Since I've come to the realization and conclusion that I've been living a fictional lifestyle for the last 17 years, I've also come to identify with agnosticism.
But one issue that's been taking it's emotional toll on me lately is the realization of the fictitious paradisiac earth.
It was the ultimate goal as a Witness- the answer to everything. Even if you had questions that couldn't be answered, you were to "Wait until the paradise and ask" when you got there.
I've centered my entire life around it; everything I do, and everything I've ever looked forward to...
While I don't immediately rule out the possibility of heaven, or the afterlife, I only "believe" in them on an "I'll find out when I get there" basis- nothing I would go out of my way in the path of life to conform to. I now understand that this may be the only life I will get.
But the reality of imminent death is something that's really bothering me lately... it's something that's really hard to come to terms with when it's something you didn't think would ever happen to you.
For others here on the board who have been through this "phase", what did you do that helped you "get over it", so to speak- if you ever did?
I realize nobody really gets over death, lol, but what things did you do, and what did you spend all your freedom and time doing to occupy the "void"?
I've spent the entire day just moaping around like a pitiful emo kid, rambling in my head about the pointlessness of life lol- how do you move on?
Try aiming your answers also for others that are waking up to reality also- as I'm sure many have and will be on this road.
Dealing with the reality of death. How do you?
I wear a football helmet and a big foam suit.
But seriously - I just think about the fact that if I were to somehow escape death, I'd be the first out of literally TRILLIONS of lifeforms and billions of humans. Given those facts, does it really make sense to have angst over death? It just is, man.
I don't agree that life is pointless just because you are going to die. If anything, just the opposite. If you were going to somehow get a do-over or an eternal afterlife, then this life would be less worthwhile.
I think I know where your coming from. The more I reexamine my beliefs and read the Bible without "Bible Aids", the more I understand agnosticism. I've never had an unhealthy fear of death, just an unhealthy fear of how I might die. I don't want to drown or get eaten by an animal. I'd prefer to get shot if possible. But as far as a hope for the future, I don't know what to believe. Ecclesiastes talks about the dead being conscious of nothing. Jesus prior to raising someone from the dead referred to that one as sleeping. At the same time Acts and Revelation talk about resurrections of the dead, both righteous and unrighteious, and a judgement for both, which flies in the face of WT doctrine that upon one's death their sins are paid for and whether or not Jehovah considers them worthy of Him remembering and resurrecting them. The Bible is too limited in information, and my outlook and belief system is too tainted by a WT upbringing. It's to the point that I don't know what to believe, and I'm aggravated enough that I'm starting to not care any longer.
If I die, so what. If I live, well thats great, but if not, oh well. Kind of like the saying, I can't miss what I've never had. That same kind of reasoning can be applied toward a paradise earth. In a cynical way I say to myself, "I'm a city boy anyway." Being completely honest, I find a heavenly hope more attractive than an earthly hope. The Christian/Greek side of the Bible's message leans more to a heavenly hope than an earthly one, and I find it more attractive. But if its not to be for me, well, so be it. I've had some good times in this life.
marking for later
I know exactly what you mean- it's a very natural thing, and nobody on EARTH has ever truly escaped it (unless you count Jesus? Debatable...) so it makes sense that I shouldn't fear it. It's just getting the opposite out of your head- I don't know your background, but when you're born being told you'll never die, and believe it for most of your life, it's hard not to automatically think otherwise. I guess that's another issue to chalk up for father time...
Yeah, we're on about the same page here- life pretty much just looks like a giant ball of haphazard randomness right now- I don't know what to believe, and I'm not going to waste any more of my life trying to find "truth", when reality is for the most part an objective experience, and complete absolute truth of anything is highly improbable- likely impossible.
Why waste your life trying to find "truth", or place yourself in the great crowd of the credulous?
And I'm also suspicious as to the divine backing of the bible... too many arguments as to it's legitimacy come in to play to really believe it. Such as the argument that the fact that it's lasted so many years without being destroyed as proof. This could easily be refuted by the fact that people were willing to die to preserve it through history, simply because of the fact that they thought it was a book from God. Then the argument becomes circular reasoning in itself... idk really what to think about all of it, you know? Oh well, haha.
