Death

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MAKER
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Death

Postby MAKER » 19 May 2014 09:10

I am curious to see how other Lucid Dreamers view death and the (possible) hereafter.

I've always wondered what may or may not happen after, but a recent experience has me intrigued more than usual:

I was at a beach hotel with my GF two weeks ago, and after settling in and getting ready to go down to the shore, I had a very strong unnerving Deja Vu. I felt as if I had been there before, but that I was going to die that night. It was the most profound Deja Vu I have felt to date. Weird, right? Well, at about 3am, I got extremely hot, light headed, and felt like I was going to puke...so I went to the oval office and popped a squat next to the immaculately clean hotel toilet :lol: . While squatting next to the John, I got even hotter (it was cold inside and outside of the room, but I could liken it to the feeling of being on the verge of spontaneous combustion) and I started puking. Then after a good Ralph, my vision was reduced to nothing but dimmed tunnel vision, I was even more extremely light-headed, and I felt as if I was going to pass out (all while getting hotter and hotter), which brought forth the memory of the Deja Vu, which then led to the thought that I was actually going to die at that moment (justified in my mind by how I felt, and how the feeling was worsening). And in that moment, I felt the most overwhelming and consuming feeling of peace, content, and curiosity. The only way I could explain the feeling, is that I felt ready and willing. Obviously I didn't die...unless I did, and somehow I was transported to an alternate dimension/reality :D ... but the experience has me thinking about our mortality, and what possibly lies at the end of the path.

Personally, I'd like to wishfully think that after bodily death, consciousness continues to have some form of experience, whether it be similar to the Tibetan Book of The Dead or something reminiscent of a very long LD like in Waking Life.
But when thinking about it, nihilism, or the absence of experience, doesn't seem all that bad either...but I guess it couldn't be good or bad, since there would be no subjective experience of the nothingness :) . Perhaps even a seemingly long psychedelic experience upon the release of DMT into our dying brain could be an option...

There's many beliefs, philosophies, experiences (NDEs), and a whole lot of wishful thinking on the matter, but I'm curious to get some different perspectives from other dreamers; please share any of your thoughts and experiences.

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Summerlander
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Re: Death

Postby Summerlander » 19 May 2014 11:23

I've had my fair share of intriguing experiences of the sort. And I do think that the process of dying entails a pseudo-afterlife if endorphins and endogenous psychedelics (such as DMT) are released by the brain in its last-ditch attempt to survive. (This scenario may manifest provided that your brain doesn't get completely destroyed in a split second, as is the case in explosions.)

But notice that I said "pseudo-afterlife." At that point, despite the ostensible reality of leaving your earthly body and of going somewhere else, you are experiencing nothing but a strong illusion. And the lucid illusion will last for as long as the brain is active, before eventually fading into an ordinary dream, and, before you know it, oblivion.

I am compelled to have this view given the overwhelming neuroscientific evidence that, damaging areas of the brain can seriously impair your mental faculties - including consciousness and the sense of self. (It seems to me that these two are illusorily begotten by all the different types of memory.)

So, there you go. So far, the materialistic stance is winning and it doesn't look like it's going to change. And you are right, wishful thinking plays a massive role when it comes to believing in the hereafter. We all want to think that we will meet up with the lucid version of grandma before she was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and died.

Just the other day I dreamt about having a conversation with my deceased stepfather. That made me think, "I must be dreaming," but I still had doubts which just shows that I wasn't all there either. So, I decided to see if my hand would go through a table nearby - which it did. (As if my stepfather's presence wasn't enough!) Lucidity didn't last long either for I proceeded to tell a dream character resembling my mother that my stepfather was alive and that it had to be him for real because he was eating cheddar cheese. (I woke up with a "wtf?!")

The point is, even us living people are not as alive or as conscious as we think we are sometimes. Very soon, in the science forum, I will post an essay about brain activity and mental faculties...

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"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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MAKER
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Re: Death

Postby MAKER » 19 May 2014 19:46

Summerlander wrote:But notice that I said "pseudo-afterlife." At that point, despite the ostensible reality of leaving your earthly body and of going somewhere else, you are experiencing nothing but a strong illusion. And the lucid illusion will last for as long as the brain is active, before eventually fading into an ordinary dream, and, before you know it, oblivion.


