So what do you think happens at the time of death?

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nownotthen
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So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by nownotthen » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:07 am

That is....what do you think the subjective experience of dying is? Does our consciousness carry on after death? Do I still have memories? Can I still do stuff? Do I still retain my personality and consciousness? Can I go visit my dead loved ones?

Or...since I know a lot of you like to say that there is no such thing as individual (*cough* ananda *cough*).... when my body dies.... do I completely lose the sense of "I"? What is my subjective experience then? Do we all blend into one big melting pot of experience? Do I suddenly realize I am God...and then cry (or continue to cry) for all eternity because I am completely and utterly alone?


I know that nobody knows for sure... But what do you think it's like?

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by kiki » Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:53 am

You'll just have to wait and find out, so until that happens you'll just have to accept the fact that you won't know for certain until then. And when you do die perhaps you can figure out how to let everyone here know what happens (assuming there is survival of individuality) - I'm sure lots of people would like to know as well. :wink:
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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Ananda » Sat Jul 03, 2010 5:19 am

what do you think the subjective experience of dying is?
The permanent cessation of sense perception, mind (and it's attributes), sense organs, vital organs and subjective experience.
Does our consciousness carry on after death?
Consciousness (in the form of pure awareness) is ever present, it doesn't wax or wane. Consciousness in the form of subjective experience (waking, dreaming and deep sleep) ceases when the individual body dies, but continue in bodies which are still functioning.
Do I still have memories?
Memories are the product of the combination of each unique body (and brain) and it's unique experience of space and time. Memories are not present before the birth of each individual body, and are not present after the death of each individual body. They begin and end with each body, and in some cases cease before the death of the body due to brain diseases and old age.
Can I still do stuff?
If you mean by commiting actions, then it is the body which is the agent of action, and not you, the Self. You have never done anything, it is the mind which creates the idea of doership because it identifies the Self as the body. You watch the body act, but do not act yourself. This is the way it always is and has been, for every single body. Actions of course can't be commited after a body is dead.
Do I still retain my personality and consciousness?
Personality, like memories, is a product created and accumulated by the brain through exposure to subjective experience and conditioning. Other bodies will remember the personality but the personality itself does not continue after death.

Consciousness is impersonal, it is the same for everybody, the states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep are common to all bodies.
Can I go visit my dead loved ones?
If you are referring to a heavenly type of realm where one's deceased relatives or loved ones are gathered then i'm inclined to say no, that such an idea is a comfort and commendable but is not a reflection of reality. Of course, your own beliefs about this are not mine to intefere with :)
Or...since I know a lot of you like to say that there is no such thing as individual (*cough* ananda *cough*)
Haha :lol: :P
when my body dies.... do I completely lose the sense of "I"?
No, the sense of I is not inside the body, the body is inside it. The sense of I is the witness of the body, it's permanent, this is your Self. All subjective experience of all bodies happens within the I, within you, you are the light in which all appears, you do not rise or set, the rising and setting of every single body happens within you. :D
What is my subjective experience then?
Your subjective experience is a combination of the body and it's environment in space and time. Subjective experience isn't really yours, but it happens in you, as do all subjective experiences for all bodies. The reason why it appears that you are only having your own private subjective experience is because the body sees from it's own separate viewpoint. The seer of the subjective viewpoint is also the seer of the body, and the seer of all bodies, this is you. When a body ceases the subjective viewpoint of another body appears within awareness, this is why at the very core of all experience is the very same impersonal awareness which you know as I. Clinging to the body's subjective experience because of identification of the Self with it is the cause of births and deaths (reincarnation) and the cycle of suffering it produces. Reincarnation is only true from the standpoint of ignorance of the Self.
Do we all blend into one big melting pot of experience?
The melting pot is you already :) You are omnipresent, all pervading existence. Everything that you see you see within your own Self.
Do I suddenly realize I am God
You can realize this right now! Turn your attention away from the senses, from the body and from the mind, and place it on the unchanging core of experiences- that which witnesses them- this is awareness, the seer, the Self, God.
then cry (or continue to cry) for all eternity because I am completely and utterly alone?
The Self has always been completely and utterly alone, but it is not lonely! It is called "One without another" because there is no duality for it or in it, it is by itself I and the whole of creation. Oh , it is far from lonely :) Every body is in me, every experience in me, I am their source and their substance! How can I ever be lonely when I am all? :) There is no grief in the Self, I see no other nor any apart from me. How can I be sad when I am everything? :)

