Death, Dying, and So On

final-curtain
Recently, “Mak” wrote a post related to immortality, which generated a number of comments. A recent post by +Charles, although initially on another topic, migrated to the topic of death and dying.

Since our ultimate end seems to be the subject du jour, I decided to add my two cents and write a post on that final(?) destiny of all humans.

First, a quote by Mark Twain (Thanks, Victoria):

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

****************
Wikipedia defines death as: “the termination of all biological functions that sustain a living organism.”  If we are logically-minded, I think most of us would agree with this description of our demise. (There is, however, a certain segment of our society that disagrees and are certain they will live on in some type of fairy tale land. As many of us were once a member of this group, we may sometimes find ourselves wavering as we consider the finality of death.)

Since death is not a very pleasant way for our existence to end, some have considered other “alternatives.” One of these is cryonics suspension —  full-body cryo-preservation of humans (and pets), DNA, & tissue storage in hopes future medical technology may be able to someday revive and restore them to full health.

There is also an organization that believes there is a way to “delay” death since dying is a process, not an event, and by intercepting and/or stopping this process within a certain window of time, it may be possible to reverse the process.

Others like the idea of reincarnation; that is, the reappearance of a person in another form. In fact, it’s been said reincarnation offers one of the most attractive explanations of humanity’s destiny. To know you have lived many lives before this one … and that there are many more to come … is a very attractive perspective to some people.

For sure, the end of LIFE is certainly not something any of us look forward to. At least not while we’re young and in good health. Yet, it is a certainty that none of us can escape.

Additional thoughts that go along with the end of life revolve around how we want our body disposed of. Burial? Cremation? Resomation? PlastinationEternal Reefs? Promession? What would be your choice?

Finally, I think there is one thing that lurks in the back of nearly everyone’s mind — the existence of an afterlife. Some will vehemently deny they have any thoughts of such a possibility. But how can we be sure there isn’t “something more?” It has been a teaching for hundreds and hundreds of years within many cultures. And, of course, it is the core doctrine of Christianity.

What do you think? Does the curtain close at our death? Or will we “live on” in some sort of netherworld? Or perhaps the energy of which we are made simply disperses and becomes, once again, a part of the universe?

Or do you agree with Mr. Twain?

 

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135 thoughts on “Death, Dying, and So On

        • I wonder, Ark, if you’ve read, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”? It was in our sixth-grade Readers when I was going to school (ok, so a long time ago. .) 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • Oh, no! Poetry. I froth at the mouth at verse, it drives me mad, but I’ll give it a squizz as I know it’s make you glad.
          You see what’s happened? I break out in rhyme.
          Godsdammit, it happens every time.
          And it makes me as miserable as a clown,
          I have take two tablets and go and lie down.
          Eeek!
          😉

          Liked by 2 people

        • The Cremation of Sam McGee
          By Robert W. Service

          There are strange things done in the midnight sun
          By the men who moil for gold;
          The Arctic trails have their secret tales
          That would make your blood run cold;
          The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
          But the queerest they ever did see
          Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
          I cremated Sam McGee.

          Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
          Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
          He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
          Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

          On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
          Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
          If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
          It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

          And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
          And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
          He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
          And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

          Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
          “It’s the cursèd cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
          Yet ’tain’t being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
          So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

          A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
          And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
          He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
          And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

          There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
          With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
          It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
          But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”

          Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
          In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
          In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
          Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.

          And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
          And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
          The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
          And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

          Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
          It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
          And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
          Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

          Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
          Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
          The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
          And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

          Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
          And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
          It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
          And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

          I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
          But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
          I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
          I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”; … then the door I opened wide.

          And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
          And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
          It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
          Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

          There are strange things done in the midnight sun
          By the men who moil for gold;
          The Arctic trails have their secret tales
          That would make your blood run cold;
          The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
          But the queerest they ever did see
          Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
          I cremated Sam McGee.

          Liked by 1 person

        • That poem used to be a popular choice for ‘recitations’. (Am I sounding really old here?)

          One of our daughters spent three summers in Dawson City, Yukon so we have developed a keen interest in the place. Never been but someday hope to go! (She tells us we would love it)

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        • My first introduction to Dawson came from an old radio show, “King, of the Yukon,” about a crime-solving Mountie named King – a lot, I suspect, like these:

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  1. Nan, we have told all four of our children what we want done after we die (and the lights go out, as Ark has stated – that’s how I perceive it, too. Finito, burn the carcass). We have told them that our remains (ashes) are to be spread out up on our woodlot, where we have spent many a happy day. . we don’t want a headstone either. Oh, and a few years ago a neighbour of ours made a small wooden urn with a cover and gave it to hubby. He has told many people – “There’s where I’m going after I die. I just want the ashes put in there and top me up with some good whiskey. .” ) 🙂

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    • Yes, ashes is my preference as well. Since I LOVE being near water (rivers, streams, ocean, lakes, ponds, etc.), that’s where I hope I end up … floating away wherever the current takes “me.”

