the final journey; afterlife
I guess I'd like to know what your opinion is on an issue that, for as
long as I can remember, has been a big struggle for me. Do you think about
dying, and if so, how do you cope with the fact? I have no idea why, I've
been fortunate to not have to witness much death in my life, but ever
since I was a young child I've been haunted by the thought that I will
eventually die. My dad used to encourage church, but I had some bad
experiences and disagreements with church, and have never gone to church
routinely. When I think about dying, I think about myself not existing, I
think about it all being over. I can't really conceive it, so I don't
think I can explain it well either. I find myself staying up at night
distracting myself from wandering thoughts by watching tv or reading
books, but sometimes the thought just gets to me, and when it does it has
this snowball effect that leads me to this state of panic and fear.
I've never read the Bible, which is my own fault, but I did find some
partial inspiration in some writings by Kahlil Gibran's "The Prophet";
however, I realize that they are still only words, manifested by human
thought, and although beautifully written, they are still just words. I
recently read 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich', and at the end the character
experienced a spiritual epiphany, but that's only our mind making sense of
things, because it's in our nature to find meaning.
Lately the only solution I can think of is just to enjoy life, which still
creates a big problem for me. You say we are distracted from truth by
things like movies, music, and daily routine of living, but some of those
are things I enjoy, and how do we know 'the truth' is indeed real? How can
a human mind conceive the answer? I find myself without any motivation in
my transition from college to career, because I'm only focused on living a
good life. I realize I'm going to die someday, so I want to enjoy it. I
want to understand things, like technology, biology, medicine, I want to
travel, I like to write (I hope to one day write a movie), and I want to
enjoy the materialistic things that I find interesting. But it seems that
happiness DOES require money these days, so I'm pushed to pursue a career
with financial stability. Basically I'm stuck in the middle of happiness
and financial freedom, and when I go to bed I'm reminded every night that
no matter what, everything that I am, every thought I have had, every
happy moment I've caused or shared will eventually cease to exist.
thanks so much for writing, and i want you to know these thoughts have consumed every man (and women) for centruries before us and after we taste death men will still think on these things.
it is the last great unknown, it is both exciting (it is something that no one has experienced completely and come back to tell of their month long journey) and something to be feared.
i admit a great fear in my life, i am not only afraid of death but of getting old as well. i do not want to ever be incapable of feeding or clothing myself. i never want to be a burden but a blessing on others lives. death is inevitable, the process of learning to cope with it takes a lifetime (literally.) i have not coped with death yet, we who are young are immortal, or at least we think we are to some degree. we never view death as relevant in our lives right now, it is a distant lighthouse and we are still in the midst of the raging water.
but sometimes these thoughts are the raging water, the clamour that seems to involve everyone around us. why are some more afraid than others you asked? hope.
the answer is some have found the lighthouse not as something to fear but something to embrace and actually look forward to. you said you have never read the bible, and that is fine, i think the majority of the people in this world have never opened its pages. but i want to ask you to seek. if truth is what you desire than truth you must lust after. if you want anything of worth in this world you MUST BE WILLING TO FIGHT FOR IT! that goes for material posessions, true love, and truth among other things.
SEEK and you will find, but the key word is seek. i am not going tell you this is an easy road, but hope is the antidote, you must first be stung by the venom of hoplessness. (and that sounds like the stage you are in with sleepless nights, and constant worry.)
what can we do with the life that has been given to us? Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, "Did you bring joy?" The second was, "Did you find joy?"
and that is what we must seek aftert. i want to delve deeper into this subject but my time has been cut short here in norfolk virgina due to my career. but i want to hear from others on this topic. what has everyone/anyone learned on this subject in their own lives.
more coming; this topic could take a lifetime to solve...