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by HermitLoon » Sat Jul 03, 2010 2:38 pm

:)
Peace

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by dijmart » Sat Jul 03, 2010 8:35 pm

delete...I topic jumped, sorry.
Last edited by dijmart on Fri Jul 23, 2010 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
Take what you like and leave the rest.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Kutso » Sat Jul 03, 2010 10:33 pm

Why speculate about what happens at the time of death? Death is the last great mystery, and you are not going to figure it out until it's your time. In other words, a futile subject to discuss.
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Webwanderer » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:07 pm

There is a huge body of evidence from people who claim direct experience in a variety of forms.
what do you think the subjective experience of dying is?
It depends on your degree of clarity as to your own nature. If you've lived your life exclusively in the ego perspective, the immediate experience will be reflected in relationship to that perspective. The good news is you are asking enlightening questions that will help. Not so much in the answers you may receive but in the state of genuine openness to what truly is.
Does our consciousness carry on after death?
Yes.
Do I still have memories?
Yes. Some memories are stored in the brain, although they often get distorted with imagination. But memories are also an aspect of consciousness beyond the brain. So once the brain context is dropped the clarity of pure consciousness makes accurate memories available. Things that the brain has long since lost are once again available. Not only that but all memories are available from all experience as the connection to universal consciousness is enhanced.
Can I still do stuff?
If you can think it you can do it. The rub of course it that what you think you are doing may be just another imaginary adventure created from a limited perspective. Remember that what you fear is just as creative in experience as what you desire.
Do I still retain my personality and consciousness?
Consciousness yes. Personality not necessarily. The personality you now have is formed mostly from the limited experience of this physical lifetime. You may retain some qualities of it, but it's likely it will be blended with a more fundamental personality you already have. You get to choose.
Can I go visit my dead loved ones?
They are not dead. It is only the body that dies. It's likely that they are more conscious than you at this moment. The difference is where that consciousness is tuned. If there is indeed love between you, it's likely that relationship will persist.
when my body dies.... do I completely lose the sense of "I"?
No. The sense of being that we know as I is not dependent on the body. If anything that sense of I gains clarity.
What is my subjective experience then?
Your subjective experience depends on your beliefs. Believe in heaven and the pearly gates strong enough and you'll have them as an experiential reality. Consider greater possibilities and the pearly gates will no longer hold you. So as you drop specified beliefs your subjective experience broadens. This expansion may be unlimited in its potential. Be open, not definitive.
Do we all blend into one big melting pot of experience?
Not necessarily. It is possible that groups with similar belief systems create shared realities of experience. In yet broader perceptions shared being is also possible.
Do I suddenly realize I am God
More likely there is a recognition of common origin. What that origin is?
then cry (or continue to cry) for all eternity because I am completely and utterly alone?
Alone? All-One. Anyway, crying over anything is the purview of the ego that lives in separateness. I think the ability to live in/as/through unlimited unique perspectives is a functional trait to keep the boredom at bay.