      As for “afterlife,” I tend to lean towards the idea my “life’s energy” will be released at my death and will return to the universe to become “whatever.”

      BTW, I think your neighbor has the right idea. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Personally, I would decline cremation, I would not want to contribute to the earth’s air pollution problem. I notice you left out the bar ditch solution —

    There is also an organization that believes there is a way to “delay” death since dying is a process, not an event, and by intercepting and/or stopping this process within a certain window of time, it may be possible to reverse the process.

    Your link here, Nan, leads to Alcor, a cryogenic organization similar to the paragraph above this one – are you sure you used the correct link?

    I think the reason we die of old age, is because that mechanism within our cells that allows for cell replication and replacement of dead and dying cells, make, over time, faulty copies of themselves, much like Xeroxing a paper over and over – the flaws will multiply. I believe there is a possibility of delaying death by having someone take a sample of our cells from us while we are babies – either actual cells from the baby or stem cells from the umbilical cord – cloning and preserving them, then adding them by means of an injection into our bone marrow, where cells are formed, to replace our aging, imperfect cells with perfect copies of the original blueprint.

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    • Hmmm … the way I understood it is the Alcor group does it a bit differently than “regular” cryogenics in that they “delay” the processes of death, rather than try to preserve the organism for future restoration. But I could be wrong.

      Bar ditch?

      So if you don’t like cremation, do you prefer burial?

      I think gravity is the “death of us all.”

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      • Bar ditch?

        Yeah – prop me up in the passenger’s seat, and when you come to a country road with a bar ditch, just reach across, open the door, and give a gentle nudge with your foot – gravity and inertia should do the rest.

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  3. I fear dying miserably – in pain, in coma, helpless, unable to communicate. Life is wonderful, I am a very fortunate, healthy person, and I enjoy it immensely but, forever ? Frankly speaking, I’m not looking forward to it. Without the brilliant reason Mark Twain gave, I don’t fear the fullstop called death.

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    • I agree, Federico. Dying is one thing, but doing so in pain and suffering is entirely different. I think that’s why I support “assisted suicide.” When a person reaches the stage you describe, I believe they should have the option to end their life.

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  4. Interesting post Nan.
    How could Twain have been dead before he was born? The I is related to consciousness. One with a lot of time in their hands would say the statement has a deeper meaning.
    I don’t think I survive my death, that is, the knowing self. What I am composed of, survives my death and is transformed

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  5. I would love “something more.” Death is hideous and unfair. What kind of cruel joke is it to endow these fragile, destined to suffer, and short-lived carbon life forms with consciousness and awareness of their mortality?

    This is most definitely not intelligent design. I disapprove. Vehemently.

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  6. Twain’s level of understanding was so far beyond that of the people who were reading his writings. So, it seemed to me that Twain was often writing to himself as no one else really understood him. My interpretation of Twain’s message is that one’s essence is eternal, that only the body died.

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      • Yes, sort of. The part of us that I am referring to is the real us, as opposed to the material body which, of course, we can relate to but is not us. If you lose a finger, are you truly any different than before? How about if you lose a leg? As for the mind, scientists have done all sorts of experiments but still haven’t found it. For example, when you sleep at night how come you don’t fall out of bed? The material body is really a projection of energy vibrating at a very low level, or as Planck said, “All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together.”

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  7. I like this idea: http://www.naturalburialassoc.ca/how-it-works/

    There is nothing close by me for this idea but this is one I prefer. In fact, my backyard would work just fine.

    Second choice, donation to a medical school. Maybe they can find out what is wrong with me. Of course, I’ll never know.

    The reason I like natural/green burial options is, I think in terms of our natural essence as natural elements returning to mix it up with all the other natural elements in the universe. And one day, won’t we all be cremated anyway? Hello, goodbye sun.

    Originally I thought of cremation but I’ve learned it is not as environmentally friendly as I thought.

    I do not think consciousness continues. If it did I wonder what its purpose would be?

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  8. makagutu: ….How could Twain have been dead before he was born? The I is related to consciousness…
    Would it be too simple to suppose that death is the absence (lack) of consciousness?

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    • He’s saying he didn’t exist before he was born and wouldn’t exist after he died, that he doesn’t anticipate that the latter will inconvenience him any more than the former did.

