Ever have a good, long think about death? Did it scare you to the very core of your being? Every now and then I have this thought, usually in bed, and it’s interesting how much it terrifies me. Death; quite the inconvenience, really.
Let’s delve into the semantics first. I think the foundation here is that I don’t exactly believe in an after-life. Living after death. Logically, that makes no sense. Why would you live, only to die, only to wake up and live eternally? It’s a nice thought to stop the fear but I’m not buying it. It’s like having a shower, coming out of the shower and going directly into the bath, I don’t think so fella.
Secondly, I do actually believe in a creator. I think something created us. I’m not entirely sure it’s even aware of this fact, and I definitely don’t believe it can see if we’re going to a church or not every Sunday, but I think something created us, in some lab,in some universe our universe exists inside of. Maybe. Creator or no creator, its existence doesn’t play a role in our lives. It doesn’t save us or condemn us. It gave us the gun and we can do whatever we see fit with it, no judgment.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s talk about death. The idea of just ceasing to exist fascinates me. It’s hard to imagine, considering you can’t be aware of not-existing. We’ve all been self-aware consciousness since birth so it’s tricky to imagine pure nothingness. I like to think of sleep as a proxy for death. Sleep should be very similar to death except there’s no dreams, naturally. Also, sleep is in the top 5 best things to do, death… probably not.
To be fair to us, we’ve all ‘not existed‘ before and nobody seems to complain about it. Anyone remember time before life? Me neither. Nobody remembers a time before birth because we didn’t exist, we were dead. The period before birth and after death have to be the same, and since you can’t remember the sweet embrace of the after-life before birth, then chances are you’re not going to magical heaven-land after death.
What’s also fun to think about is that life and just general existence has been around for a very, very long time. It’s almost incomprehensible how long things have been existing for. (Shout out to things for being around so long). In the timeline of existence we’ve been in that ‘non-existence‘ zone for almost all of it. Yup, we’ve been dead for the majority. We’ll rock around trying to find a meaning in the chaos for 80 or so years and then we’ll return to not existing for the rest of eternity.
If you believe in this romantic version of God and an after-life, where we all just live eternally, in consistent happiness, just please remember that for the first 10 or so years of your life you believed a man named Santa Claus came down your chimney and gave you presents for being ‘good‘. And that turned out to be bullshit.
To sum up: not existing is terrifying, death is like the best nap of all time, and God and the after-life are like Santa Claus for adults.