“He hoped and prayed there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn’t an afterlife.”
Douglas Adams

Is there such thing as an afterlife? Do we live on as energy, or is there a magical place we go when we die? If the answer to these questions is “no” then this means we simply just cease to exist. We burn out like a candle in the wind all but being forgotten years down the line. Questions such as these are what have been fueling my desire to find some form of divine power and intervention. For the first time in fifteen years I need my life to hold some meaning even though I know it doesn’t. I need unequivocal proof that a God exists and there are better things waiting for us when we pass. If I am not able to get this proof I desire I will continue to live my life in fear and panic over what will happen to me when I die. I will worry so much that I will forget to appreciate and cherish the present. Next thing you know death will be at my doorstep and I will be met with regret over the time I have wasted worrying.

This newfound need to enter the realm of the illogical has been plaguing me ever since my friend died. I have been haunted with the stark reality that he may no longer exist in any form. This breaks my heart, but this also stirred up a buried internal fear of no longer existing. Wait scratch that the knowledge that someday I will be void of thought scares me much more. This is freaking me out, so what do I do to try and find peace? I turn to my archenemy; religion. This once perceived almighty evil is infiltrating my life, and filling it with passed down stories of better things to come. I can no longer rely on my logical atheist ways. I have caved, but do I turn to the mightiest of faiths, or do I stay with Taoism or Buddhism?

I hope to find an answer which I feel comfortable with, because the constant anxiety and panic is overwhelming me. Here is the problem though; if I pick a religion will I ever “really” believe the teachings or will reason and logic keep me from fully committing? Will I get so desperate I just try to live a lie, and constantly need to trick myself to stay on faiths path? I remember Trey calling me a “disillusioned Christian” awhile back, but I would consider myself more as a “desperate atheist needing reassurance that my life has meaning and I will be able to continue to think until the end of time” type of person.

The thing I do not get with this quote is why anyone would want to hope there isn’t an afterlife? Isn’t it ingrained in our DNA to survive? If this is the case than our brains would be hardwired to at least hope our existence lives on. Perhaps this hardwiring in our brains and instincts is the foundation of religion. I know by experience that atheists do not believe in an afterlife, but I wonder if deep down inside part of them is at least hoping they are wrong; I know I am. I must be completely honest I sincerely admire those who are truly in acceptance with the fact that one day they will just cease to exist. As for myself I am going to sit here and hope and pray there IS an afterlife.

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Comments
  1. Leianne says:

    If I may ask, what is it about ceasing to exist after your earthly existence scares you?

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Leianne,

      I think what scares me the most is to have no more thought. All I have known my whole life is that I possess thought. To go without it forever is very scary. I also just do not like the whole ceasing to exist thing. To know once I die I will be just that dead, never to be alive in any sense. As I get older the scarier and scarier this becomes. I would love nothing more than to believe in God so this constant fear is no longer there

  2. Each person must find their own path. For me, I no longer play the either/or game you’re playing. I have no idea what is on the other side and I won’t have the opportunity to know until I get there. So, it does me no good now to fret about something I simply can’t comprehend.

    In my estimation, I look at what the concept of death equates to in nature. When does a tree cease to be a tree? Over a period of years, it slowly decomposes and transforms into earth which provides the basis of life for a new form.

    My speculation (and that is all it is) is that human life is much the same. We die and our energy (qi in Taoism) becomes the fertile earth for new life.

    Finally, the idea of entering the void devoid of consciousness sounds very appealing to me. It is our consciousness that creates our suffering and misery. If consciousness ceases to exit, the suffering ends. We are at complete peace.

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Trey,

      Your answer makes the most sense to me out of any explanation of any I have heard, but it still scares the Shit out of me. My interpretation of what I have read so far from the Tao Te Ching is our shen leaves our body and returns to the center of the Tao. To me this means there is a center to where we go to live on forever. Perhaps this is my quest to ease my fears which makes me misinterperate the message. I have been suicidal many times in my life, but one of the key things which keeps me from falling through with it is my fears of the unknown. Even in my darkest hours the consept of no more suffering sounds fantastic until the thought of nothinness creeps in. In my younger years I was all good with the thought of nothing, but as I age the fear gets worse

  3. MoeNeke says:

    I hope you read my God vs Science. It does not have all the answers but I hope it gets you started on a quest for the rest of your answers.

    KYIP

  4. jennirey says:

    I have some curiosity about this too..I just dont let it bug me..

  5. This is a really insightful post – Thanks for the perspective. As a Christian, I have a few things for you to contemplate. You can take them or leave them, but I hope maybe they will help you in some small way. 1) There is no unequivocal proof (or disproof) of God or afterlife … If there was proof then it would be knowledge, not faith. 2) Faith and religion are also not the same. There are theists and agnostics who do not label themselves as belonging to any specific religious sect or church, but have faith all the same. 3) Don’t panic and don’t let fear rule your life. Redeem the time. Death is a certainty for all of us, no matter our beliefs in what comes after (or doesn’t). Now is what you have for sure – No tomorrow is guaranteed. Don’t waste the present moment on fear. Redeem the time in love, in laughter and in joy. I truly hope and pray (yep) that you find peace in the meaning and purpose of your life. And if you want more specifics about my faith, please don’t hesitate to ask because I am more than happy to share. 🙂

    • Tim Lundmark says:

      Faith,

      Welcome to the community. I look forward to your future comments. I always welcome Christians to my site, but I must warn you that you may find some of my posts offensive. I enjoy my religious readers because they help give me insights in my journey which many times points me in different directions. I know death is a certainty but this lack of control over this certainty is too much to deal with. I know death is coming I just do not know when. This not knowing is killing me.

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