Death Anxiety (but not what u think)

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I apologize ahead of time if this is in the wrong forum. Perhaps “Member Introductions”? Even tho been here for years , so who knows, but feel free to move it !

Two random thoughts , I thought May generate an interesting discussion. 

I have two particular anxieties when it comes to what I read with NDE’s, or OBE’s, as well, I suppose ..

1. I have a huge fear , a phobia , of heights or flying . Being above the scene, hovering , speeding thru a tunnel or any over similar variation… freaks me out !

2. Unfortunately, I’ve experienced some bad stuff in life …being victim of things … the thought of having to relive it , and at such a deep level … that is terrible sounding . 

What bothers u?
[-] The following 3 users Like Bill37's post:
  • Sciborg_S_Patel, Smaw, Silence
I'm freaked out of losing consciousness/loss of control. So I hope in death or if I have an NDE before then, that it's comforting and relaxing. I had hypoxia-induced visions one time when I lost consciousness, and it was one of the scariest things to ever happen to me.
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  • Smaw, Silence
When I very first got into PSI related topics, NDEs whatever, I had horrible panic-disorders in regards to my mortality. A growing pain I guess that hits everyone differently and since I was very interested in all kinds of philosophy I suppose it just hit me when I was younger. I definitely think it gave me a biased view of things at the time and the worst part was that I was constantly out to debunk myself. I was always worried about naysayers, I could read several papers by professionals and one random innacurate rebuttal would throw all my ideas into question. But luckily I moved past that stage though I have no idea how and barely give much of my time to much PSI or NDE related content at all. And it's allowed me to find BRAND NEW THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT YAAAAAY

If I had to pick two worries about spirituality and the like...

1. I worry that we still don't know what comes after: There is a certain relief that comes with certainty, whether it be a heavenly afterlife or an end to consciousness. Both atheists and the spiritual can find comfort in the fact that they KNOW how their life is going to end, whether or not the result is pleasant or not. But researching NDEs and related topics continues to point something about that makes me worry, we really don't know what happens when we finally die. There are many different reports from NDEs, mediumship and reincarnation that don't at all paint the same picture. There's no saying what happens to our sense of self once we pass away. What the experience of any kind of afterlife might even be like. Then of course there is the question of ETERNITY and how we might deal with it, that's a long bloody time and really frightening for a human mind to think about. And that's not even considering how any kind of afterlife might react with our universe, what happens to a soul when the earth is consumed by the sun, when the heat death of the universe finally comes about, if the universe restarts and creates a whole new one? So many things beyond humans comprehension that we may one day have to deal with and it frightens me as much as the idea that there's nothing that comes after at all. 

2. I worry that we will continue to live in a world that makes death scarier than what it is: Even as I type out the words for the post my body shivers a bit thinking about my own death. On one side of it very fair, I don't like the idea of dying. On the other side it's stupid, why do I worry about dying as much as I do? A whole cultural evolution has burnt into our minds the significance of death, the fear of judgement, how dying is a frightening thing. Religion, cultural aversion to being around the dead and dying and now even atheism itself. When I fully embraced atheism in my youth and started getting these feelings of anxiety I went looking for people who talked about it and what did I find? Crusty old professors talking about how when you die you're worm food and religious people are dumb. OR the most absolutely bare bones messages of yes you'll die one day but ummm get a hobby or something, don't think about it.

We live in an age where we've started to let go of religion and create our own, new, spiritual ideas and yet we're stifled by the idea of any kind of deep atheist thought about life and death is frightening or not worth thinking about. I hope when I get old we've moved to a point where yes, death is still frightening, but not as scary as we've always thought it to be since we've embraced both life AND death. That I can go into it not hoping that an afterlife is real and something comes after, but content regardless of what happens because I've lived in a culture that didn't just spend all it's time being afraid of dying or not talking about it at all.
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  • Larry, LotusFlower, Sciborg_S_Patel, sbu, Silence
(2024-03-20, 09:02 AM)Smaw Wrote: When I very first got into PSI related topics, NDEs whatever, I had horrible panic-disorders in regards to my mortality. A growing pain I guess that hits everyone differently and since I was very interested in all kinds of philosophy I suppose it just hit me when I was younger. I definitely think it gave me a biased view of things at the time and the worst part was that I was constantly out to debunk myself. I was always worried about naysayers, I could read several papers by professionals and one random innacurate rebuttal would throw all my ideas into question. But luckily I moved past that stage though I have no idea how and barely give much of my time to much PSI or NDE related content at all. And it's allowed me to find BRAND NEW THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT YAAAAAY

If I had to pick two worries about spirituality and the like...

