1. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 03:21
    The airplane crash here on Monday which claimed 189 lives, unlike many of the other crashes that have happened in this country during the years I have been associated with it, caused me some temporary pause for uncomfortable thought.

    I'd missed a flight a few days earlier with the same airline, using the same type of plane, from the same airport out of which the fatelful plane had departed the previous day and experienced its possibly fatal instrument problems. I also know someone who is alive because they missed the flight that crashed because of a traffic jam and another who had changed her ticket to a later flight etc. etc. A few of the usual 'what ifs'.

    It was interesting. I chatted with my wife about it and also on the phone with a couple of friends inclined toward contemplation and dissection (divegeester being one if them). The topic was the actual nature of the 'fear of death' when one really gets down to it.

    As unpleasantly wierd and scary as it would undoubtedly be to be strapped into a screaming aircraft full of screaming passengers as it hurtled for a few dire minutes towards the its instantaneous destruction and everybody's death, I realized that my fear of death - or that glum feeling of being rattled by Monday's disaster - was not about the panic, the destruction, the grisly end.

    I believe that the terrible experience would be finished, gone, no longer perceived or remembered as soon as it was finished. It's certainly not the sort of thing to fear in the same way as a terrible drawn out agonising illness or becoming a burden to one's loved ones by being 'taken' from them by acute dimentia enduring for years.

    The same end-of-consciousness and end-of-narrative finality also means that my fear of death is not about lost opportunities and unfinished business either.

    My fear of death centres around imagining the sense of tragic sadness and loss regarding my disappearance from their lives that would be felt by my family and loved ones, i.e. THEIR feelings about lost opportunities and unfinished business, not mine.

    Do we not, indeed, glimpse the meaning of life in our fear of death?
  2. Devonshire
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    31 Oct '18 03:462 edits
    We seem to become more aware of death and it’s possible meanings as we get older; I certainly find myself thinking about it more since I’ve been in my 50s.

    When I was younger I hardly considered death at all. In fact I was involved in motorcycling incidents which could have easily taken my life and yet despite a rush of blood and adrenalin at the time, I hardly gave them a moments notice.

    I’m regularly reminded of one incident in particular as I now frequently travel the A303 to Devon. I was 19 years old and owned a nippy Suzuki GSX 250 which I used to push to my limits. On this occasion I was travelling east through Ham in Somerset, down a hill and into a sweeping right hand bend. I was leaning the bike over at 80 mph and enjoying the thrill of the speed when suddenly the chain jumped off of the rear drove sprocket and I lost power while the engine screamed.

    It was apparently a fairly common fault with the bike whereby the front chain sprocket came loose from its drive shaft. I subsequently read accounts of the chain jumping off of the rear drive sprocket and seizing the rear wheel. Had that of happened I would have been in serious trouble, on a bend, lent over doing 80 mph, probably game over. I remember pushing the bike to a small farm and the kind owner repaired the front sprocket and off I went.

    I look back now at that moment as one of those “sliding doors” events. What if? I guess it wouldn’t matter much; I wouldn’t have met my wife, wouldn’t have led the life I’ve led, wouldn’t have travelled, wouldn’t have become Christian.

    I wonder if I would have gone to hell to meet Jesus and be burned alive for eternity. That would seem unfair wouldn’t it? If the rear wheel on my GSX 250 had seized up I would have gone to hell, but it didn’t and so I will be in heaven.

    Can Christ be cheated out of a soul like that? Would I have been given a pass knowing that if the doors had slid another way then I would have lived to become a Christian? Do we all have “sliding doors” where we live to become Christian and which Christ knows about? Now that is an interesting thought.

    Sliding doors....
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    31 Oct '18 06:43
    @FMF
    I think dead is gone – all gone. That I am not afraid of. Pain, suffering is another thing.

    That others might suffer more by my being gone – yes, that is an astute insight. To want to be gone before they are – could be really selfishness. Depending on how things are. How to best live compassion – the real question. For myself.
  4. SubscriberGhost of a Duke
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    31 Oct '18 20:16
    @FMF

    I've had a couple of near misses recently, both involving buses and not paying attention while crossing the road. (Well, to be precise, it's more a consequence of my sleep issues and impaired concentration). Both events were startling but the fearful thought that lingered with me afterward was the practical implications for my family. (Did my wife know how to pay the Council tax bill, how would the mortgage get paid etc). - Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy fear of death, but it's compounded by a fear of what would happen afterward to the people (and animals) I care about.
  5. Standard memberchaney3
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    31 Oct '18 21:47
    Dive and FMF kissing each others ass, lovely.