I've pondered the idea that this may be the case, and as I played with idea, I wonder if it is possible that during the DMT induced pseudo-afterlife that time is so skewed, that it may seem an eternity (although it took say, for example, 15 minutes for complete brain-death and then consequently nothingness).

Summerlander wrote:I am compelled to have this view given the overwhelming neuroscientific evidence that, damaging areas of the brain can seriously impair your mental faculties - including consciousness and the sense of self. (It seems to me that these two are illusorily begotten by all the different types of memory.)

So, there you go. So far, the materialistic stance is winning and it doesn't look like it's going to change.


Whoa there, Mr. Science! :D I don't think there is a contest, although each side of the argument may want to be right.

Couldn't it be possible, just for conversation since science has yet to thoroughly explore this realm due to present limitations, that the human brain is the means through which consciousness expresses itself in a human form? In other words, the physical brain is likened to a computer and consciousness likened to the operator. From this standpoint, if the "computer" were to be damaged, yet still somewhat operable, the "operator" would be limited in forms of expression. I wonder if quantum mechanics, or whatever new understanding in the future will resolve the quarrel between science and the more spiritual concepts of our subjective experience.

Summerlander wrote:Very soon, in the science forum, I will post an essay about brain activity and mental faculties...


I'm looking forward to reading it. And thanks for the response, very interesting to think about.

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HAGART
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Death

Postby HAGART » 20 May 2014 03:48

(I started to blab and rant, but I like this and I've missed a good talk about life and death here on this site, so I just went for it. It's still the tip of the iceberg and getting things off my chest. We could all write our own books about it and our views!)

I had a few far out experiences that others have dubbed 'Panic Attacks'.

I was sober at the time, but it can be compared to a psychedelic trip with delusions (did that a few times so know what I'm talking about), or even running a high fever. The two are very similar and anyone who lucid dreams is not afraid to admit they are a natural 'tripper'.

I did have a bad 'Panic Attack' back in December 2011. It was "hangover-induced" and my body must have been depleted of vitamins that I pissed out or something, but I was not well, and looking back, my body was probably in some sort of 'shock'. My mouth was like a desert, and my body would swing between heating up to the point of spontaneous combustion, and freezing into an icicle.

But my mind was active, and I tell you, I had the feeling that I was not 'here' and that I was in a machine and that all of life was just an illusion. It reminded me of The Matrix. I was out in public at the time and looked around at everyone and realized, their thoughts don't exist! And neither do mine! Once a thought happens it is gone and it is only remembered but that too is a thought and it's an endless spiral in time that can never be pinpointed! :o :shock: :o :shock: :o (head nearly exploded).

I'm better now.... but I still believe that I saw 'the truth'. Even though I admit I was delusional.

How does this relate to thought (living), or absence of thought (death). ?

My little paragraph doesn't explain the impact and my lucid dreaming has carried this same mentality forward and I think I am starting to come up with the answer.... I had a revelation while watching a bird this morning and this explains it in a more visual way.

I watched a bird outside a large glass sliding door, and watched it hop along, it's head jerking in precise motions, searching for scrap, thread-like pieces it has been programmed for to take in its mouth and fly off with to put together in a configuration we humans call a 'nest'. The bird has no idea what it's doing, but does it so well. Better than we humans! Have you ever tried to build a nest with your mouth using only dead grass?! NO!

Birds are robots. The universe and reality can be explained with mathematics, and a complex series of 'cause and effect'.

Self Awareness, although seems magical to us, is just part of the same equation. Even ravens, another bird, is said to be self-aware and mourns death.

So after all that, my view on life and death is that we are just biological machines running rampant with only the sheer appearance of being sentient with free will. We're just ants in a colony! When I die it will have as much impact on the universe as a bird that mistakenly flies into a clean, transparent window, lands on the ground with a concussion, loses consciousness, 'dies', and gets eaten by ants...... and the cycle continues and the program goes on......


