September 22, 2023

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The Paradox of Death: Why Our Fears May Be Unfounded

Explore the paradox of death and discover why our fears may be unfounded.

No matter how you look at it or whether you believe in a new beginning or everlasting peace, death remains one of life’s greatest mysteries. Losing consciousness forever and facing the unknown are fears that often terrify people. It’s possible that death might not be what we anticipate. Is it conceivable that rather than being the conclusion, demise marks the inception of something new?

Photo by Ahmed Adly on Unsplash

Death makes us worry about our existence fading away into nothingness. It’s common for us to worry about a nonexistent afterlife where we won’t exist anymore as all signs of human life or cognitive behavior fade away. But what if death isn’t just simply ceasing to exist, as we frequently imagine when contemplating it? Could there be a possibility that after one dies their consciousness does not vanish but transcends into another inexplicable reality?

An often discussed perspective on death is the concept of it being much like going to bed, only permanently with no awakening. This proposition concurrently inspires calmness and apprehension. Forever resting seems like a calming notion. The notion of never waking up after falling asleep forever horrifies many people, despite its equally soothing aspect.

But what if the analogy of sleep is incomplete? What would happen if dying isn’t synonymous with sleeping; could it be equivalent to rousing up instead? Could death result in awakening us into an unexplored level of consciousness beyond comprehension, rather than just ceasing existence or sleeping always and forevermore?

A fresh commencement and not downfall is what Philosopher Alan Watt saw in regard to dying.

Death for Alan Watts meant returning simply back to the universal consciousness. Believing in a unified consciousness between people where everyone has their place within it allowed philosopher Alan Waters to view ending life as returning rather than disappearing completely. It makes sense then why he didn’t see any reason for fear towards what might be waiting on the other side.

According to Watts, death is feared because it represents entering into an unfamiliar state. Uncertainty surrounding what happens to us post-death causes both a fear of losing consciousness and worrying. What if, in reality, our consciousness transforms into something else? What if our physical bodies are just vessels for an eternal soul that transitions after death?

Watts saw death as something that could be looked forward to if one considers it as liberation from tiresome living, The opportunity to begin anew presents itself in death. Expired is an option of resetting things and enjoying existence again, just like when we were children filled with amazement and eagerness.

The concept of death as a new beginning may not bring comfort to all. There are people for whom simply disappearing might seem like an easier prospect. Although not everyone will find the concept tempting or consoling, envisioning death as a new start has its advantages.

Death can become a thing to accept rather than dread through this perspective. Our apprehensions concerning the unknown and loss of awareness might be baseless. However, death could present a new beginning where life is once again viewed with fresh eyes. And death can thus become something to welcome, rather than dread.

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