This is a ridicules question. Former members of Christendom's Churches describe their existence relative to what they believed as follows:
Yes, life is too short to think you have all the answers. I'm not too happy about my mortality, and the fact I won't live long enough to learn all that science can learn about the universe, but reality is what it is. I'd rather know I went through my life understanding my predicament than to go through my life in a dense fog of delusion. Posted by tony62
it-1 p. 997 Great Crowd
The Lamb’s guiding them to “fountains of waters of life” finds a parallel at Revelation 22:17, which says: “The spirit and the bride keep on saying: ‘Come!’ And let anyone hearing say: ‘Come!’ and let anyone thirsting come; let anyone that wishes take life’s water free.” The “bride” is clearly identified in the Scriptures as the anointed Christian congregation, espoused to the heavenly Bridegroom, Christ Jesus. (Eph 5:25-27; 2Co 11:2; Re 19:7-9; 21:9-11) The invitation to “take life’s water free” presented by the heavenly “bride” class is obviously open to an unlimited number of persons, “anyone that wishes.” Likewise unnumbered are the “great crowd,” the vision at Revelation 7:9 thereby harmonizing with that at Revelation 22:17.
I can confidently conclude the “fountains of waters of life” have been thoroughly rejected by conscious choice by some, so why ask redundant questions? If you didn't acquire concrete evidence for God in Jehovah's Organization, the truth of the matter is there was something missing. What it comes down to in an organization where all questions are answered is what a person asked for when coming to conclusions for “evidence for God.”
For everyone asking receives, and everyone seeking finds, and to everyone knocking it will be opened. Indeed, which father is there among you who, if his son asks for a fish, will perhaps hand him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” Luke 11:10-13
So the question is; in prayer, what did you ask for?
I write you these things that you may know that you have life everlasting, you who put your faith in the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that, no matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he hears us. Further, if we know he hears us respecting whatever we are asking, we know we are to have the things asked since we have asked them of him. 1 John 5:13-15
Life is not pointless. The problem is that you are trying to think too far ahead. Just enjoy what you have now. Love strong, play hard. Whatever lies beyond this existence you will find out when you get there. What IS pointless is to agonize over something that no one has any way of knowing at this point.
The Egyptians made a big deal out of the afterlife. I think the JWs are a lot like them. Why keep trying to look over the fence because you think the grass is greener somewhere else? Why keep speculating on something in the great beyond and miss out on what is right here in front of you?
Get out and spread some joy to others. Do something that makes you feel happy. Make memories here.
I stopped worrying about death once I realized that I didn't even really want to live forever, so much as I was conditioned to believe that's what I wanted. It doesn't seem to be a natural desire built into me. The only reason that Paradise Earth sounded groovy, really, was because I figured I'd get to have a pet gorilla and a killer whale of my own. I'm not cut out to be a farmer, I love technology, and living in a smiley, dystopic Stepford society with people I really didn't like, spending eternity singing hosannas to a petty and childish overlord...doesn't appeal to me. Really, once you cut out the novelty of getting to hug a gorilla and getting to see your dead loved ones again, I figured out that I'd get sick of the immortality bit pretty quickly. You can only ride an orca so many times before it starts to become old hat.
Ever read Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting? It's a pretty thought-provoking book that explores the themes of eternal immortality, youth, and health. Just because I don't want to die now, doesn't mean that I won't be ready to someday. Everybody dies. I suspect that there is no god (or if there is, I highly doubt he/she/it is like any of the religious textbooks make out), in which case there's not much need to worry about what happens after death. In my opinion, you just aren't any more. That's not particularly a scary or bad thing; simply an absence of being. Since this life is quite possibly the only one any of us will have, make the most of it while you've got it. Instead of spending it worrying, create your own happiness.
"I wanna live 'til I die. No more, no less." ~Eddie Izzard
I stopped worrying about death once I realized that I didn't even really want to live forever, so much as I was conditioned to believe that's what I wanted."
I have seen the occupation that God has given to the sons of mankind in which to be occupied. Everything he has made pretty in its time. Even time indefinite he has put in their heart, that mankind may never find out the work that the [true] God has made from the start to the finish. Ecclesiastes 3:10-11
It's been my experience in communication with professionals in the medical field is people become rather desperate upon impending threats to their life. Talk is cheap when there's always tomorrow.
How do you deal with the reality of death?
Live a long time. Loose a lot of loved ones. Work hard and get worn out.
When you go through all of that, having gone around the block enough times,
youll be ready for a cool change.
If life is fresh and exciting dont think about death, avoid it.
I know a lot of people here are atheist, I can understand where they are coming from.
But I take the opposing view, of believing in Jesus and eternal life.
Not in a JW way but a biblical way, I've been out of the tower since 83.
Nobody has all the answers, so try to think positive and think about good things.
I choose to think believing in Jesus leads to eternal life.
Others choose to believe there is no god and this life is all there is.
You have to realize that nobody knows the answer to this question beyond a reasonable doubt.
So you choose the most comfortable answer with the best pay off for you and get on with your life.
Another thing I can add I do like Solomon advised in the book of Ecclesiastes he said eat drink and be
merry Ecclesiastes 8:15. The JW's twisted that scripture around and practically said you were a hedonistic
epicurean. But the bible says to eat drink and be merry because in the end your going to die.