(I only scratched the surface with my rant, but I like these discussions, and although it sounds depressing, it can actually be inspirational, because it also means now is the only time you know for sure that you have, and live it to the greatest, fullest potential! And how can one fear death when it happens billions of times a day on this planet alone without a second thought?! :D )
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Re: Death

Postby MAKER » 20 May 2014 04:29

HAGART wrote:So after all that, my view on life and death is that we are just biological machines running rampant with only the sheer appearance of being sentient with free will. When I die it will have as much impact on the universe as a bird that mistakenly flies into an immaculate window, lands on the ground in a concussion and gets eaten by ants...... and the cycle continues and the program goes on......


I like how you put that it's all mathematics, just some big machine (like the matrix). But to be honest, it kind of irks me. To what end? For what purpose? Who/what/how was this machine set in motion?

I was reading something today that was similar in premise... Does a bacteria cell have consciousness, free-will, or a "soul?" Does a mosquito go to an afterlife after death? We are not much different than any other organism on this planet, just a huge conglomerate of cells dancing to the tune of chemical reactions. It doesn't leave much to imagine for a "hereafter."

HAGART wrote:and although it sounds depressing, it can actually be inspirational, because it also means now is the only time you know for sure that you have, and live it to the greatest, full potential!


Nope, it's 100% depressing :lol: . And if we truly are just robots that are purely controlled by chemicals, with no free-will, to what potential can we live to? The best we can strive for is to be content with whatever life circumstance we face, yet we can't strive for that out of free-will since that's just an illusion. And just a thought, but if nihilism is the case, and our life experiences, memories, etc are erased at the moment of death, why have the experience in the first place? What is the "I" that had the experience, and what happens to that "I?"

Very intriguing reading your thoughts. I like where this discussion is going so far! :ugeek:

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HAGART
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Re: Death

Postby HAGART » 20 May 2014 05:07

I've been down that road of depression, constantly questioning "I", and comparing it to other "I"s in all the many forms the universe has sprouted whether it be a dog or a human, or everything in between.

But there is no line, only shades of gray.

"I" is a mental construct and no different from any other living thing that had developed a sense of self. It was just an illusion. Do you feel bad when you eat celery? Do you feel worse when you eat a lamb shank? It's all because of emotion and our empathy for other things. (I must admit I feel worse for a lamb than a stalk of celery but both wanted to live. There is no logic and despite my coming to the fruition that I am a robot, I still struggle with empathy and that's my hurdle to true enlightenment and free from mental suffering).

Back to lucid dreaming... I have asked my dream characters about all this and have many answers, but need to look them up. I know you would be interested.

I remember one when I asked, (I paraphrase) "What's the point of learning and bettering oneself if we are all going to perish and die in the end and all is forgotten?" (Thinking it's a waste of time)

He answered: "It makes your life better here and now" (It's not to get a better place in the after life but to improve the "Now-Life".)

(I still go through mood swings and get depressed and I am by no means an inspirational speaker! LOL! SAD.) (I say this stuff to myself to keep it in perspective and keep me upbeat.... pathetic, I know!)

P.S. This bewildered me for the past few days. I heard there are more bacteria in your body living free than cells in your own body. (not sure if that's true or not, but if so) We are like a microchasm of planet Earth! Makes you question who you really are if your own body is mostly not you and where does 'you' or 'I' begin and where does it end with every breath changes you body's makeup at the atomic level.......

(I have a challenge for you. Point to yourself. Simple right? Now think again about your 'true self' and point again.... you're not pointing at your toes or your stomach, and are probably pointing at your brain.... but that's still not you! Where the heck are you?!??!?)

:o (my head exploded so many times, but I think there is a light at the end of this tunnel so to speak.... but it's love for the here and now and past and future don't exist so it's a waste of energy to worry)

I say that, but am still in the same boat and wish my internal voice would say that!

How can you go anywhere after you die if you were never "here"?
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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HAGART
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Re: Death

Postby HAGART » 20 May 2014 05:41

I pose so many questions with no answers.

