Death

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James Markham
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Re: Death

Post by James Markham »

Immanuel, I heard a story about Jesus and the money lenders who set up shop in "his fathers house", I believe it's said that he lost his temper and smashed the gaff up, kicking over tables and man handleing people. Is this account in the bible, or am I confusing it?
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Death

Post by Immanuel Can »

No, it's genuine. When people speak of "gentle Jesus, meek and mild," they forget that story. He's love, but he's also holiness. The Bible says He's not just the Saviour of the Word, but also it's ultimate Judge. He's about love and forgiveness, yes; but also about justice and truth. To say he's committed to one to the exclusion of the other is wrong. He's God; He can get both.

As for "loss of temper," that's a characterization that is appropriate when actions are not warranted by situations, or when someone does something of which he/she is not in control. The Bible doesn't say that: but yes, it says he threw the moneychangers out of the Temple and overturned their tables, and then would not let the buyers and sellers come back in.

It tells you what God thinks of the marketing of sacrificial animals in ancient Israel, the sale of "indulgences" by the Medieval Papacy, or the commercialization of faith by various television charlatans today.

He's not really in favour.... :lol:
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Bernard
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Re: Death

Post by Bernard »

Well there is nothing to fear but fear itself. Excuse my optimism. I think it a bit silly not to count Nietzsche as one of the good guys. Every good guy has his detractors and dark side. I don't quite equate evil with darkness, but more chaos and unknowingness. Not to regard Jesus as having these characteristics is to deny that he was human. I don't have time or inclination to defend Nietzsche, but he doesn't need it anyway. In the end Hitler and his henchmen had their own agenda which they followed with blinkers. Nietzsche's affect was more likely that of lessening the damage than increasing it, especially if his übermensch and will to power was understood. Nietzsche was more Christ-like than anyone since Jesus, barring probably Francis of Assisi. If you were to see and hear them together as men you would be shocked to the teeth at the similarity. I can assure.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Death

Post by Immanuel Can »

Not to regard Jesus as having these characteristics is to deny that he was human.
Non sequitur, Bernard. If we take the Biblical narrative, it holds that a man without having sinned is still a man. Adam was human, even before he sinned. According to Biblical thought, evil is not an intrinsic component of reality or humanity, but is rather an interloper in both realms. It is also a removable interloper...hence the idea that we can be saved from sin. The Bible's not talking about eradicating human personhood, but rather the cleansing and restoring of it.

Jesus Christ is indeed human. But he isn't "dark" in any way.
Nietzsche was more Christ-like than anyone since Jesus, barring probably Francis of Assisi.
Oh, I've read Nietzsche...and I'm quite sure this isn't true. However, I agree with you that parts of Nietzsche are quite useful and salvageable. But with him, it's always salvage, the picking of treasure out of a wreck. Take him at face value, and you see venom, cruelty, hatred of women, contempt for the weak, amorality, and raw egotism.

Jesus Christ said do good and raise the weak; Nietzsche said deny that there is any "good" and stomp on the faces of the weak.

Hardly similar, I would say.
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Bernard
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Re: Death

Post by Bernard »

But we can take any man at face value and see all those characteristics. That Nietzsche was so transparent an author is why its so easy to harm him and what he has to say, but then people who do say are really only harming themselves. He well knew this and carried on regardless. And when you unbiasedly scan his work and look at the proportions of such instances they are as tiny as they are in his daily life. Was he to not criticise faults in what we today call feminism, or those who will not develop their will to power for fear of the consequences? And will to power of the individual was never will to social power for Nietzsche, though he made a point of examining it scrupulously as a consequence if his revaluation if values - something that totally bypasses you and intrinsic to his thinking: revaluation of values. So many miss this about him.

Nietzsche goes around trompling the weak? No. His stance was the stance of personal overcoming, of letting the dead in oneself bury the dead.
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Bernard
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Re: Death

Post by Bernard »

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EagerForTruth
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Re: Death

Post by EagerForTruth »

I have real trouble responding to these threads when they get more than a page or two of responses in any way that fully addresses the original questions and includes the ongoing additions to the material....so I'm going to consolidate my thoughts on death a page or two at a time in segments that hit on the statements that my ideas are forming in response to....also there's no inclusion of textbook philosophy so....if my "terminology" isn't the accepted standard, it's because I haven't studied up on the academic application of it.

