to count them, impossible?

    Well I am afraid the counting situation gets worse; because there are nine owners of the sheep, and each owner has a different coloured circle painted on the back his or her sheep, in order to be able to distinguish their own sheep, from those of the other eight owners.

    And each of those sheep has no respect for the counting method, that you are trying to, or are planning to apply; because they keep milling around, and lambing here and there;

    And as the new born lambs have no colours to distinguish them, and as their parents keep milling around, and they keep leaping and gambolling around, here and there as lambs do.

    So you discover that the criteria and the meaning of infinity, is not straight forward or straight linear in nature, and so put your pencil and tally sheet down;

    And as you have also discovered, that the same non-straight forward, and non-straight linear criteria also applies to eternity;

    You decide to go home and have a beer, and forget about it altogether.

    Cheers Carl
  • Jan 6 2014: Hi Jimmy

    Please bear with me, because what follows is relative to, and does have a bearing on what we consider, to be the two states of life and death.

    First of all I would like you to look at (or imagine) an old photo, preferably with yourself, and someone no longer with us in the picture; and we will give the photo an age of 10 years since it was taken; and the deceased person died at the end of the same day the picture was taken.

    Since the photo was taken 10 years ago, the Earth has rotated 3,365 days x 24, 000 miles = 80, 760, 000 miles (rounded figures), and all the myriad of events that were caused by, and following on from the persons death, and travelling on to create new events into the future; would seem to lie in the past.

    However without that person’s life, there would have been no photo taken, and none of the subsequent events, and none of the newly caused events, travelling on into the future, following the persons death, would have taken place.

    And therefore we can say; that the person is still alive on the day that lies 80, 760, 000 miles away from us; and if this were not so, the picture would not exist, and neither would all of the events that followed.

    The point being; energy may be converted but it cannot be destroyed; therefore you cannot remove or destroy the energy of the person, or the energy of the events of the person’s life, or the energy of the subsequent events that were caused by, and followed on from the death of the person; from the Universe.

    Therefore it follows that although we may think of death as being the end of us; we are all still living our infinite lives, somewhere in eternity, and then dying somewhere in eternity; and if this were not so, we could not watch a dead Nat King Cole, singing a duet with his daughter.

    See Continuation
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    Jan 6 2014: Death is very real,but fear is a choice.
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    Jan 6 2014: i don't like death. death sucks.
  • Jan 5 2014: As many say, 'Death is a part of life' which, however, does not say much.

    To me, death is only the death of the body. Nothing else. Since we are not our body but we are out spirit, we continue on.
    We continue living in the spiritual environment we've created around us while still in the body. That's what we're here for.
    When we lost our daughter more than ten years ago, I was very sad to loose her, obviously. But at the same time I was glad for her to now be in a life she loved. We will see very few people that have come back from a NDE and were glad they did. Usually the experience teaches us that the next life is way, way more loving and enjoyable than this life on earth.

    Dying itself is no more than going from one room to another, it often is the process of illness and conditions that make people scared.
    Swedenborg wrote a book, since he had spiritual experiences like NDE's every day, for close to 30 years. The title is Heaven And Hell. There is also a Face Book page https://www.facebook.com/HeavenAndHellSwedenborg

    And this is about what happens when we die,
    http://webhome.idirect.com/~abraam/documents/Die_WhatHappensWhenYou.doc

    Hope this helps and wish everyone a very happy and healthy 2014!!

    If a fetus knew it was going to be born, it would be as afraid of birth as we are of death.
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      Jan 9 2014: Love your thinking, Adriaan. Very sober and right to the point.

      Hope someone will start a conversation encouraging people to talk about NDE (and After death experience - as I call it). I have had one… Will you try to publish this topic?
      • Jan 9 2014: Vera you're very kind, thank you.
        I'd say NDE's are almost a common experience nowadays. Millions have had one.
        Seems to me in almost every conversation NDE's are mentioned somewhere..
        Calling it an ADE sounds like a good idea too. Afteral the medical industry at that moment does say we're dead :)
        It would be a good thing to have a conversation about ADE's but I think that would be best if done by someone who had that actual experience. I only read about it.

        My wife also had a NDE as a young girl and was very frustrated about the lack of knowledge and help anyone, religous or not, could give her. Until she was introduced to books by Swedenborg. She almost fell out of her chair :) These were written about 250 years ago. In fact even the classic "Life after Life" has a chapter on him as well.