I should gather my thoughts one day instead of ranting online, but this is good fun and a way to express ourselves, so no apologies.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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MAKER
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Re: Death

Postby MAKER » 20 May 2014 06:29

HAGART wrote:I pose so many questions with no answers.

I should gather my thoughts one day instead of ranting online, but this is good fun and a way to express ourselves, so no apologies.


Honestly, I think that's all there is...questions upon questions. Like the Socrates, the more I know, the more I know nothing premise.

HAGART wrote:(I have a challenge for you. Point to yourself. Simple right? Now think again about your 'true self' and point again.... you're not pointing at your toes or your stomach, and are probably pointing at your brain.... but that's still not you! Where the heck are you?!??!?)


Challenge accepted...but not accomplished :D .

I've often thought about this through the reading of eastern philosophies, but still don't know what the "I" is, other than the personal experiential awareness that is separate from others personal experiential awareness, although I guess this could be seen as an illusion as well... story of my life: lost in the proverbial sauce :lol: .

HAGART wrote:
He answered: "It makes your life better here and now" (It's not to get a better place in the after life but to improve the "Now-Life".)


Interesting.
Love this aspect of LDing. It's almost like we have a direct internet connection of esoteric information, at least it's more intriguing when I think of it in that way. I'm incubating my next LD to "show me what happens after bodily death."

If life is the rise and fall of chemical reactions with no true self, makes it fairly shitty if you're born a slave, with a severe untreatable disease, or possibly one of the millions of children that die from starvation each year. But perhaps the human desire for there to be more to life is a direct result of all the suffering that each individual undergoes.
I wonder what evolutionary advantage there is to this line of thinking. If there is no "I," what advantage is there to having the illusion of? It's perfectly plausible that we are "robots," and in terms of survival, there is no real need to be self-aware, so what role does this play? I'm not arguing for either or of the debate, but trying to gain a better grasp of these concepts by picking other LDers brains.

Keep ranting, I don't get many thought-provoking conversations like this in my "normal" social life... specially not about morbid subjects like death :) .
Last edited by MAKER on 20 May 2014 06:40, edited 1 time in total.

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MAKER
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Re: Death

Postby MAKER » 20 May 2014 06:39

HAGART wrote:How can you go anywhere after you die if you were never "here"?


Forgot to respond to this question. I know there is a subjective experience that is personal to me. How? I'm having a self-aware experience, and have been since I can remember. It is my experience. I can share my experience with you, but you cannot experience my experience, nor I yours. And even if you could experience my experience, or I yours, they still would not be the same because we both subjectively filter our experiences in different ways.

Summerlander wrote:including consciousness and the sense of self. (It seems to me that these two are illusorily begotten by all the different types of memory.)


True, if there were no memories, there would be no memory of the sense of self, but there would still be an experience being experienced.

Even if there were to be an experience beyond this earthly form, it couldn't be human, since the human form dies and returns to dust.

As with the example of the cells, could it be that they as well have a consciousness? We can't up and ask them, but could it be assumed that cells too have some sort of experience? Perhaps consciousness could be the "matrix" or "machine" that gives rise to any experience. But that would require that consciousness give rise to matter and not vice versa, wouldn't it?

I don't know if I articulated that idea in an understandable way, but I tried! :mrgreen:

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Re: Death

Postby HAGART » 20 May 2014 07:47

I like this talk too, but need to go to sleep, and you know the expression 'sleep on it'. It works, lucid or not!

MAKER wrote:It's perfectly plausible that we are "robots," and in terms of survival, there is no real need to be self-aware, so what role does this play?


Excellent questions and I wonder why dreams or lucid dreams have an evolutionary advantage either. It could just be a bi-product of our insatiable desire to understand and our ability to see patterns, and our ability to hold places and objects in our minds, (object permanence).

That's what gave us an evolutionary advantage over other monkeys. Still acting like idiots rioting after soccer games and voting for morons in politics, but a step above other monkeys. ;)

But I feel it's Pattern Recognition and Object Permanence that makes us seem smarter than the average ape or ant, and with that, we can actually remember and analyze our dreams!

(I'm going to sleep on that, and didn't touch the surface of what you said.... good talk though and this is just the start, I can feel it!) :D
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.


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