To the original ideas and inquiries - Death is the ending of life - which I specify as the ending of a form of reality in which that particular form can never return in the same state. Having just given a personal view on how i'd define "life" in a broad sense too - a form of reality that exhibits it's own unique state, I'll say that whether I think life is an emergent property of a body, dependent on that exact form and it's state. So the next issue starts to bring in some real complexity. I think that each specific life can never return and is forever gone.

But now we get tricky on the consciousness issue - while the scope of this question i think is simply address us humans who have the *intellect* to pursue reflection on these ideas thoroughly, already to limit consciousness just to us seems improper to me, and though I won't go on a total tangent on it now, I don't think I'm willing to accept the idea for the moment that other forms of higher life, say my dog, is not conscious. Perhaps not able to answer questions of a philosophical nature, but he is certainly aware of himself, of others, has a memory, a personality, feels things, makes decisions. Although of course he too is subject to that same death that comes to all life.

Ok, now the divergent ideas of the discussion get harder to summarize my response to. In a post in another thread last night, I responded to a question about nominalism vs realism, i won't dare to try and explain it all here, but it was my opinion that in the end, the goal of much philosophy - to find that which is real - discovers many things, but to me there is one single principle that reality in all it's forms is expressing. Some of my favorite words to use for it, although I rather think it's undefinable are life, energy, truth, consciousness...i'm sure everyone could think of one idea that they tend to gravitate towards. Either way, that moves onto surreptitousness's observation of the physics invovled in death, which leads to the thought that when we die our constituent parts are reclaimed by the rest of reality around us (atoms, molecules, the scientific process of our decomposition) and recycled back into it, or rather the sum of energy that made us the form we were - the life we were. In this specific example, our science knows the vessels this energy, the base of reality has taken, whatever we have decomposed into, wherever the winds, rivers, animals that consumed us went, and what happened to them and so on.

To the idea that all life is a manifestation of the same principle, if you think about it, though the singular form that life's energy was is now part of the greater energy of everything which is also life - the earth is alive, it breaths, it shakes, it has a rhythm, a pulse - perhaps IT isn't conscious in the way we usually define it, but I still consider it quite fully alive. Quite a few things said after that which is the experience of death or how it feels or even how we should feel about it. To me, it should be feared it is the simple process by which energy or life, forms into conscious single forms, undergoes a process of perception, both grows and decays from it, and then finally is recycled to be recombined in other forms.

I don't think anything about the ideas on the word "being" in that argument - not only do i not have the academic understand of how it's being used, in my line of thinking, it's rather irrelevant and somewhat sounds like semantics.

Oh god - page two of thread lol. First off Immanuel that's another post it sounds like semantics. Regardless of the proper use, i think James was referring to his feeling that "life" or "consciousness" is some that...manifests...in reality, in his case he meant that all the matter and energy that start as a fertilized egg and end as a conscious human are emerging from the substance of reality in a spontaneous way? (Is that close James?) Hmm, much better, the remainder of that page in this thought process again comes down to arguments on exact definitions and semantics (boy people who talk philosophy really like to nit pick each other's statements, don't they) I will say the word of "being" might be better thought of a specific instance of perception that emerges from reality.

Page three of thread - oh James, it seems we very much are alike in our thinking, as your whole first post confirmed it and had a couple ideas I just already did before I read it. Nice list by the way. Ummm, moving down past most till Bernard's last, since again, it's interpreting them not for the core concept but semantically, I'll say that maybe you're right Bernard, but then according to my thoughts here so far - we are all one being - and yet all our own....I have no problem with that outlook although I'm sure there's plenty who might not like that for an academic analysis...

Oh and a note - I'm sorry I have to respond to it all this way....I simply don't have the way of thinking to challenge each though as a single statement of fact or definition, I'm trying to express my interpretation of the core ideas i believe have truth value.

Page 4 - Jackles, i don't have the heart to bring the time issue into this, I'm musing on death for the moment - can do that in another post. :) Ah good, thankfully to me as the thread goes on it again becomes more and more semantic arguments about specific words, statements, etc. You true philosophers can have the pleasure of that, I'm staying on my idea of death. (with any luck for the length of my response, a lot of the remaining pages will be the same i'm gonna start scanning them in 2s or so.