        I also contribute to a Facebook page HeavenandhellSwedenborg. There are more than a hundred 'likes' a day because people finally find they can talk about their ADE and see relevant information.
        One of the most often heard reaction by those that read Swedenborg is "this makes total sense"

        Anyway, thank you again for your kind comment and wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!
        .
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          Jan 9 2014: Some weeks ago I've suggested this fascinating topic for publishing on ted - ted editors have rejected it explaining that the idea is "too extreme". In my opinion, as I somehow mentioned above in this conversation, neither researchers nor philosophers are able to prove or disprove the existence of the mind/spirit/soul while exploring bodily sense perceptions, even when augmenting these with powerful devices - this simply does not make any logical sense. When the body is dead, gone, it cannot sense a thing, it cannot interact anything as a composition, its former composition, it is falling apart. The most "daring" thought on mind in sciences these days, is that our brains! produce some sort of a cloudlike formation, but it is invisible through any devices yet. It's sounds comical. Anyway, I'll try some different approach to the subject - hope they will publish it.

          To understand our living minds, the nature of perceptions and interactions, our limitations and boundaries, which are absolutely invisible under any microscope, is the only way to build the foundation for our shaky knowledge, sciences and mentality, which have never had any real foundation. They are hanging on the "facts" brought out by the most illusive and shallow sense perception of all we possess - out sight! In my opinion human thinking-consciousness is the most theatrical and superficial stage of mind we may know. We still have to try to go beyond that stage and find out out how we build it.

          Hope to talk to you soon about the most revealing experience we may ever have in this confusing "physical" life!
      • Jan 9 2014: Yes Vera, this can be very frustrating. What science cannot detect or measure, it says, does not exist.
        Maybe you'd like to add your experience and knowledge to this conversation, more or less about the same thing
        http://www.ted.com/conversations/22404/mind_exists_outside_of_physica.html?c=804865

        When you see how some people think.. As soon as I give a spiritual side to a discussion I'm told I'm off topic, preaching etc.
        I was going to send this as a message to you but there is no connection on your profile. You can send me a message if you like.
        Love your approach to life, real life :)
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    Jan 5 2014: Death is a part of life .... the last part.

    Upon the passing of a relative or friend I try to celebrate their life not their death. So my concentration will remain on what can I do while here to make it better for now and the future for me, mine, and others.

    I like the Serenity Prayer for this type of question: God grant me the serenity To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.

    For the many on TED who claim Atheist as their choice leave out the first word (God) and all is good.
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    Jan 4 2014: If you're not ready to die, you're not ready to live. It's like trying to enjoy yourself in the dentist's waiting room.

    :-)
    • Jan 5 2014: Hypothetically speaking, what would your attitude be if there was nothing after the dentist?

      I certainly know I'd behave very different if I accepted your base assumption that there was an afterlife.
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        Jan 6 2014: how would you behave?
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          Jan 6 2014: I'd just focus on this life since this is the only life I could be certain about and if there is indeed something after the "dentist" then I'll know when I get there..If not, I'd probably not worry about it since I would no longer know what it Is like to be me...in the end I just have to go with the flow of things.
        • Jan 7 2014: If you're wondering whether it would have made me a "better person", then the answer is probably no.
          Looking at most organized religion in the country where I live, if anything, religion and belief in an afterlife serving as motivation for it would have made me more conformist to racist policies, behaviors and establishments, while also a fair bit more jingoistic.

          The role of organized religion where I come from isn't just making donations to the poor and serving as a community center. Some of the religious organizations do those things, some even do them well, but many others are busy with things like cultural and ethnic repression, and doing everything in their power to avoid assimilating into the secular world and embracing science, modernity and economic progress (poor people are more likely to find religion enticing, as is statistically well documented, therefore to keep people "of the truth faith" they must stay poor).

          As an atheist, I avoided much of the indoctrination inclining me to buy into many of the above ideas, which frankly disgust me. If the price I pay for it is worrying over what happens to me when I die, so be it.
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        Jan 6 2014: Hypothetically I would more than likely be even more self absorbed than at present. I can remember thinking; in my formative years; that suicide would be a good option if the going got too tough. Thankfully I needn't worry over that any more.

        :-)
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          Jan 6 2014: Hi Peter,

          One question: how could you establish value for this life if you know you are going elsewhere? In this case, wouldn't life be just an emergency? Something you have to go through until something better comes along?

