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The world without us

Recently I heard someone express their feeling about death as something like horror at no longer existing. I find that really strange. There are many things I worry about, but that is not one of them. The idea of a world without me doesn’t worry me very much at all! As a counter idea to the person concerned about not existing, I heard someone else say that their idea of death was that everything would go on as before, except without them. That notion makes much more sense to me.

Everyday life contains plenty of microcosms of the scenario of the story continuing even when our part is written out of it. We leave jobs, we leave people, we leave places … and life goes on where we once were, except without us. It may seem bleak if we interpret that as meaning we are unimportant and insignificant, but that is not the only way of seeing it. The fact that we are part of several bigger “wholes”, some of which were there before we came, and some which maybe weren’t, or not in the same form, is an idea I find comforting. For me it is an extension of energy not being destructible, only changeable into something else. We are impermanent beings, as is everything in its present form. Everything comes and goes. The one thing that is constant is change – our perception of the speed of change is the only real variant.

How we look at the idea of change is fundamental. If we accept it, and go with it, there are fewer mental struggles. We still need to be able to navigate through our lives, but the journey is revealed as the point, rather than arrival. Another way of putting it is to focus on living rather than on death.

My hope is that there won’t be a huge amount of pain on the way to my not existing, as that is something I really don’t like to think about. But as for the idea of not existing itself – I can live with that …

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