How do you deal with the idea that you might cease existing?

I've never understood the need for humans to find purpose in life. I certainly don't. But even though I'm doing better than I ever have, the idea that it's even possible that I'll stop existing can be all consuming.

How do you all handle it?


  • RolloRollo Operative 6081, MiniTrue Airstrip Three, OceaniaPosts: 1,905 ✭✭✭
    What do you mean mightcease existing? The death rate in my country has been hanging around 100% of all people who have been born now, for ages.
    "I speak an infinite deal of nothing and I am not bound to please thee with my answers."

    I've written four books - you might like to buy them: Linky - Doobly Doo
  • Gara_the_engineerGara_the_engineer In a log house at the edge of the forestPosts: 633 ✭✭✭
    I've come to think of it like this: when I die, I won't have to bother about it because I'm dead and can, per definition, not bother about things anymore. So while I'm alive, I prefer thinking about things in life, and the day I die, I won't have to think about death at all.
    I know this isn't something you can just push a button and start thinking about it this way, so I don't know if it'd help you.
    The meaning of life is to give life a meaning
  • IndiaBespokeIndiaBespoke Posts: 31
    People often often say that life is short, but if you really think about it you actually realise that it's the longest thing that you, or anyone else, will ever experience. But this being said, it doesn't mean that all lives are the same length. Children can die of cancer before they even become teeangers and NAZI war criminals can live into their 90s.

    I find that looking for a "purpose" or goal isn't helpful because you never know what the future will hold. Furthermore, I aim to be content with my life and live with no regrets. But by this I don't mean taking drugs, smoking or taking unnecesary risks (I don't even drink). Rather I mean seizing every opportunity that is offered to me. This includes things like inpromptu road-trips, spending days in the wilderness without any electricity or bathrooms and sleeping under the stars.

    Moreover, I try to understand all of those around me and how I can help them. From my expereince I have come to realise the distinct difference between changing something in someone's life to be like you think it would be best for them, and to help them in their situation without changing anything. It's the difference between giving them a box of tissues to stop their tears and lending them a shoulder to cry.

    By leading a life like this, although it is different for everyone, you land up leading a purposeful life. Your "purpose" in life becomes to grab every opportunity, immerse yourself fully in every environment you encounter and encourage and support all the people around you. Rather than aiming for a goal or a place you want to be, you create the person and life that you want. Then when you inevitably reflect on your life you realise that although you had no goal, you landed up achieiving it because there was nothing more you could have done; you seized every opportunity, you lived in every moment and celebrated your life.

    Additionally I believe that every person dies twice, once when your soul/spirit/essence leaves your physical body and secondly when no one in the world remembers who are you, what you did or your legacy. Creating memories with friends through vacations, or helping at charities or even smiling at someone on a street corner creates your legacy. Your friends will remember you when you physically die because of who you were and what you did, and they will tell their friends and children who will tell their friends or children and so on, and so your legacy lives on.

    We all know one or two crazy stories from our parents or grandparents about people they knew who have passed on, but their legacy still continues through their stories. For example my grandfather, who passed away 10 years ago, once made some moonshine. He and some of his friends decided to test it to see if it was any good, however my grandmother threatened to set him on fire if he did.( And knowing my grandmother, she would actually have done it). So instead they decided to run a tractor on it. The moonshine turned out to be so strong that the tractor ran on one tank for 2 months. This is a classic example about a legacy living on, and I know that I will definitely tell it to my children. So although he may be dead, his legacy lives on and so he does not just "stop existing".

    Using this as an aid, the over whelming and all consuming pressure to find a single purpose in life can be lessend. It can free you up instead to actually live your life and not simply just be alive.
  • beepbop1011beepbop1011 International Space StationPosts: 645 ✭✭✭
    Just read TFIOS again

    Also, Albert Camus' sisyphus thing.
    bzz bzz zzz bzz bzz zzz bzz bzz zzz bzz bzz zzz
  • psdao1102psdao1102 Posts: 2
    Oh man tfios puts me into a paralysis of fear. I try not to watch movies like that.

    I try to think of it like that gara, but that just doesn't seem to sooth my mind.

    I love the answer India, and I think thats why I never had a fear of lacking purpose. I try to live my life maximizing the positive impact I've have on others in day to day ways. And although I believe that there is an afterlife, I just doubt myself. And that doubt paralyzes me in fear. I love life and living, and i want to keep experiencing it.
  • katrhymerkatrhymer Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 23
    I push it from my mind as much as I can by keeping busy. However, sometimes I let myself sink into it and let that fact overwhelm me. I believe in God, so that helps me. I think about the image of heaven and me seeing those I know that have passed. However, I have a big problem with imagining my body decomposing. That is the hard part for me.
    Kat XD
  • RialVestroRialVestro Posts: 6,393 ✭✭✭
    1. Dying does not mean you stop existing. If you no longer existed it would be like you were never born to begin with. No one would have any memory of you, your body and anything you did in life would be gone along with you. You can't just suddenly stop existing.

    2. Assuming we change cease existing to die what do you mean might? You most certainly will die at some point. Hopefully not any time soon but eventually. There's no possibility that might not happen.

    3. To answer the corrected question "How do you deal with the idea that you will die?" There are a few different answers to that question.

    A. This is the reason religion was created. It's the reason why it's survived so long despite the fact rational thinking should lead every intelligent human being to realize that we created God not the other way around.

    B. If you're not religious like me. A lot of people realize that the point to life is to hopefully leave the world a better place than the way you found it. Personally I feel more like a failure when I fail others than when I fail myself. It's not that big a deal when I screw up my own life cause I'm just a tiny little insignificant blip in the grand scheme of things. My real accomplishment won't be measured by my failed acting career but rather by the child I choose to love and care for despite the fact he wasn't even mine. That's how you deal with it by doing something good in the world that will leave an impact long after your gone.

    C. Considering that energy can never be destroyed and our brains produce energy it is scientifically plausible that ghosts do exist. We are essentially just energy trapped inside of a physical form.
    Ni, peng, nee-wom! Ecky, ecky, ecky, pakang, zoom-ping! Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong!
  • TelMolagMoraTelMolagMora Alliance, OhioPosts: 516 ✭✭
    “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” - Mark Twain

    Just a thought.
    무세이 알렉스, remember the name.
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