          I would figure you would not value you this life if you knew you had another that was possibly better but of course I've been wrong before. I just can't see the connection of how this life would be more valuable than the next (that is assuming there is an afterlife)
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        Jan 7 2014: Hi Orlando.
        The value of this life lies in the effect it has on the next life. Jesus majored on love, both for God, & my fellow humans. If we can love as we ought in this life, then we build up treasures in the next life.
        I see it as a win-win scenario; I get a kick out of loving folks & it brings the hope of a better afterlife, what can be wrong with that ?

        :-)
  • Jan 4 2014: Hi Jimmy,I have to say I still can't accept death,although I know grasses grow in Spring,blooming in Summer,fading in Autumn,dying in Winter,and the same we are...but death for me is still like black hole,full of fear,it seems too much I don't want to give up:family love,stuents growing...I am in my fourties now,I don't know when I can accept death:)
    • Jan 4 2014: To Jimmy, I know your thoughts on religion and I'm not trying to hijack this conversation, please forgive the religious connotations of my following quote, but it has brought me perspective and thought I should share it with Edulover.

      ... So fear dying if you must. It takes from us the only life that we can understand, and that is a worthy loss to mourn. But do not fear death. It is something too great to celebrate, too great to fear. Either it brings us to a judgement, so it is ours to control by the kind of life we live, or it annihilates us into the great rhythm of nature, and we join the eternal peace of the revolving heavens... (from Letters to My Son by Kent Nerburn)

      I think my favorite quote about death, though is a line by Louis Lamour.
      "None of us is gonna get out of this alive...that's the only thing a man knows about life."
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        Jan 4 2014: Jacob, you are of course allowed to share your views on any topic in any aspect that you feel. I enjoyed this comment, thank you for posting.

        You should know that even though I'm an anti-theist I will not scorn anyone for sharing such views. And I do not always take the debate when it is not religion that is on the topic. But when religion IS the topic it's battle time for me, as friendly a battle that I can muster.

        I assumed that I would get many religious answers here, so far there have been fewer then I expected.

        As I've said, keep it up Jacob!
        • Jan 4 2014: Good dealI appreciate that, it seems as though a few of the recent discussions have been sidetracked and have become unproductive. I didn't figure that religion was what you wanted to discuss here and didn't want to sidetrack this conversation.I appreciate the encouragement and as always look forward to more discussionsft
      • Jan 5 2014: Hi Jacob,thanks for the sharing about death,I will keep on searching,the topic about death it sounds mysterious now which deserves me to observe,to pay more attention to.
  • Jan 3 2014: I've learned to look at death through what a call a detached academic lens. The rational part of my brain can think about it just like anything, while the emotional part goes out for lunch, mostly to avoid depression.

    Most people don't have that same separation between the rational and emotional side of the brain, at least not on such a conscious level. Anyone trying to learn it should probably start out with taxes and work their way up.
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      Jan 3 2014: "Anyone trying to learn it should probably start out with taxes and work their way up."

      LMAO!

      But I think that I have the same view as you. The academic lens is really helpful in almost every aspect of life!
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    Feb 3 2014: It takes time to realize that the striving for life and the struggle against death begin at conception...Life and death are the yin and yang of existence.
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    Jan 20 2014: I perceive an awareness of death as our most powerful means to being in-the-moment. I am inspired by the idea of creating a new more heroic narrative around it for what is every life if not a hero's journey?

    *Thomas Mann once wrote

    "The true hero is a poet whether he likes it or not; for what is heroism if not poetry?”

    Thus our means to creating that narrative is the poet that resides within all of us, but why?

    ** One of Gregory Bateson’s main aims in his study of epistemology was to point out that logic was unsuitable for the description of biological patterns. This is why metaphor according to Bateson, is the language of nature, the logic upon which the entire living world is built, and it is also the language of poets.

    So death is a biological pattern, understood most effectively in metaphorical terms. The following poem is part of my metaphor for death, a part of a new more heroic, liberating and empowering narrative I am choosing to create and live in the presence of.

    The Succulent Fruit Of Eternity By Michael R. Dale

    I no longer tremble
    At Death's delicate fingers
    She only seeks
    To peel away this mortal skin
    And reveal
    The succulent fruit of eternity


    * Quoted in Transformation by Robert A. Johnson p.21. Credited to Cervantes p.53
    ** Quoted in Uncommon Wisdom by Fritjof Capra on p.80-81.
  • Jan 17 2014: An interesting talk. Have you ever considered that maybe there was a reason for you to fear death? Many people fear death, but I think the real fear has to do with the uncertainty of what happens AFTER DEATH. If nothing happens, then yes, I agree with everything that you have said. But what evidence have you seen to prove this is true?

