- 13 Apr 2017 09:27
I was raised Mormon, with the rest of my family being Lutheran, some of whom were the fire-and-brimstone Missouri Synod types. Around the age of 11 I realized I didn't actually believe in the teachings of the Church, but it wasn't until I was about 13 I was open about it, or fully understood I simply wasn't a Mormon. My Mormon side of the family did not respect my opinions in the slightest, and this caused so much friction that my departure from the Church was accelerated far sooner than I think I would have left had I been given the option to continue questioning my beliefs. For years, I had lingering doubts, and I was still trapped in some ways in the black iron prison of Abrahamaic religious thought: a demented, sick authority-driven god who doctrinally approves of murder, genocide, rape, torture, slavery, demands worship, and threatens the lot of humanity with eternal suffering either of a physical kind or a psychological one (the Mormon concept of Outer Darkness, since the Mormons do not believe in Hell, comes to mind). I would think about whether I was wrong, and sometimes I would feel worried that maybe I would actually go to Hell, and maybe it was a possibility. It took a number of years to overcome all that conditioning, but I've come to the conclusion and feeling that it's simply not a possibility that the universe is run by a sick, demented being who wants to rule over everything, demands worship, and sends people to a hell-like place if they don't share the same beliefs and thoughts, i.e. the concept of a sky king deity ruling over everything, passing judgment, and rewarding or punishing mortals for actions in a single, finite, short lifespan is pretty silly and is simply an archaic remnant of ancient religions thought up by people who weren't capable of thinking beyond the hierarchical models of the time, ruled by god-kings and emperors.
So, when it comes to death, I don't have any slight nagging feeling that I might be wrong and that there might be a hell or some kind of heaven I won't go to. Most likely, nothing will happen, and we will return to the state of nonexistence we came from before our births. Should we continue on after death in some fashion, I think it goes without saying that the ego ends with this life, whether we continue on into a new life or not. "We" did not exist when we were born, and the entity that is you came into being after many years of natural development, adapting to your environment, and your own cognitive awareness and conscious decision-making process. Even if there is some form of existence after our bodily death, "you" ends here.
This has been brought up before, but the actual process of death is really no different than going to sleep. Every night, your consciousness essentially ends. Although it never actually stops, you can't remember going to sleep, and you simply fade away into what you can only remember later as a state of nonexistence, eventually broken by dreams or by you waking up in the morning. This is only mildly comforting, but it helps to realize death in that sense.
Last edited by Bulaba Jones on 13 Apr 2017 09:31, edited 1 time in total.
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