The Concept of Not Existing

by mybiggestphan

Date: 9/23/13
Personal Prompt: Death and Non-existence – Lack of Conscience/Awareness

Answer: I recently had a discussion with one of my very good friends recently about a topic that many of us want to avoid. It is about death. And not only about death but, the feeling and the fear that thinking about such a concept invokes in your soul. It is a really creepy topic but it has to be talked about because of its inevitability to happen to each and every one of us. The thought of death and the idea that you will one day not exist can have a psychological impact on your mindset and needless to say, I still struggle with the idea and would love to hear your thoughts about your experiences/your thoughts on death.

Let me first explain my fear, the one that sends such a strong chill down my spine. It is perhaps the one thought/idea that paralyzes me when it comes into my conscience and I consider myself very strong-willed. I also consider myself spiritual and do believe there is an after-life but even then, the idea that I’m going to discuss is so mind-boggling that I may even have to consider talking to a therapist about such issues.

Have you guys ever sat down or laid in bed one night and looked up at the ceiling and then think about your existence in this world? Have you been observant of the fact that you are “living” – embracing your senses with seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, and tasting. Now think, and I’m going to get gloomy, you’re going to encounter death one day and tell me, you will no longer be able to use your senses at all. In fact, you cease to exist. You will have no sense of consciousness. The big WHAT IF question is: “What if there is no afterlife?” What if what you’re living now, is it. And when you die, kablam, kaput, nothing afterwards. Obviously you won’t be aware that you are dead but the fact that you no longer will “exist” is pretty darn scary is it not? Thinking about such topics has such an immense psychological impact on your mind because of the concern and worry it can cause.

Death is such a taboo topic but I think it is quite important to discuss it freely. I stumbled upon this forum while searching about other people’s question on the idea:

And a forum poster named TakenBoy wrote this:

I guess because nonexistence is foreign to us. Everything we have experienced in our lives, heck, EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of our lives has been nothing but existence. Even those dream worlds that may exist in our minds are in existence, albeit only in our minds.

Nobody has ever experienced nonexistence in their lifetime, as life is nothing but existence, so of course it’s a bit difficult to comprehend fully. The idea that the afterlife will be nothing but eternal darkness, except you can’t see anything so it won’t be darkness and that you won’t be experiencing it and… Yeah… It’s actually quite a bit to wrap your head around.

So what if this is true? Isn’t that scary? Even if you were in hell, you are “experiencing” this idea of consciousness.

However…when I was researching the topic, someone else brought up a good point. If non-existence is scary to some of us, then eternal life will be scary to others. Imagine living forever in the afterworld for hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, trillions of years! Will things get repetitive? Will it be boring to the point you ask that you not exist.

For me, as much as it is a scary concept to comprehend, I want to face it head-on. I want to encounter these mental thoughts and think to myself, it’s okay to be scared but this is part of life. I have strong belief there is a different world/life after this one has ended. Whether it be re-incarnation or a heaven/hell, when my time comes, I’ll have something. It is too depressing to believe that there will be NOTHING after this life and if that is the case, then I won’t be conscious or have these emotions/thoughts anyways, so why does it matter. Life is too precious to dwell on death and not living. I want to make the time I have on this life amazing and do the things that I want to do. But from time to time, it’s important to have these discussions and thoughts to kind of show us how important it is to cherish our existence.