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  9. Yes, green burial is my preference. Take whatever spare parts anybody can make use of, then toss the rest in a hole, fill it in and plant a tree on top. If my atoms are going to go be part of other living things someday, they should get on with it sooner rather than later. But I won’t be there, so I really won’t be able to care at the time anyway.

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  10. Christians cannot provide immortality. According to them, everyone is immortal, all that is to be determined is the temperature of one’s permanent abode. (Scientifically it can be shown that Heaven is hotter than Hell, but facts aren’t an element of faith in that being “faithful” means “will believe shit without reason.”

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    • Scientifically it can be shown that Heaven is hotter than Hell

      Why else would its god take walks on the earth, “in the cool of the day” [Gen 3:8]?

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    • That’s Michael Palin, and over the years, doubtless many have asked that question. If you want to see one of the funniest movies ever made, check out “A Fish Called Wanda – I’ll email you the YouTube URL, as if I paste it here, the movie itself will appear and slow down the website.

      When Sarah Palin first burst onto the scene, John Cleese once mused, “And I used to believe that Michael was the funny Palin —

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  11. Learn something new every day. . Monty Python is a group(!); my exposure to them consists of watching Life of Brian a long time ago. .. 🙂

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    • Then you need to watch some some of their old skits – my son and I grew up on Monty Python. I would love to turn this into a Monty Python marathon, but I really don’t believe that’s what Nan had in mind (though it likely would have been a livelier topic – if you get what I mean, snort, snort –) – I would suggest you go to YouTube and input Monty Python/the parrot sketch – and take it from there.

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        • No, because I just discovered, after working over the weekend, that I can’t install my version of PhotoShop on this computer, as the operating system I use is higher than that version of PhotoShop allows, yet all of my jpeg files, needed for my new website, are totally dependent on my use of PhotoShop! I’m not excited, I’m, pissed! Urinated?

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        • I HAVE to find a workaround, and that doesn’t mean spending $800 on a newer version of PhotoShop – I have a grandson starting college in the Fall, and my money is for him.

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  12. Contrary to my parents and my father-in-law, my mother-in-law insisted on “resting” under the ground. Cementaries charge a fee for maintenance of their beautiful parks, but that doesn’t take away the nuisance and the expense – everlasting to boot.
    Burial is environmentally friendly and I also learned only now that cremation is not, but I don’t think it’s that harmful, and I will keep preferring it. My remains may be spread out, at no cost, anywhere – who cares?

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  13. I would certainly love to live longer as I wrote in my 42nd birthday post called Life, the Universe, and Everything in honor of Douglas Adams. 🙂 Ultimately, however, I cannot bemoan the end of my life, for it is a gift in my opinion to have it at all. Perhaps I say so given my privilege in life, but fortunately, or unfortunately, I am intelligent enough to know just how rare such life is in the cosmos. I certainly don’t believe we are alone, but we do know the conditions for life to evolve at all are rare. And I am fortunate to even have any awareness of the universe and a glimpse at the infinite. My atoms were forged in the heart of an older star than the sun, and that star the remnants of an even larger one. My organic material may some day make healthy soil for plants to grow and feed some other creature which may feed another and so on and so on. I am a link in a chain that began some 14 billion years ago and who knows exactly when that chain will end, but if I must go I will grateful to have been a part of it all…because so few atoms that make up this universe get to be part of a being that is aware for even the smallest blip of time. Has not even that momentary chance to appreciate the vastness and the awesomeness of space and time. And what better way to show that gratefulness by trying to make the world a better place so that more people can see how amazing it is? It is part of the reason I chose to be a teacher and the reason I was drawn to the natural sciences.

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  14. I don’t know if my attitude with respect to life includes gratitude. My religious environment taught me to be grateful to God, but after I became aware of my existence in a world without supernatural forces, I slowly realised that my (mankind’s) assignment was “make the best of it”. I keep trying to achieve that, without feeling grateful, because I don’t know whom or what to be thankful for. I hope this makes sense.
    I’m also nodding yes to your reflections.-

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    • Hello Koppieop,

      Your reply interests me and leaves me sad. You seem to state you were brought up, taught about God, but could not find him. You have then resigned yourself to “just make the best of it”.

      I would pray that you not totally give up.

      “Continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them.

      Do any of you have a son? If he asked for bread, would you give him a rock? Or if he asked for a fish, would you give him a snake? Of course not! You people are so bad, but you still know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:7-11

      The Supernatural Force of God is real, it can heal, and it can make you whole, just ask, and don’t stop asking until you get what you need.

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      • Continue to ask, and God will give to you.