1. I worry that we still don't know what comes after: There is a certain relief that comes with certainty, whether it be a heavenly afterlife or an end to consciousness. Both atheists and the spiritual can find comfort in the fact that they KNOW how their life is going to end, whether or not the result is pleasant or not. But researching NDEs and related topics continues to point something about that makes me worry, we really don't know what happens when we finally die. There are many different reports from NDEs, mediumship and reincarnation that don't at all paint the same picture. There's no saying what happens to our sense of self once we pass away. What the experience of any kind of afterlife might even be like. Then of course there is the question of ETERNITY and how we might deal with it, that's a long bloody time and really frightening for a human mind to think about. And that's not even considering how any kind of afterlife might react with our universe, what happens to a soul when the earth is consumed by the sun, when the heat death of the universe finally comes about, if the universe restarts and creates a whole new one? So many things beyond humans comprehension that we may one day have to deal with and it frightens me as much as the idea that there's nothing that comes after at all. 

2. I worry that we will continue to live in a world that makes death scarier than what it is: Even as I type out the words for the post my body shivers a bit thinking about my own death. On one side of it very fair, I don't like the idea of dying. On the other side it's stupid, why do I worry about dying as much as I do? A whole cultural evolution has burnt into our minds the significance of death, the fear of judgement, how dying is a frightening thing. Religion, cultural aversion to being around the dead and dying and now even atheism itself. When I fully embraced atheism in my youth and started getting these feelings of anxiety I went looking for people who talked about it and what did I find? Crusty old professors talking about how when you die you're worm food and religious people are dumb. OR the most absolutely bare bones messages of yes you'll die one day but ummm get a hobby or something, don't think about it.

We live in an age where we've started to let go of religion and create our own, new, spiritual ideas and yet we're stifled by the idea of any kind of deep atheist thought about life and death is frightening or not worth thinking about. I hope when I get old we've moved to a point where yes, death is still frightening, but not as scary as we've always thought it to be since we've embraced both life AND death. That I can go into it not hoping that an afterlife is real and something comes after, but content regardless of what happens because I've lived in a culture that didn't just spend all it's time being afraid of dying or not talking about it at all.

Hi Smaw, I can totally relate to everything you write here. Great post.
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  • Smaw, stephenw
First or all, I'd like to say that we are all in the same boat as everyone else on the planet - we know we are going to die and we can't be certain what will follow that, if anything. I do remember the occasion when I realised this fact. I was about 9, and I was sitting in my bath. I have always found baths to be a good place to think, and somehow I ended up thinking about my grandfather's death, and about the fact that everyone was getting older, and about the fact that in 100 years time we would all be gone. It shattered me, but all that seemed far away in the future and I soon put it to the back of my mind!

A bit later, when I was 12 there was the Cuban Missile Crisis. That made me feel very close to death and it was extremely scary. Each morning as I took the bus to school, I wondered if I'd see my parents again in the evening, and every time I went to bed at night, I wondered if I would wake up (strangely enough, I still went to sleep).

Even though The family went to church on Sundays, I don't remember that that made much difference.

I am now 74, and I feel quite different, in that I don't mind that much if life ends at death. By now I can feel a gradual physical decline, and I can recognise that at some point I might quite like the idea of total oblivion, although that isn't what I think will really happen. It would be interesting to see other's ages here , because I suspect most people fear death less as they grow older.

I have decided to write this response slowly over several days by editing this post - so stay tuned!

David
(This post was last modified: 2024-03-20, 04:17 PM by David001. Edited 1 time in total.)
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  • Smaw, Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-03-20, 09:02 AM)Smaw Wrote:  ...........................................................

I hope when I get old we've moved to a point where yes, death is still frightening, but not as scary as we've always thought it to be since we've embraced both life AND death. That I can go into it not hoping that an afterlife is real and something comes after, but content regardless of what happens because I've lived in a culture that didn't just spend all it's time being afraid of dying or not talking about it at all.