Next - I'll avoid semantics immanuel, but from my perspective "meaning" is a personal attitude or value i have toward something as in it's meaning toward me...although you are welcome to your two definitions as well. I will interpret yours the way you mean them if you allow me the same, but the next couple pages - what is the meaning of death I will express thusly. That life in one form, instance of perception, or other manifestation of reality continually forms, changes, dies, changes, and forms again.

Ok the next batch deal with subjective and objective reality - so far when i've said reality I refer to objective reality by which to me means the one ultimate truth...or energy...or so on...of existence and reality. From all the semantics and philosophical evolution i am familiar with so far, there is just one - reality. After that our job as philosophers should not be to try and overdefine or categorize it's parts, it's to understand all of them. (That's a quick tangent back to the nominal vs realism thought i had last night) As for delusion, Immanuel, I might say I think anyone's belief that they can identify, analyze, or know what's real better than anyone else is probably not wise - so i don't like to think of anyone as delusional....usually just stubborn, or unable to take focus off the parts of reality that they find more important and hence consider to be more real. We all can only be sure of knowing our subjective reality i suppose...objective reality exists, and we should use all our subjective perception to try and make sure the two are as near as possible.

OK, post post post, many more bantering about subjective vs objective, just gave my thoughts on that...quick post from James, i agree "meaning" for an individual is a personal idea. Even the meaning of words that are supposed to be meanings can sometimes mean something different to different people. Indeed the "meaning" of a lot of particular words in this thread, seem to mean something differnent to a lot of people. A few notable ideas: Immanuel, "life" to me is NOT contingent, since i consider life and reality to be essentially the same, for me your disagreement of it rest on a different concept of life. Like all else in reality its energy in motion constantly reforming that just takes specific forms for a time. Or rather "life" and "a life" do not mean the same thing. Indeed all meaning is necesarily in life to me, because all things share in the same ultimate truth...reality...energy...how often i say it...it is just manifesting itself to our perceptions in unique ways. I'll add as conscious beings we get to "believe" in whatever meanings we want wherever we want them to be.

Page 10 - Ah Bernard some of the humility thankfully. Most of the semantic bantering - borderline bickering at times :) - comes from people not allowing other conscious perspectives to actually have their own perspective i think. I'm sure a lot of what I've said could be absolutely eviscerated to what some would call "true" philosophers and academic philosophy but i also am not that worried about it.

Quirk i'm not even gonna try and turn you're expressions into anything i want to resummarize but they have been quite entertaining and clever - i'd say insightful, but that's just me :) there's just no format my brain has for translating it into my own ideas :) Ok, almost done, i'm not bringing religion or my interpretation of a video onto this thought stream...although i could point out to Immanuel that when Bernard makes the link between christ and buddha he means that religions generally attribute "life" or "reality" which they express with things like "Christ" or "Buddha", but again we are all just talking about the underlying principle of existence. A little way further i've largely passed the religious bent on the thread, but you do say we are copies of the original - i'd say all things share in the original...back to the idea of one. For me i keep it a generalized idea.

Oh good, moving on the religion tangent consumed it, I tried to stick with anything directly referencing "The meaning of death (and hence life)" I even tried to keep it concise but well most of the primary ideas of it are in the beginning...the rest wow - is the few tidbits i pulled out of quite a bit of...willful misinterpretation of others ideas or expressions. Or rather each individuals perspective inability to see the others.

In summary, everything shares is one reality or existence....your personal consciousness can define it in anyway or number of ways it wants according to its perception in this instance of "being" (there now i'll use it). My favorite words that most closely refer to the ultimate truth, or the original form...whatever u like...are life, energy, truth, consciousness, or really any of the concepts that are shared by everything.

Life is the manifestation of this energy as a single form. Death is when that manifestion ends and it's energy mingles with the whole and reforms in another way. So for me an individual death also does mean the ending of a particular expression of consciousness, so please, lets all use the best of our forms while we have them for when our energy reforms it could be as anything or indeed any number of things, infinitely continuing in a cycle. Wow, i wonder if anyone will actually read this whole thing...but James asked :)
James Markham
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Re: Death

Post by James Markham »

Eagerfortruth, thanks for your response, it was rather extensive so it may take me a while to cover all the points you make. Your post lacked nothing for the want of esoteric terminology, I personally find it helpful when a person is able to express their ideas in the manner they form, rather than adapting them to fit with long dead philosophers that aren't around to question.