        How did that work out for the Jews, with whom your god made a lifelong covenant? The Assyrians obliterated part of them, the Babylonians imprisoned the rest, the Greeks ruled them, and the Romans all but destroyed them. That doesn’t look too good on the scoreboard —

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        • If you’re saying there’s a remnant left, then yes, but that ration, compared with one of a people who had the creator of the entire universe promising to back them up, is quite small – 6 million of them in Germany alone, seem to have lacked that backing..

          The Bible promises that the Jews will become so successful, due to their god’s backing, that other nations will be flocking to Jerusalem, to join them in their worship of their god. Granted, they have a lot of neighbors in the Middle East just itching to flock to Jerusalem, but I don’t believe it’s to worship Yawheh.

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        • Alive is alive, and thriving is thriving. You would have to admit they have adapted quite well to the hand dealt to them. After all, contrary to your implied response, God never promised peaches and cream always. We fight for every good thing we have, including freedom.

          The Abrahamic covenant is presented in five key passages, Genesis 12:1-7; 13:14-17; 15:1-21; 17:1 – 18:19; and 22:15-18, and referred to in many others. The key passages speak of three distinct aspects of the covenant. 1) Many natural
          descendants 2) The land 3) Universal blessing.

          So, the story is still unfolding and the end is not yet here and Israel is more powerful than ever…

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_inventions_and_discoveries

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_technology_in_Israel

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        • The entire David and Goliath fable was to demonstrate that if their god is on their side, the small c an triumph over the mighty. After the beatings they took from the Assyrians, the Babylonians the Romans and finally (so far), the Germans, if that’s what being on their side means, I’ll just stand over here and hope that their god doesn’t notice me and want to be on my side too.

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        • What you say might be true, then again, it may not.

          The Jews are alive, and thriving. You would have to admit they have adapted quite well to the hand dealt to them, after all these years. Seems Gods word counts for something after all…

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        • I may not have fully understood – are you saying that your god’s covenant was only with those of the Jews who SURVIVED those disasters?

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  15. Greetings,

    “What do you think? Does the curtain close at our death? Or will we “live on” in some sort of netherworld? Or perhaps the energy of which we are made simply disperses and becomes, once again, a part of the universe?”

    Or do you agree with Mr. Twain?”

    First, I would disagree with Twain, seems like a self-loathing kind of attitude.

    Secondly, I would tend to side with those who have first hand knowledge. Perhaps someone who has actually died, and was dead for several minutes (no heart-beat dead). Researching near-death experiences will shed some light on the subject.

    The Pam Reynolds case is interesting:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pam_Reynolds_case

    Also interesting:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Moody

    Type, “the most famous near death experience” in your favorite search engine to get 4 million results…It would seem we might be body, mind, and soul. Perhaps the soul lives on in a different form after body and mind expire.

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    • Bobby, suggest you read this posting, and this one.

      Also, as soon as I get permission, I’m going to reprint a NDE that was shared on one of the blogs I follow. It’s extremely detailed and, if such an event actually exists, his description makes far more sense than any of those shared by believers. Stay tuned.

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        • You misinterpreted. It was MY suggestion that you read my older posts about NDEs.

          No hate. I just feel believers are under a cloud of misinformation and I try to bring them into the sunshine with reason, logic, and truth.

          As I said in another comment, I’m in no position to confirm or deny NDEs. I just don’t think they should be referenced an an indication of an “afterlife.”

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        • My bad, re-read it…And I did read the two posts.

          You say “no hate”, but it really is. Look up the definition of “hate speech”.

          Having that “definition” in mind it is true also I am here because I want to be. My objection is not the hate speech. It is disinformation.

          At the risk of being banned I would add that what you are doing is objecting to something you do not have. You do not have this thing so naturally you do not understand it. Not having, not understanding, does not make the thing not real.

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        • “… what you are doing is objecting to something you do not have.”

          Oh Bobby, I had it. I really, really did! (Did you read the very first page of my blog?) Of course, if you’re like many, you’ll tell me I never did. Whatever.

          BTW, whenever you visit a blog of a non-believer, it’s inevitable that people are going to say things that are against your personal beliefs. If it offends you so much that you consider it “hate speech,” perhaps you should not leave any comments because it’s a “given” that someone is going to disagree with you.

          Up to this point, I don’t see where anyone has threatened or insulted you. You may feel “offended” because we don’t agree with you, but like I said … that’s part of joining in on the discussion.

          (If you want a true example of “hate speech,” then I suggest you listen to Donald Trump.)