My point of view is that fear of annihilation is deeply instinctual, an integral part of human animal nature, this built-in fear is only made much worse by the cultural materialistic scientism brainwashing, and that consequently for most or many people attempts to overcome such death anxiety will always be only minimally successful. 

Ernest Becker had considerable influence in the realization of the importance of instinctual dread of annihilation. The Becker death theory was that the tension generated by our instinct for self-preservation on one hand and the inevitability of our death on the other causes an instinctual profound psychological crisis that lurks under the surface in everbody. If we do not resolve this crisis and instead repress thoughts of death (a very common response), a corrosive “death anxiety” results.

But I think that there are many who (of the minority that by at least some study have become acquainted with the paranormal evidence) do get moderately comfortable with maintaining a sort of cognitive dissonance between materialist scientism combined with instinctive fear of annihilation, and an at least moderate knowledge of the boatload of fairly convincing evidence for an afterlife. This tends to alleviate the anxiety quite a bit. 

The rather small minority of the population who have actually experienced a transformative deep NDE or other spiritually transformative experience are in a different category, since their death anxiety has been considerably ameliorated (or even eliminated) by direct intense and vivid personal experience of the beginning stages of an afterlife, whatever the nature of that afterlife may be. This apparently often completely removes fear of death. 

Of course there is also the minority of Christian and other religious true believers who I think achieve a similar cognitive dissonance, except that this is between scientism combined with instinctual death fear, and whatever religious faith they have attained.
(This post was last modified: 2024-03-20, 04:42 PM by nbtruthman. Edited 1 time in total.)
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(2024-03-20, 04:29 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: The rather small minority of the population who have actually experienced a transformative deep NDE or other spiritually transformative experience are in a different category, since their death anxiety has been considerably ameliorated (or even eliminated) by direct intense and vivid personal experience of the beginning stages of an afterlife, whatever the nature of that afterlife may be. This apparently often completely removes fear of death.

You said you saw [your past life’s] grave. How did that make you feel?”

Silence. A smile. “I thought, ‘Death is not a scary thing.’ "
 -Old Souls

Sadly I agree that this is a very small group of people, and even now when NDEs & CORTs & Mediumship are far better known than when religions like materialism among others tried to debunk/suppress them the fear of death still persists.

OTOH it seems that, in theory at least, having OOBEs and exercising Psi should be open to more of us and would probably alleviate our fear of death...yet even there it feels like a barrier of fear is in place that I cannot fully explain...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2024-03-20, 04:51 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 3 times in total.)
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(2024-03-20, 09:02 AM)Smaw Wrote: When I very first got into PSI related topics, NDEs whatever, I had horrible panic-disorders in regards to my mortality. A growing pain I guess that hits everyone differently and since I was very interested in all kinds of philosophy I suppose it just hit me when I was younger. I definitely think it gave me a biased view of things at the time and the worst part was that I was constantly out to debunk myself. I was always worried about naysayers, I could read several papers by professionals and one random innacurate rebuttal would throw all my ideas into question. But luckily I moved past that stage though I have no idea how and barely give much of my time to much PSI or NDE related content at all. And it's allowed me to find BRAND NEW THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT YAAAAAY

If I had to pick two worries about spirituality and the like...

1. I worry that we still don't know what comes after: There is a certain relief that comes with certainty, whether it be a heavenly afterlife or an end to consciousness. Both atheists and the spiritual can find comfort in the fact that they KNOW how their life is going to end, whether or not the result is pleasant or not. But researching NDEs and related topics continues to point something about that makes me worry, we really don't know what happens when we finally die. There are many different reports from NDEs, mediumship and reincarnation that don't at all paint the same picture. There's no saying what happens to our sense of self once we pass away. What the experience of any kind of afterlife might even be like. Then of course there is the question of ETERNITY and how we might deal with it, that's a long bloody time and really frightening for a human mind to think about. And that's not even considering how any kind of afterlife might react with our universe, what happens to a soul when the earth is consumed by the sun, when the heat death of the universe finally comes about, if the universe restarts and creates a whole new one? So many things beyond humans comprehension that we may one day have to deal with and it frightens me as much as the idea that there's nothing that comes after at all. 