The first point you make is that death is the ending of a life that can never be returned to, but do you think this is maybe a belief we have because of our conceptual understanding and belief in temporal necessities. For instance, I personally understand time as having a conceptual existence only, and the phenomena around which it is constructed is change, so to my way of thinking, there is nothing contradictory or paradoxical in the idea that our death, is simply a change that completes a cycle, and brings us to the point of birth. To my way of thinking its possible that every final change, reinstates some initial condition which is actually always the same one, and possibly the only thing that has actually changed is the potential of what we are destined to experience.

This is only an idea, and at the moment only a very vague one, but what led me to question the idea of one life proceeding another (in terms of any possible reincarnation), is the fact that time is only a concept by virtue of our contemplation of change. So if when we die, there is actually no temporal aspect, can we think of things in terms of a past that has affected some permanent change, or is it possible that we can return to a condition where experience is still yet to occur? And what is different is the potential of what can occur, or what we call fate.

I'm glad we share some opinions, personally I'm very interested in the essence of consciousness, and the possible ways it can be classified as distinctly different in each of us beyond its perspective nature. You touched on many points in your post, but one I thought was relevant was the way debates can get held by semantics, we each understand our own meaning of the terms we us to construct ideas, but it seems very easy for others to miss the point because of a different understanding of a specific term.
EagerForTruth
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Re: Death

Post by EagerForTruth »

Indeed exchanging ideas on such spiritual and personal viewpoints there is always the communicative barrier between the individual consciousness which I quite like think of as both beautiful and challenging. I would because I tend to view my individual consciousness under this manifestation as unique it's relationship to the time/change paradigm. In my perception of time as having either a cyclic nature (or alternatively, simply being it's momentary perception that is illusory, I am inclined to still thing that each perceptualized moment is completely unique.

To make a comparison I would make an analogy to say the cycle of lets say a desert lake. I only pick desert, because it will go away completely on a seasonal cycle - if picked one in a stable water climate there would be no true death of that individual unit. At any rate, a desert lake is created by the rains, the water energies that build up and create the lake, it fills a certain physical space for a time, grows, matures, the dry season comes, representing the decay stage of the lake, where it's essence, the water is returned to reality at large through evaporation, runoff, and so on. And when the process completes it is "dead". When the rains return, that same space is being returned to a form of life, however the particular "essence" - by which is mean those exact combination of factors it had last time aren't the same contained unit as before. It may rain a little one year, or have minerals in it, or the weather might be cooler, so it's temperature slightly lower than last time. It is in many ways "the same lake" but in the cyclical nature of it, in some ways it is not. It shares, as it did, before it even rained, or even when it wasn't there, in the same essence of reality. It was always part of the cycle, before during and after, ad infinitum. But due to the time paradox, which is a unique experience or a single timeless moment...if there is change at all, to me it can never be repeated in such a way that the exact configuration as any other, each iteration in the cycle is exactly it's own unique one because it is the only one that will ever possess that exactly unique perception of change and time.

So if we in this individual consciousness has a particular disposition toward time, then I think once death occurs and the temporal perspective has been released, there is no return to the same one, there is a journey to the completely new unique one. I very much love the cyclical model for consciousness, but it seems to me that whether time is actual or merely an illusion consciousness creates for itself, either way, there must still be change. If not, then nothing at all is really changing. That becomes an even more intractable idea for me, because true or illusory, it would be hard to explain why any conscious perception of change exists at all, and why the universal conciousness would diffuse into temporal individualities. If perception, which is pretty much dependent on a time/change quality to it, then there would be no reason or meaning to perception and it's intrinsic connection to the time/change continuum. The universal consciousness to me is timeless, but without each individual consciousness perception being truly unique, it would remove what I feel is the meaning, purpose, and....beauty....of it. I may love to be alive, but that is so because I understand that this individual unique perception of my individuality is finite. There will never be a "me" again. So in the "time" that my consciousness is, my choices, my values, my viewpoints, thoughts, moments of extacy and defeat, my ties to the other unique individual perceptions all because truly beautiful meaningful things that I should cherish and make the best of in the way that is most important to me.

