Thursday, January 10, 2008

What Is Death?

I know I'm only 20++ going on to 20+++, but somehow, this thought crept into my mind. What is death? Am I going to heaven, or hell, since I'm not a Christian; or am I going to be reincarnated; or am I just going to disappear? I'm trying to understand death by trying to look into the religious beliefs and also the scientific or logical explanation, but both doesn't allay my fears. Yes, after living for 20++ years, this is my first time being so fearful of death.

I've never been afraid of death. I was probably more afraid of the pain I were to suffer before I die, but now, I don't know why, this mindset has changed. I'd be able to endure all sorts of pain as long as I can survive, but well, this is my present mindset. Perhaps, when faced with different circumstances in the future my thinking might change again.

What is there after we die?

Using logical thinking, I think that death is just like sleeping, without the dreams. When we sleep, when we don't dream in our sleep, time passes by in a flash. Before we know it, we awake again. Hence, death might just be like sleeping just that we don't wake up, we'd lose consciousness and not know about anything that happened. It's just like a person suffering from amnesia. He doesn't know what happened to him before he lost his memory, ie after we die, what we would feel, what our souls and memory be like is like a person's lost memory. Stopped at that moment, never to be recovered.

I would be reassuring in a way because we consciously would cease to feel, and hence cease to fear, but also because of that, my fear becomes that which would happen. After I die, there would not be any Joan left in the world. I wouldn't be able to feel anything, I'd cease to exist, then now the me... My world centres around me, I cannot imagine the world carrying on without me because I've been so accustomed to the whole me idea.

If say I believed in the supernatural and that after we die we would become ghosts, then say if I were to die, I'd become a ghost. How does a ghost live? From folklore with a bit more logical thinking, ghosts would exist because the soul has unfinished business. Those who doesn't have unfinished business, or those who are willing to move on, would not be ghosts, instead, there's the end road for them, more about this later. I'd like to discuss a bit about ghosts now. Say, if there were ghosts and I were to die, would I want to be a ghost? Right now I'd say yes, I still have unfinished business, but how am I to accomplish all that, and when would I be able to give up on my unfinished business and move one?

I have a lot of things I want to do in my lifetime, but will I be able to do all that as a ghost? I don't know. I'd imagine life as a ghost is pretty boring and repetitive, hence without a very strong desire, ghosts would choose to move on. So do I have a strong desire? I don't know. But I know I'd have a very strong jealousy streak in me. If I were to see people happy about my death, I'd be more than angry and upset. I would want people to remember me, miss me, and continuing to remember and miss me. I'd certainly not want to see Someone moving on in life and replacing me with another girl. So what is my mission in staying on in this world? I don't know...

Then how about moving on? That's what I fear. At least if I were a ghost, I'd know that I'm still me, I still have the soul and consciousness that I know I'm Joan. But if I move on, I'd either disappear entirely or have all my memories ereased off and become something else, which I won't know. In a way, I've still disappeared. It's really very scary to think about one day if there isn't any more me. Call me self-centred, but ya, that's what I am. We all are, in some way or another.

Recently I've also been watching quite a few movies about the end of world, humanity dying. It's not just individuals dying but collective groups of people dying for causes that we see as supernatural or not normal, or fictional. I've watched Aliens vs Predator 2 and I Am Legend, within the past week, and I'll be watching Cloverfield some time next week after it opens. And that's what I've been thinking, what if humanity were to face such a massive disaster, where would I stand? Will I die?

The idea of monsters lurking out there ready to kill me is sort of haunting, I'm scared. I'm scared of the unknown, and there's nothing we know about the monsters out there so how am I going to deal with them. I'm not much resolute to fight them, or try and escape, I'd end up being killed by them, and it feels like a very horrible death.

What if large amounts of people were to die together, won't there be too many ghosts left roaming about? What if there are no more space left for the ghosts? Then there's the questions if the monsters are able to see and/or interfere with the ghosts. See, as with humans, ghosts should be unique to our world. And say, if our world were to be overrun by monsters, won't they want to take over the ghosts as well, but can they see the ghosts? Or maybe, there never were ghosts in our world at all, then it'd be easier for the monsters.

The virus thingie sounds a bit scarier than the idea of monster attack. In a monster attack, although we don't know much about the monster, at least we know it is a monster. How do you identify a virus with ones bare eyes? I remember the SARS outbreak, it came to almost being a national crisis, a tremendous horror story. Like the spread of SARS, it's also possible that another virus outbreak is possible, maybe a SARS/AIDS mutated virus or something like that. And soon it becomes like the KV of the one in I Am Legend.

Between a monster attack and a virus outbreak, I think I'd rather experience a monster attack and die from it. Death seems much more certain and immediate. I don't know what might happen to me should I suffer the virus attack. If death is imminent, it's probably a horrible, lonely, quarrantined death, which just sucks. If I get mutated into a vampire, I seriously don't know how I'm going to deal with that, I'd rather die. Still, both scare the shits out of me.

Looking back at history and examining what we are experiencing now, I seem to think that our life has been more than rosy. Throughout history, there has been wars and plagues, and suffering and whatnots, yet here we are totally happy and contented. Our lives seems so much better than anyone else who lived through history. I sort of feel that could this be a chilling foreshadowing of something much more sinister to come and catch us all unawares?

Life seems too good for me now, I'm really scared that if turbulent times were to fall upon me I won't be able to adapt to it. And yes, I'm very much afriad of death.

Remember what I said about death and sleeping? Death is something like sleeping with the dreams and everything alive. Well, lately, I've been afraid of going to sleep. I'm scared that with this sleep I won't wake up again, and everything will come to an end for me. Likewise, every time I open my eyes after a sleep, I'd feel thankful that I'm still alive and breathing. It doesn't help allay my fears with the rising reports of young people dying from unknown causes in the sleep.

I don't want to add to that statistic,

1 comment:

mr said...

Yes I too wish to feel the experience(not by sleep) of death, but must come back to this life with the same body. Is there any way? any secret way?