WW

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by nownotthen » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:20 pm

Consciousness (in the form of pure awareness) is ever present, it doesn't wax or wane. Consciousness in the form of subjective experience (waking, dreaming and deep sleep) ceases when the individual body dies, but continue in bodies which are still functioning.
What exactly is consciousness without subjective experience? I've never experienced anything like that and I can't think of any possible way to separate consciousness and subjective experience.
If you mean by commiting actions, then it is the body which is the agent of action, and not you, the Self. You have never done anything, it is the mind which creates the idea of doership because it identifies the Self as the body. You watch the body act, but do not act yourself. This is the way it always is and has been, for every single body. Actions of course can't be commited after a body is dead.
So you're saying that there is no free-will....all actions just happen and we just....watch? That's pretty bleak. If I'm not understanding...is there another way of putting this?
Consciousness is impersonal, it is the same for everybody, the states of waking, dream and dreamless sleep are common to all bodies.
I'm guessing you're saying that, in general, all of our experiences are similar/identical. Right?
No, the sense of I is not inside the body, the body is inside it. The sense of I is the witness of the body, it's permanent, this is your Self. All subjective experience of all bodies happens within the I, within you, you are the light in which all appears, you do not rise or set, the rising and setting of every single body happens within you.
Uh...huh? I'm guessing you're saying that even after death, that sense of "I" will remain? Even despite losing all my memories, body, personality, etc...there will always be that sense of "I." Or in other words, every conscious thing has that sense of "I" ?

Your subjective experience is a combination of the body and it's environment in space and time. Subjective experience isn't really yours, but it happens in you, as do all subjective experiences for all bodies. The reason why it appears that you are only having your own private subjective experience is because the body sees from it's own separate viewpoint. The seer of the subjective viewpoint is also the seer of the body, and the seer of all bodies, this is you. When a body ceases the subjective viewpoint of another body appears within awareness, this is why at the very core of all experience is the very same impersonal awareness which you know as I. Clinging to the body's subjective experience because of identification of the Self with it is the cause of births and deaths (reincarnation) and the cycle of suffering it produces. Reincarnation is only true from the standpoint of ignorance of the Self.
You're saying that when I die...my awareness will just shift to another person's awareness? I'm getting the idea that you believe that this sense of self, subjective experience, and sense of "I" is eternal. Even when our body dies, we keep that sense of self and I....just the content of that self (memories, personality, exerience) changes. Am I right? "I" am just the feeling of "I." This is a constant sensation that is felt all over the universe by all creatures? Could you explain a bit more?
The Self has always been completely and utterly alone, but it is not lonely! It is called "One without another" because there is no duality for it or in it, it is by itself I and the whole of creation. Oh , it is far from lonely :) Every body is in me, every experience in me, I am their source and their substance! How can I ever be lonely when I am all? :) There is no grief in the Self, I see no other nor any apart from me. How can I be sad when I am everything?
How is that NOT lonely? "I see no other nor any apart from me" is possibly the loneliest statement I've ever heard. But it's possible I'm just not seeing it from your point of view.

Honestly, that all sounds pretty bleak to me. The idea that there's nothing about me or my loved ones that carries on or is unique is a pretty scary thought. I understand that we are all similar...but I'd like to believe that our experiences shape us and make us unique...and who we are in our essence is an ever evolving, eternal consciousness which carries on in the company of other similar conscious beings.

The idea that we are not actually agents in control of our actions...but really just a feeling of "I am" which watches our body react is also a horrific idea.

I'm just not understanding where the peace and joy comes from when people hold these beliefs. And I don't want to hear this crap about, "You gotta get rid of your ego! Your ego is what wants to carry on!" I like my ego! I am my ego! It's my ego which has grown, adapted, loved, and had fun. The empty experience of "I" is not a person...it's nothing. It's the ego which makes life worth living. Anyway...I'm sure that's blasphemy to say around here :) but that's how I feel.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by nownotthen » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:34 pm

WW

I'm confused.

You said in one part of your post it sounded like you believe that nobody dies...that people just shift focus from this bodily life to another sort of life....hinting that we are all separate people.

Then at the end of your post, you mentioned everybody being one.

I'm starting to think I'm misunderstanding the idea of one-ness.