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        • Like I said Nan, I accept the hate speech. I have no objection to it. What I have is an objection to disinformation. Someone who rejected the message also stating the same message is a lie. You have every right to reject the message but you do not have any right to insult those that accept it

          Hate speech is a noun and is all speech that attacks, threatens, or insults a person or group on the basis of national origin, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

          But again, like I told Carmen. Your words do not hurt me.

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        • “What I have is an objection to disinformation.”

          What do you consider “disinformation”?

          BTW, are you aware that the actual meaning of the word is “Misinformation that is deliberately disseminated in order to influence or confuse rivals.” Are we confusing you? I’m quite sure we’re not influencing you. 🙂

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        • No. I really meant disinformation. As in intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth.

          Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, information that is unintentionally false.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disinformation

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        • So I ask again: what is the disinformation you feel we are providing? Was the information that Arch provided about Zoroastrianism disinformation?

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        • I responded to x1 about Zoroastrianism down below. Basically it’s an opinion. We are talking about events that happened a very long time ago. All we have are pieces to the puzzle, there are similarities and differences, there is time and access problems. So this and my comment down below is all I have.

          As far as disinformation I already spoke to that too. I have this thing that is very dear and precious to me. A thing I get and live and it sustains me. I need it. I fought for the freedom to worship my God and for you to reject him.

          Disinformation is the act of intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. Again, just because you did this and that, and have concluded God does not exist, does not make God not exist. And since your conclusion, through all your research, is not sufficient to deem God does not exist, saying so is disinformation.

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        • My name is not ‘x1,’ has never been ‘x1,’ and will never be ‘x1,’ yet you have called me that a number of times, since telling us how you abhor those who insult others. Interesting – is that mis- or dis- information?

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        • My apologies sir/mam. I’m Bob, what’s you name.

          I mean really, it isn’t Arch is it, really? x1 is two less letters to type. Please don’t tell your real name is Archibald. That’s seven more letters than x1.

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        • Why did you click that you’re responding to Nan, while asking me questions? Further, you seem to be clicking that you are responding to your own comment, while the text appears to be a response to something I said – is it that you don’t understand how the system works? I’m sure that someone would tutor you if you asked.

          My name is archaeopteryx – my friends call me arch – you may call me archaeopteryx.

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        • That’s it?

          The Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls. It goes a long way back and many smarted than us have debated this for a long, long time. Translated it meticulously.

          It’s very deep Nan, this God in my soul thing. It is very deep and dear to a lot of people. I’m not really apologizing for it, just saying it is very ingrained. It works and bears fruit and produces much joy.

          My point is, just because it isn’t for you does not automatically make it non-existent.

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        • Your name is not archaeopteryx and I have never asked you any questions. My very first post to this topic was to Nan. You injected yourself into our conversation.

          And I have no problem at all discussing any topic with you but you first have to realize that I am just as committed and knowledgeable about my belief as you are about yours. Getting frustrated will not move the discussion forward. Agree to disagree and end it and I will see you on the next one.

          I am bouncing up and down on two separate threads between you and her and I do not have time for foolishness x1… Get real dude.

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        • And yet we have another ‘Reply’ to Nan, seemingly addressing me – sad. It does seem as though you’re beginning to get a bit frustrated and hostile – possibly this isn’t the best place for you.

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      • Bobby, here is how “Scottie,” an individual without religious beliefs, described his (so-called) NDE.

        No religious component at all. The fact is I did not see a god, did not see a religious figure or a holy land of any book. I remember just before I coded feeling so heavy, there was a huge weight on my chest and I couldn’t breath. I was tired, so tired, and it was just easier not to fight. I was so tired.

        Then I was not there any more, not in the hospital ICU , not in our world as I knew it. It all seemed very real to me, but the brain has it’s own tricks , and I felt I was swimming in a warm pool, a comfortable and enjoyable place. It felt so good, no more pain, no hunger, no fear, no worries.

        I was very happy. I felt no demands, no responsibility, no harm, just floating in warm water, comfortable. I decided to swim to the surface. While it was a slightly brighter area, it was not the “bright lights of heaven” I hear some say. But before I could get to it, get very far, a voice, and the voice was female to me then, and so kind, so nice, said no, you must go back, you can’t come here, it is not to be. The voice was saying I had to go back, and as kind as it was, I did not want to … I argued why, but got no response, just you must go back..

        Then I woke up in the hospital ICU bed. They had restarted my heart and got me going again.

        I simply don’t know what happens in the brain, the chemistry, or oxygen level or whatever. My NDE did not have a religious feeling or component, just peace, happiness, no pain, no fear, simply being warm, happy, comfortable. I saw no heaven , no hell, no gods. So I simply don’t know what it was or where I was, I just know what I FELT.

