Death

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nandu
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Death

Post by nandu » Sun Aug 24, 2014 7:53 am

For the past few months, I have consistently thought about death - or nonexistence, rather.

I do not believe in any kind of life after death: I believe that the entity that is "I" will be extinguished along with my physical body. While the process of dying does not scare me, the concept of not existing is something which my mind shies away from. Because for me, from that point onwards, nothing will exist.

I think this fear is the root of many of our myths and rites, and many beliefs about the soul originated because we cannot wrap our heads around this fact.

Thoughts?

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Post by JamesN. » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:57 pm

Hey Nandu; welcome back.

I don't know if this quote I took off another thread I put together about a similar related area of this subject: ( Relections on Death, Mourning, and Meaning ); addresses your interest or not but it seems to point in the same direction.


I said:
Joseph Campbell time and again would refer to this sense of interface between life and death and the knowledge of this as a requirement of engagement as one of life's most important messages. " Life is always on the verge of death " or: " razors edge "; seem to be two of these references I remember that come to mind. The point he was making if I am correct here; is this understanding of not only this zeal in living; but this knowledge of death that you are in relation to; ( with each one informing the other ).

" The Power of Myth " talks about this aspect in great length in " The First Storytellers " in the way ancient societies dealt with the harsh realities of survival; and this reconciliation to the realization of the acts of living and this sense of the very " transcendent nature " of life itself.

And indeed many of the early " Rites " themselves had to do with these various dimensional aspects this " Great Mystery " that throughout human history up until today we all ride upon.

Of course the experience and realization of what this means is in itself part of the message and part of the journey itself. :idea:
:)
Last edited by JamesN. on Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:07 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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Post by Andreas » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:07 pm

Hey guys,

For me personally myths are about acceptance of death, letting go, etc. Different message I believe than what you get if you believe that myths exist from fear of death.
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Post by zoe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:48 pm

“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” - Buddha
In attempting to keep this in mind, death is for me a personification of impermanence.
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Post by romansh » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:44 pm

For me life and death are like a swirl we get after an oar has passed through the surface of a still pond.

Water is drawn into the vortex and is thrown out. Eventually the vortex is extinguished and all the components are returned to the pond. They always were of the pond.
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Post by Clemsy » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:02 pm

Our ideas about death are all caught up in our perception of time and time is very problematic.

Seems to me that myth points us to the balance point between pairs opposites, and the BIG ONE is between past and future. Where is the Axis Mundi? The World Navel? Right here, right now. We are on a train ride between tall hills and that's all we see. What happens when someone gets off?

The question becomes meaningless, as everything we do, say and think relates to the ride.

I've come to think of death as being released from time.
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:14 pm

Clemsy wrote:Our ideas about death are all caught up in our perception of time and time is very problematic.

Seems to me that myth points us to the balance point between pairs opposites, and the BIG ONE is between past and future. Where is the Axis Mundi? The World Navel? Right here, right now. We are on a train ride between tall hills and that's all we see. What happens when someone gets off?

The question becomes meaningless, as everything we do, say and think relates to the ride.

I've come to think of death as being released from time.
Yes I think so in relationship to what Joseph refers to concerning the " duality " of existence within time and space. And yes concerning the concept of the symbol of the " ouroboros " along with this and Nandu's topic. However; I also think we are talking about the human consciousness and it's drive to understand this relationship or what we might call " meaning ".

Joseph Campbell said: " There is no meaning to life; you bring the meaning to it. "

( And ):

Carl Jung: " As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being ".
:)

I don't think you can separate the idea of " Life and Death " from the process of it's consideration as to the individuals relationship to it. If there is no meaning, there is no train, no mountains, no ride; only existence. ( I'm not disagreeing with any of the points already established; I'm just saying perhaps it may need a little tweeking. ) :wink:
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Post by romansh » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:34 pm

JamesN. wrote: Joseph Campbell said: " There is no meaning to life; you bring the meaning to it. "
:
I think if things like an intrinsic self are false then the last half of Campbell's statement is problematic or at least misleading.

Everything that is me has come from outside of myself,: my body and my experiences. To say that I have somehow crystallized some meaning even if it is some personal one, I think is misleading.
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Post by Andreas » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:47 pm

Hmm,

I am sure Romansh that you dont find meaning in science or in your philosophy... :)
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Post by JamesN. » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:03 pm

romansh wrote:
JamesN. wrote: Joseph Campbell said: " There is no meaning to life; you bring the meaning to it. "
:
I think if things like an intrinsic self are false then the last half of Campbell's statement is problematic or at least misleading.

Everything that is me has come from outside of myself,: my body and my experiences. To say that I have somehow crystallized some meaning even if it is some personal one, I think is misleading.

I think you are misreading Joseph's: statement and what I was referring to regarding Clemsy's.


Clemsy:
The question becomes meaningless, as everything we do, say and think relates to the ride.

I've come to think of death as being released from time.



" You bring the meaning to it " ( is the ride ). And the duality of Time and Space within which life; ( as we know it ); exists is the geography over which it travels.


Human beings use " meaning " to navigate the terrain.
Last edited by JamesN. on Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Cindy B. » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:06 pm

Carl Jung: " As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being ".
I just want to mention that this is the actual quote: "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being."

More times than not, this quote is incorrectly reproduced online.

:)
If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s. --Jung
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Post by Andreas » Tue Aug 26, 2014 3:44 pm

Thanks Cindy! That actually makes much more sense. :)
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Post by romansh » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:36 pm

Andreas wrote:Hmm,

I am sure Romansh that you dont find meaning in science or in your philosophy... :)
Whether or not I think I find meaning is not the point.

The point is do we have intrinsic selves.
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Post by Andreas » Tue Aug 26, 2014 7:45 pm

For me, like Clemsy's analogy the question of death, meaningless, non-existence becomes irrelevant. Apparently there is something in us that believes otherwise and if that was not the case and everything was meaningless then everything we do in life would also be pointless and we wouldn't bother.

But here we are... despite all philosophical and scientific arguments that like to believe otherwise.

I believe I am on topic and answered your question, Rom. :P
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Post by zoe » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:09 pm

The riddle of the Sphinx is the image of life itself through time -- childhood, maturity, age, and death. When without fear you have faced and accepted the riddle of the Sphinx, death has no further hold on you, and the curse of the Sphinx disappears. The conquest of the fear of death is the recovery of life's joy. One can experience an unconditional affirmation of life only when one has accepted death, not as contrary to life but as an aspect of life. Life in its becoming is always shedding death, and on the point of death. The conquest of fear yields the courage of life. That is the cardinal initiation of every heroic adventure -- fearlessness and achievement. - Joesph Campbell
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