Indeed, as for the other part of the cycle, when my consciousnesses essence leave this individual temporal perception is recycled into the universal and then reproduced into other individual consciousnesses is also beautiful to me. For one, my affect on other individual conscious perceptions around me - say my family, my kids, the love and values i share with them and pass on, the legacy i leave are all continued, then through their connections to others - again onward into infinity. My physical essence, is reabsorbed into nature and recycled. I just can't seem to envision all of the perceptual changes, both of my individual the ripple effect, could ever truly return as a unit once it is gone. It's energy has been absorbed by other ones and though will be part of the cycle into infinity is, was, and will be, a completely unique thing.

Admittedly both of our musings may really be just different feelings that individual consciousnesses in their perceptions are in some way always maintaining their connection to the universal and from their unique perception just expressing and perceiving in their own momentary way. For me my death and rebirth is achieved by visualizing in one way and you in slightly another. I suppose from my spiritual point of view, I removing any possible continuation of my ego from my visualization. When my cycle of consciousness is done, I see no desire to maintain the ego part of it. Partially it's what allows me to truly appreciate as a miraculous gift of consciousnesses the temporal perception it has. The momentary perceptions of consciousness, which I don't think is something the universal can *experience* are the unique miracles of consciousness by having both a universal and individual nature.

I do really like the way you express interest in peoples ideas and perceptions however, as I love to myself. For me it is the way that I as an individual get to share in the universal and be aware of it in all the other individuals around me. Again, I've written for longer than I rather intended....a quirk this iteration of individual perception, seems to have quite often, thank you for your ideas as well.
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Bernard
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Re: Death

Post by Bernard »

Thanks Eagle, I appreciate chunky posts, and think they are good for forums so long as they keep relevant. I like your perspectives and your assessments are honest. We tend to take consciousness as a rather simple matter - to the point even of it being a mechanical matter of the brain, but its really anything but. There is no facet of our lives that can't be used as a laboratory for examining it: doing daily chores, dreams at night, self-assessment, conversation, observing the environment, and of course birth and death. I can't say though that I have ever experienced it as a homogeneous single thing - nor life for that matter. Its the same as talking about infinity, which we can't really talk about it as a concept because it can't be conceptualized. It is not even an it. I'm convinced that there is some sort of quantum action at work that is absolutely essential to our continuance and existence whenever we utter or bring infinity into play with our thoughts. There is some sort of feed-loop going on there. And we have this huge projection develop through our lives, wherein infinity and death become closely entwined together in our feelings, even though they are polar opposites. What is going on here?
EagerForTruth
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Re: Death

Post by EagerForTruth »

I sometimes wonder if infinity and and death really are polar opposites. They are certainly both concepts that are hard for us to conceptualize. I wouldn't say I experience moment to moment as a single thing, but they are all part of the same evolution of consciousness. I find it curious that quantum mechanics is so intertwined with so many of the posts here - the point that yesterday I did quite a bit of reading up on. That "nonlocal" term also seems to pepper itself among a lot of things too. I'm trying to figure out exactly what I think of it before I really deal with talking about it that much. I do feel that both are very good things to think about. In the case of the quantum, in physics, quantum refers to how at any given moment, you can only be sure of one thing or another, much like conscious life and our perceptions over time. Although I do also think that it's important to remember - and I'll be a super-nerd for a moment - what one of my favorite characters in a movie series says "Logic, logic.....logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end" - and of course logic branches into science, intellect, analysis, reason - but these are the tools, they methods by with we reach into the deeper pools of knowledge. Either way, after all my reading yesterday I did make for myself a nice little outline of the basic blocks of our physics knowledge. I found that we have a way to describe most of the things we can perceive, and from it have developed an incredible amount of processes and interactions that we get equations for. But lurking behind it all when we go down to fundamental particles is that uncertainty abounds. Both how to really detect even the ones we know with any certainty, and especially how many are they and exactly what they do, not to mention that in the field they are always looking for more particles, with many theories on how many exist, but there's a significant number of theoretic quantum physicist who think there could in the end be an infinite number of them. And lets not even get into dark energy and dark matter - which as of yet are completely theoretical ideas we have no proof of whatsoever, except to explain the enormous amount of mass in the universe that our physics tells us is there, but we cannot find in anyway.
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Bernard
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Re: Death