        I feel this individual is credible so I would tend to believe his experience was real. However, it’s important to note he made a point of saying there was NO religious component to his experience.

        I am certainly not in a position to confirm or deny the reality of NDEs. However, to use them as some sort of confirmation that there’s a heavenly “afterlife” is, IMO, pushing the envelope.

        Liked by 4 people

        • Yes indeed! I love the story and it fills me with hope there is life beyond. God is not religion. Religion is man-made. The story of how we were wonderfully made has nothing to do with religion, in the derogatory fashion you use it.

          In your story the person, ” felt so good, no more pain, no hunger, no fear, no worries.” He then decided to move to the “surface”, a “slightly brighter area”, where he was stopped by the authority and told “you must go back”, it isn’t time yet.

          He argued why, “but got no response”. The will of the Creator will be done, in his time and sometimes prayers go unanswered. Persevere, hold-fast, HOPE.

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        • “The will of the Creator … “? No, the will of the human body.

          Stopped by “an authority”? No, just a female voice.

          Agree that “religion” is man-made. Totally. But then so is “God.”

          Liked by 2 people

        • You seemed to have glossed over the fact, Bobbie, that it was a female voice – I notice you deliberately distanced yourself from that by calling her, “an authority” – does it offend your sensibilities that your god might be a she?

          Liked by 1 person

        • Not at all. Authority is what it is. I picture God as neither male or female. This person in your story hears a female voice, another story hears male. One sees a male figure surrounded by light, another female. The Bible takes a masculine form to describe God but really, it is like an ant trying to describe a human. Jesus, Gods word, was a man, but he was born of a women. Both men and women seem an integral part of all creation. They compliment each other, the two come separate and incomplete but together form one. The power formed is unstoppable.

          You twist my words about “religion”. Not nice. Man-made religion. the rules and ceremonies made by man to serve men. God does not want “religion”.

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        • Are you at all familiar with Zoroastrianism? The Persians [Iranians] adopted it about 700 BCE, and the returning Hebrews were thoroughly familiar with it by the time the Persians finished helping them rebuild the temple.

          While Ahura Mazda created the universe and humankind, Angra Mainyu, whose instinct is to destroy, miscreated demons, evil yazads, and noxious creatures such as snakes, ants, and flies. Angra Mainyu created an opposite, evil being for each good being, except for humans, which he found he could not match.

          Zoroastrian hell is reformative; punishments fit the crimes, and souls do not rest in eternal damnation. Hell contains foul smells and evil food, and souls are packed tightly together although they believe they are in total isolation.[75]

          In Zoroastrian eschatology, a 3,000-year struggle between good and evil will be fought, punctuated by evil’s final assault. During the final assault, the sun and moon will darken and humankind will lose its reverence for religion, family, and elders. The world will fall into winter, and Angra Mainyu’s most fearsome miscreant, Azi Dahaka, will break free and terrorize the world.[75]

          The final savior of the world, Saoshyant, will be born to a virgin impregnated by the seed of Zoroaster while bathing in a lake. Saoshyant will raise the dead – including those in both heaven and hell – for final judgment, returning the wicked to hell to be purged of bodily sin. Next, all will wade through a river of molten metal in which the righteous will not burn. Heavenly forces will ultimately triumph over evil, rendering it forever impotent. Saoshyant and Ahura Mazda will offer a bull as a final sacrifice for all time, and all humans will become immortal.

          If you ever wondered where the Jews got their ideas for a a devil that fights with their god, hell, and a savior born o a virgin, look no further than this belief system that predates Christianity by 700 years.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Hell contains foul smells and evil food, and souls are packed tightly together although they believe they are in total isolation.

          That sounds a lot like the cafeteria at my old High School!

          Liked by 1 person

        • Ah dearest x1.

          There are many devoted Jewish and Christian believers who deny that Zoroastrianism had any influence on their religions. In their view, this would compromise the unique revelations from God which characterize these religions.

          But there are other believers who follow a more universalist path. To these believers, the “seeds of wisdom” are found in every religion, including paganism and Zoroastrianism. Every religion has its grains of Truth, seeds which can be sown and grown in the garden of a new revelation, whether that is Jewish or Christian. In this view, it is not only not wrong to adapt what went before into the new faith, but it is essential. Thus nothing that is true will be lost.

