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How to Deal with Mortality?

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  • #64131
    Trevor
    Participant

    How do people deal with their own mortality and the mortality of everyone else around them?

    Before, I was quite secure in my religion, always assuming in an afterlife, but I have found that our understanding of the universe and life constantly changes. Right when we are secure in an understanding, it is shattered. It seems that even mathematics, science, and philosophy cannot bring me any help – Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, and The Halting Problem all point to the fact that uncertainty must exist along with consciousness, and complete understanding would cause a collapse of consciousness…

    Of course, I would like to assume there is an afterlife, but I have nothing to satisfy my doubts, and if there is some sort of continuation of consciousness, how would I still be “me” without any of my memories, friends, or family?

    I’ve been crying thinking that everyone I love will die and it breaks my heart that people around me that have loved me so much will be leaving me

    #64136
    Alpal
    Participant

    Its really hard to answer your question , because I for one believe deeply in an afterlife and in God , but I think you shouldn’t settle for a definite answer and I would keep researching and looking for the right path:) When it comes to loosing those you love, enjoy every second you have with them now and make the most of it:)

    #64140
    Matt
    Participant

    Trevor,

    Consider sitting with, relaxing, and resting with the uncertainty. Just below the fear is a shaky tenderness that perhaps will provide you with the answers you’re looking for. If interested, consider “awakening compassion pema chodron” on youtube. She goes into great and wise detail. 🙂

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #64148
    Big blue
    Participant

    Hi Trevor,

    Would it help to do the following?

    – Consider what it means to leave a legacy in the world?
    – Ask the others who are dear to you, what their legacies will be?
    – Ask yourself what your legacy will be?

    The first question gives you a new context. The earliest value here, I suspect, will be in the middle question, because you will be engaging in a meaningful dialog with the other folks. This dialog will become a journey for you. Then, over time, you will gain your own perspective and understanding of what you contribute as yourself. I’m thinking that you will become more comfortable and less anxious as you realize that there are no absolute, perfect answers, and that a good course of action is taking a course of action with others, while being ok with yourself.

    Now, I’m not recommending that you only live in the future, but rather that you more consciously live in the present through this process of considering your future legacy.

    Big blue

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Big blue.
    #64197
    Will
    Participant

    It is tough to lose those that are dear to you, but it’s no use to live in fear and grief when it’s yet to happen.

    What helps me face the reality of death is the thought that mortality is an absolutely necessary component of evolution. Natural selection happens through death. Selection means: some live to procreate, some don’t. Disease, scarecity and even violent death (predation) are a vital part of the forces that make life possible. All the previous generations of hominids, of primates, of mammals, of vertebrates, of the strange deep-sea creatures that came before, they all had to die for the next shape of life to be possible. We wouldn’t be here if they hadn’t died in their millions and billions. And we inherited their fragility like we inherited their bones and skin and brains.

    So now it is our turn to live and to die. You can’t have one without the other. They are the same thing.

    #64261
    iji Nji
    Participant

    I also always really really wanted to understand this, my thoughts:

    Uncertainty also means that it is absolulety not certain that there is no afterlife 😉

    I think that everybody that experiences life now, has always experienced life.

    you die, you get reborn, you die, you get reborn and so on…

    makes sense for me..

    What would be the benefits of evolution if there was actually no person to experience it?

    For me personally reality would seem like an unnecessary, sad and hollow and meaningless place..

    (in the long run..)

    I find it more plausible that life actually is a “miracle” and experience continues endlessly like we all want it to deep in our hearts..

    And about that uncertainty stuff, it could possibly be that WE are in fact that uncertainty.

    Where are my choices coming from?

    Where does the motion come from when I move my hand?

    What is that “me and I” ?

    It feels like some kind of uncertainty somehow, but a good one 😉

    I wish you the best, and hopefully the people around you wont die that soon,

    so enjoy them, and know one thing there will ALWAYS be people around you that love you 🙂

    and by the way, I think in complete understanding only the doubt collapses, what remains, no one can describe

    It’s just to beautiful I’ve heard and read..

    Who knows maybe you know for yourself sometime?

    #64363
    Trevor
    Participant

    I sometimes feel that there is an afterlife or eternal cycle, but some of me feels like it is really hard to let go of my identity in this – what am I without my memories or family? It feels really scary and cold and lonely… Perhaps I am not meant to know. I sometimes get frustrated with the universe for thrusting me into these kinds of situations. I am immature and trying to find my way, hoping that at the end I am not just nothing and with nobody.

    I really appreciate your replies, sometimes hearing about other peoples’ experiences consoles me for a moment, but I know that I will need to face this alone. How do I do this?

    #64365
    Trevor
    Participant

    Sometimes I feel that the universe is warm and cares about me, and other times it feels as though the universe is indifferent and thrusts me into seemingly impossible situations. How can I trust it and let go when I am unsure of it’s true intentions?

    Sometimes I feel like there is no truth, the truth is what you make it, and that everything is subjective, but then how can I trust anything?

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Trevor.
    #64531
    Will
    Participant

    Why would ‘the universe’ have intentions at all? Assuming it has a ‘plan’ for you may be part of what causes this unhappiness.

    What if the universe is incapable of caring about anything because it’s just stuff? Then you still know that you care, and you have intentions. Likewise other people have intentions. And many situations happen not because it was anyone’s intention, but because it was just the result of what came before, unintentionally, like space debris landing on the moon.

    You can trust it and let go because there’s actually nothing to hold on to. Your sense of control is an illusion. When you let go of that illusion, what you’re left with are the things that are within your control: how you spend your time, what you feed your mind, how you treat the people around you. And that’s subjective, yes, it’s subjective to you. Make good choices so that the outcomes are good for you and others. What is the problem?

    #64571
    louise
    Participant

    IN CASE OF LOSS, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN do about it,
    GO THROUGH THE PAIN UNTIL IT PASSES.
    LIFE HAS ITS UPS AND DOWNS JUST AS THE WEATHER.
    JUST GO THROUGH IT AND DONT TRY TO FIGURE EVERYTHING OUT.
    WORRY SHOWS A LACK OF FAITH.
    PEOPLE DONT BELONG TO US, EVERYTHING IS TEMPORARY.
    let go and let God.

    #64572
    louise
    Participant

    Sorry, duplicate deleted.

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by louise. Reason: duplicate
    #65163
    Richele
    Participant

    Hi Trevor,

    I’d like to point out that MANY people are afraid of death and confused about mortality and the afterlife. There is no reason to let this fear disrupt your life – it is such a completely normal way to feel!!

    This might sound strange, but I actually find that mortality gives my life more meaning. I used to wish I could redo my life until I got it exactly, perfectly “right.” Now I understand that, if we just kept living, and living, and living, there would never be a point where we could look back and say, “This is my life. This is who I am.” Plus, imagine how lazy (most) people would be if we lived forever, and how pointless each day might feel (“well, There’s ALWAYS tomorrow”).

    I’m not saying the idea of death doesn’t scare me. Of course it does! But I am also grateful for death, and the meaning it gives to each day. I hope maybe this thought that has helped me will help you as well.

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