Ever wished you would just cease to be?

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Gatorbait
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Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Gatorbait » Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:07 pm

Having grown up in a mixed faith background, agnostic dad and Mormon mom, I struggled, as I do now, to believe in any god.

Years ago, I heard a recording of Hugh B. Brown, a story of his struggle with the devil one time before he was called to be an apostle, and he said that he wished that he could just cease to be. That stuck with me, and I've thought that way before as well. There have been times that I've thought that if I knew that there was nothing after this life- notta- you're just dead, it would make life a lot more meaningful. No guilt from sins related to religion like thinking temple work is stupid, and the like. You just die.

It would be just living your life, trying to be a good person and when you die- that's it. No heaven, hell or anything in-between. Good people die all the time, and if they are not religious, you miss them- at least I do. Love is not bound by any religious belief or disbelief, either one.

To be frank- I'd rather just die. No families are forever, no heaven- of course no hell. That's it, you just die and nothing happens, you're just dead.

Anyone ever feel that way?
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

dogbite
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by dogbite » Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:38 pm

That's what I expect to happen. It seems to be what the Romans thought, or at least lots of them. Their gravestones have the epitaph

NF, F, NS, NC

non fui, fui, non sum, non curo

I was not, I was, I am not, I don't care

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Ghost
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Ghost » Tue Feb 14, 2023 1:59 pm

Intellectually, I realize that I obviously won't care about no longer existing. But I'm still not entirely comfortable with the idea. Maybe it's survival instinct, but I like the idea of continuing to exist. Maybe that's how religions get started.

At some low points I guess I've entertained the idea that oblivion might be easier than dealing with life, but I don't think I've ever taken that seriously enough to actually wish for oblivion.

I've often heard the idea expressed that life becomes more meaningful if there's no afterlife, but I've never been able to accept that. I've felt the opposite, for example, when people close to me have died. It just seems like a waste for all of the person's knowledge, experience, and personality to simply evaporate because they are tied to a fragile physical body. Again, it's no mystery why people hold to the idea of an afterlife, regardless of how likely it seems.

That said, I do understand the sentiment that too much focus on an afterlife can detract from this one. But then, that's subjective. Just because one person's fictions are different from another's doesn't mean that one life is more meaningful than another, if all meaning is just made up anyway. I suspect that even the idea of a self is a fiction, but one that we need to function.

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wtfluff
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by wtfluff » Tue Feb 14, 2023 2:09 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:07 pm
...
Anyone ever feel that way?
Well... If there is an afterlife, and it is at all similar to "this" life... Experiencing anything similar to "this" for eternity sounds like hell to me.

I like to quote Roger Ebert when people are shocked that I don't care about an afterlife:
Roger Ebert wrote:I was perfectly content before I was born, and I think of death as the same state.
Faith does not give you the answers, it just stops you asking the questions. -Frater Ravus

IDKSAF -RubinHighlander

You can surrender without a prayer...

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Ghost
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Ghost » Tue Feb 14, 2023 2:17 pm

wtfluff wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 2:09 pm
Experiencing anything similar to "this" for eternity sounds like hell to me.
I've always liked the idea of the Telestial kingdom, because (insofar as it has any coherent definition at all) it's very similar to this life but without any disease, starvation, injury, death, and so on. How much would this life be improved if it truly didn't matter what someone did or didn't have materially because no one had any physical needs?

The biggest obstacle might be boredom. Especially if it's possible to physically restrain a resurrected being. You could be buried alive and forgotten about forever. How's that for torture?

Is it even possible to come up with a coherent idea of an afterlife?

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RubinHighlander
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by RubinHighlander » Tue Feb 14, 2023 2:56 pm

During the faith crisis it took me a couple months to finally get over the eternal family afterlife and dad in the sky BS, but once I did I'd never felt so liberated and mentally less stressed. Since then I've come back from the athiest edge a bit, having some experiences that give me a sense of a greater cosmic consciousness, but I'm leaning mostly toward death being basically it. My DW hopes our individual consciousness lives on, but she's good either way.

Letting go of man made gods and the resurrected meat bag afterlife has given me a greater urgency to not take for granted the here and now and try to enjoy life as much as reasonably possible. I keep an eye on whatever remaining trips around Sol I might have and do some planning, but I'm good to leave the planet anytime. I still get stirred up over the BS governments, religions and corporations try to hammer us with, but I've also tried to not fret over it too much. There's plenty to get stressed about, but I still try to keep me and mine focused on the now and find some joy in every day.

There are good tools available now that can assist with finding more happiness and less stress: Lots of outdoor time, a few minutes of vitamin D from sol every day, getting away from city noise, noise cancelling headphones when you can't escape the ape shit, cannabis and magic fungus have really helped, as does the occasional alcoholic beverage and try to stay out of the tribalism in all it's forms.
“Sir,' I said to the universe, 'I exist.' 'That,' said the universe, 'creates no sense of obligation in me whatsoever.”
--Douglas Adams

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzmYP3PbfXE

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Hagoth
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Hagoth » Tue Feb 14, 2023 3:25 pm

dogbite wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:38 pm
That's what I expect to happen. It seems to be what the Romans thought, or at least lots of them. Their gravestones have the epitaph

NF, F, NS, NC

non fui, fui, non sum, non curo

I was not, I was, I am not, I don't care
Reminds me of a headstone I saw in a 18th century graveyard, that sounded a little bit familiar.