Post by Bernard »

The dark matter question may have more to do with what is happening at the centre of galaxies than the black hole theory - never thought much of the black hole theory.


http://www.newrepublic.com/article/1164 ... dont-exist
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Dontaskme
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Re: Death

Post by Dontaskme »

Immanuel Can wrote:An additional issue of interest is the question is "self" or "soul" or "consciousness" a purely material property? For if it is not, then no "return" of materials to a state identical to a previous state would thereby produce a return of the "self." "Self" would still be a one-off.
The ''Self'' can never repeat itself exactly....for Self is ever the exact same Self only appearing to be different.
In the context of the eternal return - it simply means all appearances of Self are nothing other than Self returning to it Self
Immanuel Can wrote:Let me float a new definition of "death" to fill out a further possibility. Death is the severance of a life from the Source of Life.
Death is the source of life. Life belongs to death.

That which lives does not die. That which dies does not live.

Life and Death are the same. They only differ in appearance.
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Re: Death

Post by Dontaskme »

James Markham wrote: So personally, I think the most obvious answer to the question of what happens after we die, is the thing we know has happened at least once already, and that's that we are born. We know it's possible at one time not to exist, and from that to become existent, so what's so hard to believe about the fact it will happen again.
I was pleasantly surprised to read the above comment. I too had the exact same thought at around the age of 19. I don't know what might have triggered the thought, and as far as I was aware at the time, the thought just appeared completely out of the blue from nowhere. I guess subconsciously I had been contemplating the mystery of my apparent existence. I had been thinking about it since first becoming aware of myself around the age of 3-4 years old.

And then around the age of 19 that thought came. The same one you had that you've shared in your comment above.

From that moment of having that thought, I became a seeker of truth. I thought, if I am here now then I must have always been here now. But then I had to find out who that ''I'' is....who is the I....?
what I discovered is there is no who to my I.... simply because I would have had to be present at my birth and my death, which is impossible. I realised I cannot experience my birth, and I cannot experience my death. So who the heck was I ?

It's wasn't until many years later that a truth came to light, it suddenly dawned on me, that there was no ''me'' here.
I realised the I that I thought I was, didn't exist separate from this life itself..and that the I was just an appearance in it. And that life will go on and on and on forever having many many appearances infinitely for eternity. It was in that realisation that I felt total love and freedom to be, knowing I was always at home for ever, here now always safe and well. And that the I that I thought I was, was just a temporal appearance effortlessly being carried through life by life itself, and that I wasn't doing any of it.
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Immanuel Can
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Re: Death

Post by Immanuel Can »

Dontaskme wrote:
Immanuel Can wrote:An additional issue of interest is the question is "self" or "soul" or "consciousness" a purely material property? For if it is not, then no "return" of materials to a state identical to a previous state would thereby produce a return of the "self." "Self" would still be a one-off.
The ''Self'' can never repeat itself exactly....for Self is ever the exact same Self only appearing to be different.
In the context of the eternal return - it simply means all appearances of Self are nothing other than Self returning to it Self
Immanuel Can wrote:Let me float a new definition of "death" to fill out a further possibility. Death is the severance of a life from the Source of Life.
Death is the source of life. Life belongs to death.

That which lives does not die. That which dies does not live.

Life and Death are the same. They only differ in appearance.
Yeah, I get where all this is coming from. It's the Eastern "yin-yang" or "two forces" and "universal oneness" sort of belief. Been there, seen that, didn't buy the T-shirt. :roll:

It's all tautological and nonsensical, really. It denies the relevance of truth, reasons, evidence, arguments, science and even common sense. Absent any application of reasons and evidence, what's the point of trading in cyphers, especially ones that don't relate to truth in any way? There is no means of arbitrating the discussion, then. And in Buddhism, there's literally "nothing" to understand about the world, since it's all illusion.

So I'll pass on this exchange. Almost anything I could choose to do would be a better use of time.
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