    So fake.
  6. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 23:02
    @ghost-of-a-duke said
    @FMF

    I've had a couple of near misses recently, both involving buses and not paying attention while crossing the road. (Well, to be precise, it's more a consequence of my sleep issues and impaired concentration). Both events were startling but the fearful thought that lingered with me afterward was the practical implications for my family. (Did my wife know how to ...[text shortened]... t it's compounded by a fear of what would happen afterward to the people (and animals) I care about.
    By 'fear of death', I am not referring to the acute instinctive aversion to something hazardous or possibly fatally dangerous, nor the prospect of some ghastly event that takes one's life; I am referring to a broader anticipation of no longer existing.
  7. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    31 Oct '18 23:04
    @fmf said
    The airplane crash here on Monday which claimed 189 lives, unlike many of the other crashes that have happened in this country during the years I have been associated with it, caused me some temporary pause for uncomfortable thought.

    I'd missed a flight a few days earlier with the same airline, using the same type of plane, from the same airport out of which the fatelful plan ...[text shortened]... inished business, not mine.

    Do we not, indeed, glimpse the meaning of life in our fear of death?
    pssst Consciousness has no end 😉
  8. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    31 Oct '18 23:071 edit
    @divegeester said
    We seem to become more aware of death and it’s possible meanings as we get older; I certainly find myself thinking about it more since I’ve been in my 50s.

    When I was younger I hardly considered death at all. In fact I was involved in motorcycling incidents which could have easily taken my life and yet despite a rush of blood and adrenalin at the time, I hardly gave t ...[text shortened]... me Christian and which Christ knows about? Now that is an interesting thought.

    Sliding doors....
    We only become aware of it as we get older because of our conditioning. Or more accurately the lack of conditioning. Death conditioning to be more precise.

    Start with a sound premise and use logic , not rationale, while seeking dilligently.
    Like a math equation the answer will become apparent. 🙂
  9. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    31 Oct '18 23:08
    @ghost-of-a-duke said
    @FMF

    I've had a couple of near misses recently, both involving buses and not paying attention while crossing the road. (Well, to be precise, it's more a consequence of my sleep issues and impaired concentration). Both events were startling but the fearful thought that lingered with me afterward was the practical implications for my family. (Did my wife know how to ...[text shortened]... t it's compounded by a fear of what would happen afterward to the people (and animals) I care about.
    You fear the wrong things in life
  10. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 23:11
    @ghost-of-a-duke said
    Don't get me wrong, I have a healthy fear of death, but it's compounded by a fear of what would happen afterward to the people (and animals) I care about.
    This is what I am getting at: are these thoughts not snapshots of the meaning of life? Love. Loved ones. Love of life expressed through the impact on and of others. Not the whole story, of course, but simple snapshots nevertheless that go to the heart of things.
  11. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 23:121 edit
    @karoly-aczel said
    You fear the wrong things in life
    How so? Do you not have any loved ones who will be affected by your absence?
  12. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 23:14
    @karoly-aczel said
    We only become aware of it as we get older because of our conditioning. Or more accurately the lack of conditioning. Death conditioning to be more precise.

    Start with a sound premise and use logic , not rationale, while seeking dilligently.
    Like a math equation the answer will become apparent. 🙂
    This sounds like pretentious back-of-an-envelope drivel. If I'm wrong, try again.
  13. SubscriberFMF
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    31 Oct '18 23:17
    @karoly-aczel said
    pssst Consciousness has no end 😉
    Speculating about this kind of stuff - or about things like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin - does not have any bearing whatsoever on the nature of my fear of death.
  14. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    31 Oct '18 23:17
    @fmf said
    How so? Do you not have any loved ones who will be affected by your absence?
    Absolutely!! But I dont fear it in anyway.
  15. Standard memberkaroly aczel
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    31 Oct '18 23:18
    @fmf said
    Speculating about this kind of stuff - or about things like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin - does not have any bearing whatsoever on the nature of my fear of death.
    This is not speculation.

    Do you believe it is possible to know 100% that my contention is true?
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