I'm reading a book called My Big TOE by Thomas Campbell (Actually, I think it was one of your posts that turned me on to him. I'm a third of the way through). From Tom Campbell, I get the idea that we all arise from ONE...but we are all individual units of consciousness. I haven't finished the book yet...but is that a correct way of looking at it? The idea of everything being ONE and also having individuals?

I'm telling you guys...this idea of there being no such thing as unique individuals is really scary to me. It casts this cold, bleak shadow over my view of the universe.

EDIT

For example, Kutso's sig "I am no thing in particular. I am all" is terrifying! I am all!?!? What?! It brings to mind the idea of a giant living organism sitting alone with nothing but his imaginary friends to keep him company. Now, obviously that idea is steeped in mis-assumptions. But still, the idea that I am just a passing sensation which will eventually dissolve and bring me back to my REAL self which is EVERYTHING is scary.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Kutso » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:04 am

nownotthen wrote:But still, the idea that I am just a passing sensation which will eventually dissolve and bring me back to my REAL self which is EVERYTHING is scary.
But to whom is it scary?
Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that. Not that.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by nownotthen » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:24 am

But to whom is it scary?
To me! Nownotthen! The guy feeling all this stuff and navigating through the world. The guy trying to survive in a world when he knows he will eventually die and possibly vanish completely, wiping away everything he has ever done and leaving behind distraught loved ones caught in the same mess. The guy living in a world which offers fleeting enjoyment only to tear it away at a whim.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Ananda » Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:24 am

Hello nownotthen, thanks for the response, much appreciated :)

What exactly is consciousness without subjective experience?
Formless, secondless, spacelike awareness. Any description I can give is going to fall flat entirely so I'll just borrow a quote from the gita "The indestructible, transcendental living entity is called Brahman, and its eternal nature is called adhyatma, the self. (Bhagavad Gita 8.3)". Brahman has no definable qualities or attributes so it's essentialy pointless for me to define it any further.
I've never experienced anything like that and I can't think of any possible way to separate consciousness and subjective experience.
It is not an experience nor an object, it is you who knows experience. Subjective experience is the interplay of the body and the world, this experience is witnessed by awareness, and this is you, the Self (Brahman). The subjective experience rises and falls with the body, and the body rises and falls in the Self.
So you're saying that there is no free-will....all actions just happen and we just....watch? That's pretty bleak. If I'm not understanding...is there another way of putting this?
Yes, this is what I am saying. It appears bleak from the viewpoint of the individual, 'I can not do anything, I have no control!' It is not bleak to me, it is freedom for me, but I can not show you this unless you inquire deeply for yourself.
I'm guessing you're saying that, in general, all of our experiences are similar/identical. Right?
No, experiences differ for each unique body, but the states in which experiences occur or do not occur (waking, dream and dreamless sleep) are the same for all bodies. That which is also prior to waking, dream and dreamless sleep is identical to all bodies and pervades all bodies, this is the witness of all states and is the Self, I.
I'm guessing you're saying that even after death, that sense of "I" will remain? Even despite losing all my memories, body, personality, etc...there will always be that sense of "I." Or in other words, every conscious thing has that sense of "I" ?
'Thing's (or objects) do not posses their own consciousness, they are essentially possesed by consciousness, that is- all objects appear in one consciousness. Otherwise what you say is correct.