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        • That’s a nice rationalization, but when you plagiarize a creation story from the Sumerian ‘Ennuma Elish,’ a flood story from the Sumerian ‘Epic of Gilgamesh,’ a baby in the basket story from the Akkadian King Sargon, a lawgiver story from the Ammurite king, Hammurabi, and a devil, hell, apocalypse and savior story from the Persians, modify it slightly and call it part of the history of your people – I would call that disinformation.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Perhaps. But then perhaps not. Neither of us were there during or before. Neither of us know for sure what placed the ideas into to the minds of those who wrote them. If there is a God, a Creator, then he was there from the very beginning. A time before the Universe was created. Time? A very long time ago.

          This God, if he exists, must no doubt have a plan, a blueprint, and as any good architect will tell you is, you always plan for everything, down to the very last detail.

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        • Perhaps. But then perhaps not. Neither of us were there during or before.

          REALLY?Perhaps. But then perhaps not“?

          From ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh,” written 200 years before ‘Noah’s’ alleged flood, upon Utinapistim’s desemb-ark-ation and burning a sacrifice:
          The gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor and collected like flies over a sacrifice.

          From Gen 8:21: “…the Lord smelled the sweet savor“!

          I can’t possibly imagine that one might have been plagiarized from another, can you? We are all so stupid that we would have actually had to be there to know for sure. Of course, based on that assumption, we really don’t know if Yeshua existed either, do we? After all, none of us were there during or before —

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        • We have no disagreement x1. Everything you say about this could very well be true. But why is it? Why did they copy and why does the “copy” resonate today. Why does the evolution of the complete story take us to the Christ and Revelations? Why does something that was written, and took place in 2100BC connect to 31 AD, then connect to 2016?

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  16. +Bobby: Thanks for your concern but it is unnecessary. I think I’m a true´’ unbeliever, not because I don’t know Yahweh, God, or Allah, but precisely because that belief was presented to me and it turns out to be totally meaningless. That is what happened to me. Consequently, I have not the slightest intention to search for God. During the time my brain was being formed (I prefer to say “brainforming” instead of “brainwashing” because it simply was there, idle and eager to learn), I could not but believe all the information parents, school teachers, anyone else, gave me. But when my neurons started working – i.e. reasoning -, many of them proved to be intuitively unable to connect to some others, so they triggered other synapses, which showed me that the creation and almost all other biblical stories were exactly that. Manmade stories, aka fairy tales.

    “Make the best of it” is (for me) the opposite of resignation, it is a positive attitude. I know it seems arrogant to believers, but it is a fact. I don’t need God nor any other supernatural power to be fortunate and lead a happy life.
    Why do so many people still attribute natural pehenomena to the will of supernatural forces; what is it that prevents them from admitting that everything in the universe(s) is natural?
    I trust that you will not feel offended; the foregoing is intended to be an explanation of why you don’t need to pray, nor being sad for me. Greetings.-

    Liked by 4 people

    • Very well said and I take no offense what so ever. Just as sure as you are, is just as sure as I am. Positively, earth moving, tremble in your shoes, SURE. He saved me, spoke to me, raised me from utter despair and suffering.

      I was never brainwashed. I needed to know why and I found my answer. In my darkest hour, at the end of what I thought was my failed life, I asked and I was given.

      I will pray. And I will wait for him to move, however long it takes. If my prayer is never answered than that’s God’s will, I will wait.

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        • Yes indeed, he wins. He always wins and I want to be on the winning side. I need to be whole/ 🙂

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        • I’m sure, if I met you, I’d tell you that you’re just fine the way you are – no need for an invisible friend. 🙂 You’re already a winner; having a brain, good judgement, and a healthy regard for others does that.

          Liked by 1 person

        • And I’m sure if we met you would respect my beliefs. You would love me just the way I am. You would not tell me to my face that my Saviour, the one who saved my life and gives me hope to live, is a myth.

          It’s easy on the Internet to say things that hurts another, when face-to-face most would never dream of saying those things. Hate and discrimination is easy when it happens anonymously, sometimes thousands of miles away.

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        • I am sorry that it hurts to hear that, Bobbie. I certainly don’t feel that it’s hate and discrimination to share with others (especially on a site with common understanding) what I have found to be true, from researching and using good sense.

          It’s odd, isn’t it, that you feel so insulted? It would seem to me that something that gives you great comfort would be completely immune to criticism. Perhaps you need to stick to reading blogs that reinforce your own ‘beliefs’; after all, who subjects themselves to hurt willingly?

          Liked by 2 people

        • I’m not insulted Carmen. Not one little bit. You misunderstand, perhaps I didn’t articulate better.

          What you say does not hurt me. The hurt I feel is for you. It pains me yes, but it is you I’m thinking about, not myself.