As you are, I once was.
As I am, you shall become.

I fully expect to cease to be as I am, but I get joy from the idea that I continue in some way, even if it is only through conservation of matter and energy - going back into the bigger universe that I came from. When I'm in a mystical mood I imagine my wave ending and going back into the ocean, which is my greater self.
“The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also.” -Mark Twain

Jesus: "The Kingdom of God is within you." The Buddha: "Be your own light."

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Rob4Hope
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Rob4Hope » Tue Feb 14, 2023 9:26 pm

Hi all.

I have 3 personal friends who had NDEs, one was extensive and has 3rd degree burn scars over 80% of her body. Her face had to be rebuilt.

I personally think our consciousness lives on.

Also, last I checked the literature, science has no consensus on what consciousness is, though they argue.

Despite that belief in life after I have now, when my shelf collapsed, I to wanted oblivion. But as I extricated myself from religion, the idea of my conscious self living on took wings.

Many NDE survivors come back with gifts, like increased IQ, skills in science, art, or music. That one really has scientists baffled.

You are clinically dead for extended time and you come back smarter and better than you were?

I love the topic. And I confess the debate is entertaining.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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Angel
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Angel » Wed Feb 15, 2023 12:07 pm

Hagoth wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 3:25 pm

I fully expect to cease to be as I am, but I get joy from the idea that I continue in some way, even if it is only through conservation of matter and energy - going back into the bigger universe that I came from. When I'm in a mystical mood I imagine my wave ending and going back into the ocean, which is my greater self.
Drop of water returning to the ocean - I love this idea too, that we all came from the big mix, and all get mixed back together again afterwards. Literally united - together forever - with everything.

Also, eternity exists in each moment. time dilation, length contraction, eternity in the present. It's all a big cause/effect chain, everything from the past is still here with us in the present - memories/effects of it are eternal. The future is here in the present too - the dominos will fall as they are currently being placed - it's all here, in the present.
“You have learned something...That always feels at first as if you have lost something.” George Bernard Shaw
When it is dark enough, you can see the stars. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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deacon blues
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by deacon blues » Thu Feb 16, 2023 6:38 am

A fascinating question. I hesitated to respond because for me the answer is yes. When I was suffering severe depression I did wish I could just cease to be. Yet I wouldn't want to trigger that idea in anyone. Thankfully for me anyway, I got help, and medication and therapy brought me back to a deep enjoyment of life.
As I get older I get slower physically and mentally :roll: but life is still really fun. If I lost my mobility, or especially my mind, I might wish to cease to be again. But for those who experience depression I want to shout, "Life can get better." "The best part of my life in so many ways is now." :D
I think this is why some people seem to need religion so much.
God is Love. God is Truth. The greatest problem with organized religion is that the organization becomes god, rather than a means of serving God.

malkie
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by malkie » Thu Feb 16, 2023 8:33 pm

deacon blues wrote:
Thu Feb 16, 2023 6:38 am
A fascinating question. I hesitated to respond because for me the answer is yes. When I was suffering severe depression I did wish I could just cease to be. Yet I wouldn't want to trigger that idea in anyone. Thankfully for me anyway, I got help, and medication and therapy brought me back to a deep enjoyment of life.
As I get older I get slower physically and mentally :roll: but life is still really fun. If I lost my mobility, or especially my mind, I might wish to cease to be again. But for those who experience depression I want to shout, "Life can get better." "The best part of my life in so many ways is now." :D
I think this is why some people seem to need religion so much.
I'm happy to hear that you got the help you needed, and that it restored you to a fulfilling life.
aka malkie

Gatorbait
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Gatorbait » Fri Feb 17, 2023 5:05 pm

It is always a comfort to hear that someone decides not to take the drastic step of taking their life, as it has a long-lasting consequences for the living left behind. Those of us who have gone through a suicide of someone close to them understands. I'm not sure if you really understand unless it happens to you. For my wife and I if was the loss of a daughter. The dull ache of that hurt, after 3 1/2 years is very much there. Expect it to be for some time.

My question was not about taking life, especially one's own but I can see how it would or could be taken as such. I'm talking about a normal loss of life and how we might feel about the "comfort" of not worrying about going on and on for- forever. One of the gifts I received from our daughter fairly close to her passing was a little magnet that says, "Go to heaven for the climate. Hell for the company." (Mark Twain) We laughed at that and agreed real hell would be surrounded with sanctimonious so and sos, Mormons or ultraconservative know-it-alls. That would be intolerable for me at least, and her.