You're saying that when I die...my awareness will just shift to another person's awareness?
No, 'I' is awareness, and there is only one awareness. It is the substrate for all bodies, all experiences. Your awareness does not shift because it is not a form within space. There are not multiple or individual awarenesses, only one (without another). When the body dies it's subjective experience ceases along with it. Both the body and its experience are born and die within awareness. This is the same for all bodies.
I'm getting the idea that you believe that this sense of self, subjective experience, and sense of "I" is eternal
This is not a belief, I no more believe this than I believe in the sun or the effects of gravity. It's simply a matter of direct insight. Subjective experience is not permanent, but the Self is.
This is a constant sensation that is felt all over the universe by all creatures?
The Self is all pervading, like an ocean without boundaries or shore lines.
But it's possible I'm just not seeing it from your point of view.
This is correct.
The idea that we are not actually agents in control of our actions...but really just a feeling of "I am" which watches our body react is also a horrific idea.
But is also true! Cultivate mindfulness of the body and you will see that this is so.
I'm just not understanding where the peace and joy comes from when people hold these beliefs.
Again, none of this is belief. You can see yourself that this is so, as I mentioned in a previous post;
You can realize this right now! Turn your attention away from the senses, from the body and from the mind, and place it on the unchanging core of experiences- that which witnesses them- this is awareness, the seer, the Self, God.
I like my ego! I am my ego! It's my ego which has grown, adapted, loved, and had fun.
This is from where you see, and not from where I see, this is why you can't understand the things I say and have an emotional reaction to them. Enquiry is available all the time, so if you have no desire to enquire deeply into these things for yourself then there is no worry, the pull comes when it comes.

:D

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Webwanderer » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:49 am

nownotthen wrote:WW

I'm confused.

You said in one part of your post it sounded like you believe that nobody dies...that people just shift focus from this bodily life to another sort of life....hinting that we are all separate people.

Then at the end of your post, you mentioned everybody being one.
I offered a metaphor in another thread of a diamond with many unique facets. The facets are all unique and individual yet it remains one diamond. So it is with consciousness. Look one way and you are individual and unique. Look another and you are one with all facets in that the source of being, your core, is the same as all other facets. Unique and individual, but not separate.

Moving beyond the attachment to physical focus does not mean the sense of individuality is lost. It does however make the sense of separateness less pervasive. With a broadening of consciousness the concept of separateness eventually disappears.

Consciousness however, is always restricted by the beliefs it holds, whether in the physical realm or some other. Strive to be open to whatever is true. You don't have to know what truth is necessarily, there is too much to perceive from our current perspective. Just maintain a willingness to follow where it leads - and trust that where it leads is in our best interest.

WW

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by nownotthen » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:58 am

Ananda...

Do you subscribe to the idea of determinism then (For example, our bodies don't have free will...they just function according to drives/laws/blahblahblah)? To me this doesn't sit well.... It seems to add a sort of scism to things. On one hand we have the universe twisting and shifting according to a set of laws...and on the other hand we have awareness which is watching/feeling all this happening. It seems that if awareness/consciousness really is all pervading, then it would also BE the laws of the universe. It would be the driving force behind the change and development of the world.

WW...

I certainly prefer your view. I like the idea of my individuality surviving the death of my body. Have you had any sort of paranormal experiences? OOB, NDE, or perhaps memories of past lives...etc? Like I said, I'm reading Thomas Campbell and his ideas are comforting and seem to make rational sense (though I do feel uneasy about believing a few of his ideas), but I'd prefer if I could accept them as my own beliefs along with some personal subjective experience.

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Re: So what do you think happens at the time of death?

Post by Ananda » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:31 am

Do you subscribe to the idea of determinism then (For example, our bodies don't have free will...they just function according to drives/laws/blahblahblah)?
There is a kind of flexibility of will, a freedom for the body to choose, but not outside the parameters and confines of its immediate environment. The body is bound by laws, by actions and reactions, by cause and effect, it is bound to the products of its conditioning, it is bound by it's birth, by it's aging and by it's death, by time. There is no absolute free will for the body because the body is not free from limitations, it is actually created and maintained by them. So to answer your question, the body is bound by determinism but has the flexibility and will to make informed choices about its immediate experience and environment.
It seems that if awareness/consciousness really is all pervading, then it would also BE the laws of the universe. It would be the driving force behind the change and development of the world.
This is true :) Brahman in relation to the universe is Isvara, the creator, maintainer and destroyer. The controller, the enjoyer, the boundary and the base. Brahman is the substrate (cause) and substance (effect) of the universe.
All this that we see in the world is Brahman
This Self is Brahman


Mahavakyas.

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