2. I worry that we will continue to live in a world that makes death scarier than what it is: Even as I type out the words for the post my body shivers a bit thinking about my own death. On one side of it very fair, I don't like the idea of dying. On the other side it's stupid, why do I worry about dying as much as I do? A whole cultural evolution has burnt into our minds the significance of death, the fear of judgement, how dying is a frightening thing. Religion, cultural aversion to being around the dead and dying and now even atheism itself. When I fully embraced atheism in my youth and started getting these feelings of anxiety I went looking for people who talked about it and what did I find? Crusty old professors talking about how when you die you're worm food and religious people are dumb. OR the most absolutely bare bones messages of yes you'll die one day but ummm get a hobby or something, don't think about it.

We live in an age where we've started to let go of religion and create our own, new, spiritual ideas and yet we're stifled by the idea of any kind of deep atheist thought about life and death is frightening or not worth thinking about. I hope when I get old we've moved to a point where yes, death is still frightening, but not as scary as we've always thought it to be since we've embraced both life AND death. That I can go into it not hoping that an afterlife is real and something comes after, but content regardless of what happens because I've lived in a culture that didn't just spend all it's time being afraid of dying or not talking about it at all.

For me what helps is the fact that if anything, with each passing year the evidence for NDEs being truth and quantum weirdness makes materialism seem less and less likely.
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-03-20, 04:43 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: OTOH it seems that, in theory at least, having OOBEs and exercising Psi should be open to more of us and would probably alleviate our fear of death...yet even there it feels like a barrier of fear is in place that I cannot fully explain...

I agree. Because of my experiences I'm convinced that OBEs and Psi are real. Merely reading about the research can't give you that certainty. That is why I recommend practicing lucid dreaming and OBEs to anyone who might be interested about these topics.

By the way, Bob Peterson's blog about OBEs and related phenomena is very good:

The OBE Outlook On Life
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  • Sciborg_S_Patel
(2024-03-20, 04:29 PM)nbtruthman Wrote: My point of view is that fear of annihilation is deeply instinctual, an integral part of human animal nature, this built-in fear is only made much worse by the cultural materialistic scientism brainwashing, and that consequently for most or many people attempts to overcome such death anxiety will always be only minimally successful. 

Ernest Becker had considerable influence in the realization of the importance of instinctual dread of annihilation. The Becker death theory was that the tension generated by our instinct for self-preservation on one hand and the inevitability of our death on the other causes an instinctual profound psychological crisis that lurks under the surface in everbody. If we do not resolve this crisis and instead repress thoughts of death (a very common response), a corrosive “death anxiety” results.

But I think that there are many who (of the minority that by at least some study have become acquainted with the paranormal evidence) do get moderately comfortable with maintaining a sort of cognitive dissonance between materialist scientism combined with instinctive fear of annihilation, and an at least moderate knowledge of the boatload of fairly convincing evidence for an afterlife. This tends to alleviate the anxiety quite a bit. 

The rather small minority of the population who have actually experienced a transformative deep NDE or other spiritually transformative experience are in a different category, since their death anxiety has been considerably ameliorated (or even eliminated) by direct intense and vivid personal experience of the beginning stages of an afterlife, whatever the nature of that afterlife may be. This apparently often completely removes fear of death. 

Of course there is also the minority of Christian and other religious true believers who I think achieve a similar cognitive dissonance, except that this is between scientism combined with instinctual death fear, and whatever religious faith they have attained.

Honestly I was never particularly fond of Ernest Becker, his ideas about death seemed simplistic and overly nihilistic. An incredibly narrow view attempting to explain the broad attitudes towards death across cultures. The pshycological theory based on his work, Terror Management Theory, continuing to come into trouble when it comes to people not being afraid of dying for no apparent reason makes me think that his way of thinking is the type we need to move beyond. An embrace of death, no longer shunning it, hiding it away from public view or making it seem that much more horrible for no real reason, using that fresh understanding of mortality free from previous religious trappings or depressive simplistic atheistic nihilistic takes. A perspective that celebrates death as much as we do life to hopefully find a way where we can all go towards the end understandably CONCERNED, but not afraid.

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