          I stand by my comment, “when face-to-face most would never dream of saying those things. Hate and discrimination is easy when it happens anonymously, sometimes thousands of miles away.”

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        • …when face-to-face most would never dream of saying those things

          I would, in a heartbeat, and it wouldn’t bother me in the least. And there wouldn’t be any hate involved either. I have no reason to dislike you, unless you give me one.

          Liked by 1 person

        • If you are really, REALLY, being honest x1 then you are not like most others. Most others like me avoid confrontation with another person of differing faith. I believe what I believe, it makes me who I am, but it isn’t in me to confront another face-to-face and tell them everything they believe in is a lie. That is not what I’m called to do. Jesus said, “Those that belong to the truth belong to me.”

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  17. Just came across a statement by unkleE on a post by Travis R.

    He wrote:

    I read a book where an academic investigated a bunch of people who said they had experienced a vision of Jesus. I wrote about the book on my blog, and one of the people he had written about, whose vision was accompanied by a rather remarkable healing, wrote a comment saying the the effects of the healing and the vision were strong with him to this day (the experience had been quite a few years back). Now I don’t know what you make of such a report, and I admit his experience is not usual, but I think you could hardly blame him for thinking God’s existence is pretty “obvious”. And those who say they’ve experienced a healing, especially a dramatic one such as being pronounced dead (I have two such reports) and returned to full life after prayer, might think our hair-splitting over “obvious” or some other word to be missing the point!:)

    The part that stood out to me was when he said he had “two such reports” of people being “returned to full life after prayer.” Perhaps my thinking is off-base, but if these incidents truly were the result of “God” and prayer, why aren’t there more than TWO such reports? Were these such special individuals in God’s eyes that only they were allowed to go on living?

    Moreover, it seems to me if there were validity in these events, the news media would have been all over them … and the world would be in awe that such “miracles” had taken place.

    As it is …

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  18. I was clinically dead for a short bit when my C-section went wrong…I stopped breathing and coded shortly after the surgery, and then ended up on life support for a few days after. I was a devout catholic at the time with a strong belief in heaven and NDEs. You know what I saw while dead? Not one fucking thing. No light, no voice of god, no peaceful sensation….just nothingness. Honestly, if god didn’t have the decency to show up when I was dead, why would he show up while I’m alive? It was one of the things that helped me on my way to atheism.

    Liked by 5 people

  19. Hello Nan, thanks for sharing my NDE and understanding. Bobbie I wish to be clear, I don’t insult your beliefs, But I had NO sense of god, heavens, or authority of any kind. I enjoyed the sensations because I was an abused child and in the ICU because I was so malnourished my body couldn’t support life any more. I was very ill and already near death and had been taken to the hospital by my grandfather after I collapsed in a public place.

    The sensations and lack of time sense can be described by physical things that happen in the brain when deprived of oxygen, blood supply, and a wish for the brain to give me one last good memory before I became nothing. Maybe in my mind I would have stayed in that simple warm comfortable water for eternity, and in truth I wouldn’t have minded. It was far better than the world I had left. However again their was no sense of any kind of gods, heavens, or even authority.

    Yes I heard a voice, a female voice. However now that I have worked in an ICU, I know what happens when a person codes. I was not intubated, as I mentioned I talked after. Here is what I know must have happened. I stopped breathing, my heart stopped, someone, a nurse or CNA or Respiratory person, bagged me manually. That gave my body and mind oxygen. I was given chest compression’s until a defibrillator could be set up and put on me. that gave my body and my mind a blood flow and moved Oxygen into my mind again. Having worked in an ICU I can tell you hearing is the last thing to go, I have many PTs tell me things they heard, which I know were true, while they were under, or out. So the female voice I heard could have been the doctor in charge, a nurse trying hard to save me, or anyone, or I could have simply interpreted the movement back to living as my heart started again as a voice telling me to go back. Many drugs are used in a code, to restart the heart, to help the body and brain get oxygen and those also can effect the mind.

    If you choose to believe you will go some place special when you die, I wont take that from you. No one should. But for me the place I was at was special enough. No pain anymore, no hunger, no hurt, no duty, no worries, no FEAR, no responsibility. Just peace in warm comfortable water. No Gods, no heavens, no pearly gates or cities with streets of gold, no devils or flames, no real need. For me looking back it seems my mind was shutting down and giving me the one last gift it could, a relief from my problems and my life. If that fits your version of heaven or God, then please be welcome to it. But It was not a god of any holy book that I woke up to, it was a doctor, a team of nurses, and some very worried and tired people who had restarted a boy that simply couldn’t go on and simply gave up and quit. many hugs

    Liked by 3 people

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