    What about the huge number people who have had NDEs? Some even had out of body experiences where they were able to describe things that they saw on the roof of the hospital?

    As for me, it's the thought of eternal pain and suffering (Jesus referred to it as the "weeping and nashing of teeth") that is absolutely terrifying. Could this fear or "bias" have been placed within us to drive us to our creator to avoid such a fate?

    No? How can you be sure? Are you willing to take such a gamble with eternity?

    How did you come into existence? Big bang? Complex design, order, and intelligence from an explosion? It flies in the face of every law of scientific theory and it still doesn't expain where matter and energy came from.

    If Jesus really did rise from the dead 3 days later, which many have PROVEN to be the case (Simon Greenleaf for example) based on:

    1) the willingness of witnesses of Jesus' life to experience a painful death,
    2) Biblical prophesies of Jesus' death, life, and resurrection,
    3) the non-existence of any conflicting accounts of his life, death, and resurrection (more than 150 years after the actual events occurred isn't reliable)

    then this proves that He is who he says He is. The Bible is clear that God wants no one to suffer an eternal fate of suffering. He doesn't change Himself to fit your belief, He just is what He is.

    Knowing what God said about eternal life, I have absolutely no fear of death or what lies after death, because my belief is in what is provable, which is BTW, the scientific method.
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    Jan 16 2014: Wondering if someone has had NDE? This striking experience practically shows that, yes, we truly fear life, but have no clue about why we fear what we call "death"..
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    Jan 13 2014: Hey guys,

    I just wanted to say that I've read your comments and am grateful for all the input that this conversation has received. It's been educating, keep it up!
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    Jan 10 2014: It's a sweet story but it has turned all my contacts with my conventional reality backwards. Neither before nor after there were any connections with people/individuals even nearly so striking to me in sense of open closesness (in spite that people I knew told me how much they loved or understood me)

    This Magnificent Cat taught me how to communicate with him instantly, in any distance, with no need for any words.

    He taught me Ultimate honesty without any explanations or arguments. I Loved him unselfishly and this was a pure heaven. When I saw him after a long day of communicating with people at work, or better to say trying to solve endless problems in people's communications with phones and laptops, I was back to this Bliss, quiet transparent reality, which made me ultimately alive, as myself. I've never felt so happy and immensly rich… So similarly to myself, He was a surviver, ultimately independent, in spite that he was so manipulated and physically ill because of the terrible conditions he was trapped in all his life. Untill I came to rescue both of us. I knew him for a few years. He suddenly became deadly sick and died in my hands.

    My pain was unreal, until recently 5 years later, I'm able to think straight… no death of a human has ever effected me so deeply.
    He was the only powerful magnificent reality for me.

    Well, Animals can heal - no doubt, endless cases have been recorded by responsible researchers.
    Animals are not PETS or lovely toys, but superior to us communicators, teachers, connecting us with reality which we still do not understand. Our blind human sense of reality is artificial and conventional - but someone's death might wake us up, and make us see how stupid our little life is in this fussy and cruel world.

    My physical space is now very limited, my home, my books, my music, my research - but I feel how much my spirit has grown since I've had my magnificent sage the Cat. My little travel, ADE, is another story !
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    Jan 9 2014: In this world of instant changes we are transforming into entirely new living compositions in every moment of our existence.

    In my modest opinion, we shall learn that there is nothing new about endless transformations of the entire world and us in it, since great Greek Heraclitus has expressed this law of nature in his fabulous sayings.

    I'd say we do really disappear or die in every instant. We come back as new different Selfs in every instant. How different our appearances might be and where we might be "placed" while going through new transformations, maybe as new living forms?

    One might be happy with Buddha's philosophy believing in recycling life forms until they find some Nirvana, or one might believe in mighty god who would take care of one's soul after death, but someone, like myself, remains desperately curios, deeply unsatisfied with the existing knowledge and beliefs.

    I see our grand problem - we have not learned a thing about our own natural laws that animate our life.

    P.S. I am one of a few extremelly lucky individuals who has experienced NDE or "after death" existence, while gaining this tremendous consciousness of self..impossible when we are "trapped" in bodies. Wish someone would publish a realted topic to start a new conversation.
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    Jan 9 2014: It will happen, in an hour, a year, ten years, 30 years from now, I don't know. I try to live my life with no regrets so when I leave, I leave with no regrets. There's no do-over or second chances.

