The last time I addressed this topic I wasn’t exactly serious. I skimmed over it. I was lighthearted about the whole idea. Recently, on Wednesday I think, I really thought about death. Like really thought about it. I’m not sure what spurred on that thought pattern. Maybe it was what happened in Manchester earlier this week. Maybe it was always going to happen on Wednesday. I’m not sure really. I was in bed when the thoughts came on and I have no problem saying it scared the shit out of me.
The specific detail that scares me most is the idea of not existing. Just ceasing to exist for the rest of eternity. That concept is unfathomable to me, it doesn’t compute and it makes me so anxious. As you may know, I don’t believe that we go somewhere to live happily-ever-after once we die. I believe that once we die we’re gone forever. I believe this but it doesn’t necessarily mean I want to believe it. To be honest, I wish I could believe in all of that. I wish I could believe that we live after death and that everything will be ideal after death but you can’t force yourself to believe something, even if you want to believe it. Logically the idea of an afterlife is void. It doesn’t follow any sound form of reasoning. I actually hate that because I’d love it if I could believe it were true.
Anyway, there I am in bed on Wednesday night, around 12:30 going in and out of a state of panic because I’m imagining what it’s actually like to not exist. Everything you are, or I am, just stops existing, nothing remains, and everything you worked for is just whisked away in a single moment. It’s a harrowing thought.
I found myself feeling very scared, and negative the day after. As in, I had essentially just realised that life is intrinsically pointless. Nothing anyone does really has any significance. What happened next was weird though. I found this idea to be insanely liberating. If life is just life and nothing has meaning, then you or I can do whatever the fuck we want. There’s no limits on anything because we all end up in the same place at the end. What had initially made me scared to my very core had now made me feel at peace. Nothing that ever happens to us, good or bad, can ever beat you if you accept that nothing has any true significance.
I suppose it’s an obvious conclusion, but the omnipresence of death is the reason life is so valuable. Without death we wouldn’t be trying to find meaning, or make our mark on the world. Death is just a weird thing because nobody alive has any idea what’s going on with it.
I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you wanna have a good, deep, terrifying night of thought, try and imagine what you’ll be after death. Imagine the actual experience of not existing and then try and tell me you don’t appreciate every thing around you just a little bit more when you come out of that that thought-cycle.