Do Not Fear Oblivion

30 Jan

It was while thinking about topics like this that I first discovered consciousness. Before that, I had never heard the term, or at least it had never registered. While thinking about what changes when we die, I realized that I had never thought about what makes us alive. That was when I realized there was something to me that is more than the parts I am made of.

However, I want to talk now about a hypothetical state: the possibility that when we die we simply cease to exist. From the standpoint of physics, that is an impossibility. All the parts that make up our bodies and brains must still be present. They just begin to interact in a different way. Since those parts do not seem to be able to account for conscious experience, it seems odd to say that something will cease to exist that, as near as I can tell, should not exist to begin with. Nevertheless, I am going to make the assumption, for the sake of this discussion, that somehow when we die we cease to exist.

That idea once bothered me. I imagined myself sitting forever in a dark room all alone. However, I realize now that this conception of nonexistence is unreasonable. To be alone, one must “be” in some sense of the word. Besides, when we sit in a dark room alone, we tend to fall asleep, and when we are asleep our minds fill up with colorful visions called dreams. The image of death as being in a dark room alone is completely irrational.

Nonexistence is the complete absence of thought. It is the complete absence of time. It is the complete absence of position in space. There is a reason why mathematicians have concluded that the empty set it a subset of every set. Nonexistence is so obscure that it takes on surreal properties.

Nonexistence does not erase the self. It erases everything. If a person does not exist, where does their nonexistence take place? How can there be a universe relative to a person that is not in anything? Where would the universe be located relative to someone that is nowhere? What time would it be for a person that is not in a time?

If a person ceases to exist, is it meaningful to say they ever existed in the first place? For a person that does not exist, there is no such thing as evidence or reason. There is no argument they can make that they ever existed at all. There are no witnesses relative to someone that is nowhere, in nothing and at no place in time. How can one lose something that one never possessed?

In actuality, nonexistence would be perfect freedom. How could anything possibly harm someone who does not exist? Where would it find them? What would it do to them? If a person does not exist, they cannot worry. They cannot have a nightmare. They cannot feel insecure. They cannot feel inadequate. They cannot regret or feel any nagging urge to strive. Nonexistence is the perfect coffee break.

I want to live forever and I believe living forever is the overarching plan. However, that is because I love life, not because I fear death. If death is what most of us fear that it is, then there is nothing to fear at all. We may see it coming, but we will never see it going. If death brings nonexistence, then death will become the thing that never was.

That was a tiresome thought and I am glad I got it out of my system.


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