The Enlightened Mind Cafe
Are you intrested in discussions and maybe even debates with other enlightened minds? Warning: People who think, learn, and grow come here. Everyone welcome from all faiths, spiritualities, and even non-faith.
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May Elizabeth

Possible Topics to Discuss: What happens after we die? Do you believe that death is it's own force or is it just a part of the cycle of life? Do you think death should be feared, embraced, or accepted when it comes? Have you ever been to a funeral/wake? What are your fears/hopes about death? What are the social/psychological/cultural effects of death on humanity? This is just a starting list.

6/28/2009 #1

So I was looking for good philosophical quotes, but this one wasn't really philosophical so I'll post it here:

"Only the dead know how terrible it is to be alive."

Lestat says this at some point in Anne Rice's The Tale of the Body Theif. I just thought it was a really interesting sentence. Obviously in this context Lestat was probably talking about how much more awesome it is to be a vampire than a human, but it got me thinking about: What if there were a heaven or an afterlife? Would people in heaven be looking down at us going "oh yeah, I remember when I had to put up with all that earthly shit. Those poor guys. They should hurry up and die and come to paradise." That kinda made me laugh. We always imagine the dead being happier wherever they are now than we are on earth, but if that were really the case, I think it'd be kind of depressing.

7/28/2010 #2

I've thought of that before. Sometimes I wonder if suicide is an act of bravery, not cowardice.

7/28/2010 #3

The problem is, it seems that everything we do on earth is really pointless (all the stress, etc.) but in the afterlife you find out the meaning of actual life, but it's also supposed to be a lot better.

I just got through reading this book called Elsewhere. It's about how people who die travel by boat to an island called Elsewhere, which is a lot like Earth, only the people age backward from the age they were when they died. Then, when they were 7 days old again, they got sent down to river to Earth to be born again. I think that's a really interesting afterlife idea.

7/29/2010 #4

That's definitely an interesting version of reincarnation. Why seven days, though? Is there a significance to it?

I personally don't believe in an afterlife or reincarnation, so my philosophy is to not expect anything like a "second chance" to do things right. This life is all you're going to get, so do your best to live in such a way that when you're growing old, you don't look back to see a life full of regrets. And I always try to remember that even if you feel like everything you're doing is pointless, all of your actions make a difference somehow. :)

7/29/2010 #5

I've read "Elsewhere", too. It certainly was thought provoking. Has anyone here read "The Lovely Bones"?

I don't know what to believe when it comes to death, but to quote a great man, "To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure." I think we go somewhere of our choosing. I certainly don't believe in any of the traditional "fire and brimstone" stuff. I think the afterlife will be what we needed most in life. Like being with a loved one we couldn't on earth, or doing things our mortality didn't allow. Something like that.

7/30/2010 #6

@fragilepoetics (what would you like to be called?)--I haven't read "The Lovely Bones". It sounds interesting. I like your afterlife belief too. I basically believe in going to another world for a while, then reincarnating whenever you want or are supposed to until you've learned all you were supposed to on earth. I also believe in soul mates, and that we take our time finding them and then spend all of eternity with them.

@Cyne: Just out of curiousity...say there is an afterlife, and you find yourself there. What would be your first thought and what would you do?

7/30/2010 #7

That would depend on what kind of afterlife it is, I suppose. If it turns out there is a God and heaven and hell, I'd probably think "Well, it looks like I'm f-cking screwed." If it was just a subjective version... Maybe my reaction would be something like, "Oh God. Looks like I was wrong." But you know what? I would love it if there was an afterlife. It would be amazing. I just don't think there is one. -Shrug- If I wake after I die, you won't find me complaining. :P My first action would probably be to probe around, see what the afterlife is like. I'd try to remember how I died, if I didn't know already, and attempt contacting the "living" world.

7/30/2010 #8

IMO, death is far more beautiful than life. Why? Because if there is an afterlife, it's bound to be better than this shithole. And if there isn't? Then bring on sweet oblivion.

7/31/2010 #9

"Then bring on sweet oblivion" sounds like the beginning to a good rock song. 3

And I'd have to agree. Death is simply the beginning.

7/31/2010 #10

If "death is simply the beginning," then isn't death more "lively" than the life we're currently living?

7/31/2010 #11

Have you ever thought about how if reincarnation is real, we're all dead?

7/31/2010 #12

That's an interesting way of putting it.

I still have issues with the whole getting reincarnated until we learn all our lessons thing. That would mean that some people around here are near-perfect and only have like one or two lessons left to learn about life. I believe that there would always be more lessons to learn and no one will ever achieve perfection.

8/1/2010 #13

I don't think you necessarily have to be perfect...I just think you have to build up a lot of strength, and that's what we're here for. I think we eventually get to a point where we remember every lifetime we've ever had. That's the main problem I have with it--I don't like the whole forgetting thing. And past life regression seems too complicated, and the human mind is so complex what you "remember" won't necessarily be true, it could be your mind playing tricks on you.

8/1/2010 #14

WFW: I don't think it's our minds' duty to recall our past lives, but our soul's. The soul does not 'forget' anything; that is how, no matter the 'life' or 'death' you're currently living, you can 'recognize' your 'soulmate.' I don't think you ever reach 'perfection.' I also don't believe in reincarnation as a 'have to.' I think it's partly a 'want to.' If you or 'The All' wants you to be reincarnated, then you will be; if you want to say in 'the afterlife,' then you will. [This is all my opinion, of course, so take it with a grain of salt.]

8/1/2010 #15

That makes sense to me. In "The Bell Jar" Ester talks about everyone going where they THINK they will go, or want to, which makes the most sense to me. I don't believe one religion is right and the rest of them are wrong, because in the afterlife, who knows what constitutes "right and wrong"? I don't think people should make rules for death, because the only ones who know what the hell happens are DEAD. You see the problem.

8/2/2010 #16

I share lyllyth's issue with the idea that souls become more perfect with every life. That would imply that in ancient times, the majority of people were less perfect than the majority of people are today.

One way I might be able to reconcile myself to reincarnation would be if it were not limited by a linear since of time. Maybe time exists only in the living world, and not in the "afterlife". That way, when I die and go up there to chose my next life, I could choose to learn my lessons in medieval Europe, and maybe my life before this one took place in Australia in the year 3000. That way, there would be a general mix of young souls and old souls in any given time period.

What do you all think of my theory?

8/9/2010 #17

woah deep, DE. I never even thought of that. I kinda like it.

8/10/2010 #18

DE: I agree with your theory; sometimes I find it best to view time cyclically. Also, time is a man-made constraint. Sure, we created such a thing to understand the cycles of nature, but is there "time" in the afterlife? Somehow, I think not.

8/11/2010 #19
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