    I don't have any preferences for my funeral, I'd be dead anyway, but I'm sure that my family will bury me accordingly to our customs. I only hope that it happens fast so I didn't know it's coming. (the dying part, not the funeral)
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    Jan 6 2014: Uncertain. It's a grey area of feeling. I know it is necessary ending of a physical life, but there is a life beyond physical - not afterlife, but a greater life than just living. I am not certain how long will that greater life persist after physical death.
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    Jan 6 2014: When I imagine the length of my life, it's never really gone past age 45.

    The fear is in life. I've always felt the passage of time, but never towards death. Always about my child. There's deadlines (no pun intended) on what a mother needs to do to ensure a wonderful life for her child. I fear I haven't done enough, done the right things to prepare them for their future.

    I hope my death is instant.

    What's after death? I believe nothing is.
    I don't wish to be embalmed. no other specifics. Cremation, burial, whatever.

    When my grandmother died, I felt sad that my child hadn't had the chance to get to know her. She and my grandfather had been married for 50 years and I felt lost on how to comfort him. His health deteriorated within a year. I felt it would have been kinder if both of them had died together.
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    Jan 6 2014: I do not believe that death is the end of life, I believe that it is the end of the current life. We are made of the same atoms that the dinosaurs were made from. What that means has a lot of possible implications. Many ancient cultures believed in reincarnation. According to science, matter is conserved and so is energy. The one component that we do not know much about is consciousness. Is it possible that that is conserved as well.
    What distinguishes us from others is our own collection of memories stored in our current body. Without these, there is no such thing as "I".According to Edgar Cayce, the universe itself has a memory containing information on all who have lived, all they have done, and their intentions on why. He supposedly accessed it while in trance. All of his readings were collected at the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, VA, USA; http://www.edgarcayce.org/are/edgarcayce.aspx There is a book "Edgar Cayce on the Akashic Records" by Kevin Todeschi. I found it quite interesting. It is one of many on the same subject.
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    Jan 6 2014: I‘ve read some interesting news about the color of death in China. It's said it originated from the magazine《PLOSBiology》.
    http://roll.sohu.com/20130813/n384066358.shtml

    This is some kinda of relief for me to face the death, for I like blue color. But I'm still enchanted by the life in this world and feel a profound fear about death. What's more, I'm very afraid of losing my family members too. When I see my mother suffering in hospital(She's got a lung cancer), I feel the pain too. Her today may be my future. I think I can hardly let go all the good memory when I was with her as well as see her leave me one day. So I'm a little surprised to see many people here say they're indifferent to death. How jealous I am of those people who have the courage to leave the world like leaving home every day. I always think people who committed suicide were very brave, but it's incredible why they would rather have the courage to die than live ? And I'm extremely afraid of the torment accompanied by the ultimate diseases before death. Maybe this is what is much scarier than death. I hope I could die without much pains in the final time of my life.
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      Jan 6 2014: Yoka,best wishes to your mum.Don't be sad,your mum is already lucky to have a daughter like you,and no mum wants her children unhappy and painful.It's not that"people would rather have the courage to die than live"We can never avoid death,but the truth is,danger is very real,but fear is a choice.
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        Jan 6 2014: Thank you~! I'm flattered. :)
        I'm always happy in general in spite of some helpless moments and empathy for my mother's pains generated from her disease. She's ok now but the cancer can only be controlled as opposed to be cured. Maybe fear can be conquered in some way, but the pains are very real, so is the death and the sadness striking you. Luckily, I'm not alone, I'm with the support from my relatives and everything is going well now.
        Thank you for your kindness again and wish your family all good health and a joyful new year~.
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    Jan 4 2014: I don't get why someone would fear their own death. When it comes to me, I fear the death of other people more than my own. The people I love the most in this world, the ones I cannot imagine life without. That is one scary thought.
    • Jan 4 2014: I can sure relate to that. The people I love in this world have been my anchor and the commitment to honoring them has been the biggest motivator for me.
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    Jan 4 2014: it's inevitable, just live the best you can then when you come to die you feel alright. One of my psychotherapists told me that as you approach death the body manufactures chemicals to help you through it
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    Jan 4 2014: What we call death is in fact other people's lives going on without you.
    And that happns to be none of my business.