Many times, pretty much every day I think of her and how we could have helped her with her anxiety and depression even though we thought she was happy with her life. It is a comfort to think that she might be in a place where she is doing some good, and not just worm food. Just wanted to get other's ideas. The hardest part would to think of someone having to suffer after this life, especially if they were a good person. That's just plain cruel. To think of our daughter or anyone suffering or cast out because they did something that they felt was a solution to everything, well, I can't go there.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

Keewon
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Keewon » Wed Apr 05, 2023 5:50 pm

My thought is that one reason it's hard to accept that death is the end is that humans by nature tender to reason by trying to understand what some experience would or will be "like". I had a friend who expressed it thus- "I can't believe that death is the end, because I couldn't face it, all that cold, dark emptiness". The trouble is, if I'm not there to experience it there is no experience. We can't imagine what death will be like because it won't be like anything. I can't visualize a contradiction.

One way to grasp this is to ask what things were like over all the eons before we were born. Were things okay before birth? Then things will be okay after death also.

I think I've been able to come to peace with this eventuality, because all my fears and concerns are for my family, their grief losing me and my grief losing them. I don't worry about those who die, just those left behind.

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moksha
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by moksha » Wed Apr 05, 2023 10:53 pm

A sweet hereafter is a comforting belief.

A Mormon afterlife that places barriers between you and loved ones through various kingdoms and sublevels of kingdoms sounds like a bureaucratic nightmare. What kind of God would allow that? They even have Joseph Smith as a gatekeeper who will be checking out all the women for dates and propositions.
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Random
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Random » Sun Apr 09, 2023 4:29 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 12:07 pm
It would be just living your life, trying to be a good person and when you die- that's it. No heaven, hell or anything in-between. Good people die all the time, and if they are not religious, you miss them- at least I do. Love is not bound by any religious belief or disbelief, either one.

To be frank- I'd rather just die. No families are forever, no heaven- of course no hell. That's it, you just die and nothing happens, you're just dead.

Anyone ever feel that way?
Yes. I feel this way because life is hell, and the idea of living forever scares the crap out of me - and has since I was 12 or 14. Ceasing to exist upon death seems peaceful.

On the other hand, when I've felt what seems like God's presence there is always zero fear. I like that, but to never ever end sounds like a nightmare to me.
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Random
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Random » Sun Apr 09, 2023 4:32 pm

Rob4Hope wrote:
Tue Feb 14, 2023 9:26 pm
Many NDE survivors come back with gifts, like increased IQ, skills in science, art, or music. That one really has scientists baffled.

You are clinically dead for extended time and you come back smarter and better than you were?
It might be worth it to have an NDE if I came back smarter or better - and with zero fear of having to live forever after death. (And, to any true believing members reading this, it has zero to do with fearing God's wrath as, as I said, feeling God's presence takes fear away from me.)
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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Random
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Random » Sun Apr 09, 2023 4:36 pm

Gatorbait wrote:
Fri Feb 17, 2023 5:05 pm
It is always a comfort to hear that someone decides not to take the drastic step of taking their life, as it has a long-lasting consequences for the living left behind.
I've been suicidal many times. The main thing stopping me was the idea that God would be mad at me - and that it would not cause me to cease existing anyway. (Also, I noticed that, for me, being suicidal was directly linked with having serious malnutrition.)

When my kids were little, I honestly thought they would be happy if I was gone. My life during that marriage was the worst hell I've ever been in.

Note: if your religion tells you you're not whole, are a loser, or are a sinner if you don't get married, run like hell away from that religion!
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

Keewon
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Keewon » Mon Apr 10, 2023 7:44 pm

gaitorbait wrote:The dull ache of that hurt, after 3 1/2 years is very much there.
I'm so sorry for your sorrow, Gaitorbate. I sort of get it why people hang onto their religious belief, trying just to get through a few years, faithful enough to have a hope of seeing their loved one again. I for one would never try to take that hope from them. The loss seems unfathomable. The image that comes to my mind is in Peter Jackson's movie based on Tolkien's The Two Towers, where king Theoden stands next to the grave of his son, Theodred, weeping and lamenting that no parent should have to bury their child.

I don't know how anyone gets through it. I think the only thing that would keep me back from doing the obvious thing to ease my sorrow is the thought of how much my family who remain behind would suffer from my choice.

My thoughts and feelings are with you- if I were a believer I'd add prayers, but unfortunately I'm not. If I could express anything, it is the hope that you will continue to share your sorrow with your friends here at NOM.

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moksha
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by moksha » Tue Apr 11, 2023 12:23 pm

The idea of ethical suicide parlors being available to the elderly who are in pain is a beneficent policy idea. To go out with dignity at the time of your own choosing seems comforting (and not because it will furnish raw materials for the Soylent Green snack factory in Linden, Utah).
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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Random
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Re: Ever wished you would just cease to be?

Post by Random » Fri Apr 21, 2023 4:36 pm

moksha wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2023 12:23 pm
(and not because it will furnish raw materials for the Soylent Green snack factory in Linden, Utah).
:lol:
There are 2 Gods. One who created us. The other you created. The God you made up is just like you-thrives on flattery-makes you live in fear.

Believe in the God who created us. And the God you created should be abolished.
PK

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