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July 23, 2015


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Sorry Brian, I don't get it. I can't imagine anything worse than living for ever. That would be hell. The older I get the more comforted I feel by the certainty that this life will end. Oblivion for me please. In the meantime, I'll enjoy what I can of this life. But I shan't be sad to go. Dying may be painful but how could there be anything to fear in death? Thank goodness I don't believe in an afterlife. That really would scare me shitless.

Why do you meditate ?

AV, I meditate partly out of habit -- 45 years of getting up each morning and spending some quiet time reading and meditating before I get outwardly involved with the day.

I enjoy that time. Plus, there are lots of benefits to meditation, as summarized on the Headspace site where I've started listening to their guided meditations.

I view meditation, in part, as exercise for the mind. I'm committed to exercising physically, and it also makes sense to spend some time exercising my mind.

Though meditation is more like "unexercising," really -- relaxing, calming, letting thoughts come and go rather than trying to control them.

David, your attitude is much like my wife's. She said almost the same thing after I read her this blog post last night, after I'd written it.

I agree with much of what you and she said. I guess I optimistically assume that if I were able to live forever, this would be a happy, contented, joyful living where I didn't get tired of eternal life.

Like you said, though, it's easy to envision nasty forms of the afterlife that would be worse than living.

Really enjoyed this post. I also question whether I really exist, is this some kind of dream, and also am interested in the computer simulation type theory.

Alien beings with super intelligence? I often wonder if we actually were something like that and decided to incarnate onto this planet to experience what its like to suffer from amnesia.

Contact? The problem is no-one believes you when you tell them about it. It's all in the mind dear, is the attitude. Still very intriguing though.

There's no way to "deal" with death because it's not negotiable. You will die, and it may not be under ideal conditions or in a timely fashion, so you might want to consider an alternative to the usual custom.

"""There's no way to "deal" with death because it's not negotiable""".

Tragic !

It's very negotiable

You just EXPERIENCE ( not believe it but DO so ) that y'r not the body
that it is even hilarious to think that

and as you can't do NDE by will , . . do the better, the sweet way


It would seem that our chief fear of death comes from our 'self' structure. A 'self' is as far as I can see a construct comprised of past experiences and information and as such is not real in the sense of being an entity.

Perhaps we humans have been conditioned to believe that this structure is who we are allowing it to usurp the naturalness of protecting and maintaining our bodies to protecting and maintaining a 'self'?

Death to such a 'self' or 'ego' is therefore abhorrent to us - even very elderly people whose bodies are ready to go do not want to 'give up' due to the dominating ego/self.

Our bodies (and brain) have their own intelligence and naturally avoid pain and death but at the right time will 'let go' Unlike the ego/self structure that cannot abide the concept of not existing, hence many of the beliefs in an afterlife - or historical notoriety.

As always, I enjoy your posts....probably because they validate what I have come to from Sant Mat to here. I just read Oliver Sack's autobiography and found the last few chapters fascinating on the brain....makes a great case for no self. Thanks for your blog.

It would seem that our chief fear of death comes from our 'self' structure

Yes, but without the illusion of self you'd be an inarticulate ape with no capacity for narrative or abstract thought who couldn't think about the human condition. This might make dying easier, but it wouldn't be much of a life.

Yes, a self is indeed necessary to live and survive – even animals have a sense of ‘me’ and not ‘me’. Our problem as I see it is that we have become so identified with the contents that comprise the self that we believe it is who we are to the point of devising numerous concepts to maintain its structure far beyond natural survival. Various beliefs such as are inherent in religion and nationality can become so dominant people become angry and even kill if they are threatened in some way.

Regarding the reality of death and the ‘self’ (as was pointed out in a couple of blogs ago), just believing there is no self does not help the fear of death issue. But perhaps the experience of seeing the on-going process that creates the self/ mind/ego may allow us to see the insubstantiality of the various belief/concepts – including the way we think about and death.

Quote Brian, "Marijuana particularly helps in lessening my sense of self, my ego. I feel like my problems, including the problem of dying, aren’t as large as they seem normally."

-- For me, after smoking marijuana, the opposite is the case. I am more self-aware and whatever problems, fears, etc. I have become amplified and are deeply analyzed, including fear of death and other neuroses. Sometimes a solution is realized, but then, as soon as it comes up, it vanishes, as more thoughts percolate up to take the realization's place. Alas, my profound insight, gone with the wind! In short, the weed increases anxiety, self consciousness and paranoia.

I have found that there are two main types of people (with sub-types to varying degrees) whose minds/neourochemistry are affected differently by marijuana. The first type is like Brian and then there are those like me.

Which one are you?

I tend to think that Brian's group is the smaller one because only about 10% of the U.S. adult population smokes weed "regularly" even though 44% have "tried" it. But 10% is a lot of people. Enough to keep the weed business thriving into perpetuity.

It is clear that we just die. It is obvious to those who think clearly and do not let themselves be deceived by their own minds or someone else's (same thing). Life doesn't mean anything except whatever meaning we choose to give it, but life doesn't care. It just is what it is right now until it isn't.

We are a part of this life we are in and all parts are inseparable, interconnected bits of the whole with the same life running through us. There could be some comfort in that.. the life that runs through us and is us keeps running without us.

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