Did anyone else develop a weird fear of dying and death after leaving JW? I recently left and have realized for the first time in my life that I’m not going to live forever. Anyone else have these same feelings toward discovering your own mortality? What do I make of this?
Fear of Dying
Yep, it's a mindfuck isn’t it? This question pops up more often than you'd think, you're not alone. Crazy to think how delusional we all were, can you even imagine trying to explain this to someone who didn't grow up a JW?
At first it was difficult to realize that I will die but as time has passed it has gotten surprisingly easier. I'm at a point now where I don't even fear dying. Even when I was in I feared dying because I was never sure if I did enough to deserve resurrection.
It would not be so surprising given how much death, fear and destruction the WTS brainwashes people with !
The WTS has been very much the quintessential fear mongering religious publishing house, exploiting people's fears, insecurities and ignorance.
Yep, it's a mindfuck isn’t it? ~Nicolaou
Nicolaou said it best.
I cannot explain how we (or any JW) becomes convinced that we are the exception. That we are the "special possession" of God Almighty and that, unlike the BILLIONS who have lived and died, -- we're not going to die.
Perhaps it's not much difference to those who spend $2 on the PowerBall Lottery ticket. Although,.......there are a few dozen people who have won that! NO ONE has ever won the WT Lottery!
A close friend of our family died last week. It was he who coined (at least here) the expression about making it to the New World "via the Underground". When the 1995 Generation change came out I think he realized that he was NOT of "that generation". (I have no idea what he thought of the Overlapping Generation.) But he was so deeply invested into the WT World that "where else would we go" was surely his mantra.
My parents and grandparents were all JWs. All thought they would walk into the New World without ever "tasting death". One by one, they have (almost) all died. We are at the age that we don't buy green bananas, and it's a real "mindfuck" (Thank You, Nicolaou!) to realize that one of us will have the chore/duty/obligation of burying the other and face going on alone for at least a little while.
Fearing death? Only that I am fearful for my wife being left alone to tend to things on her own (if I die first) and I worry about the legacy we are leaving behind for our grandchildren and future (overlapping) generations. Otherwise, I have adopted the attitude attributed to Mark Twain:
"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."
Splane: What do I make of this?
That you were scared of dying before. It is what the primary "keeping in" doctrine of the JWs preys upon and will always endure - a human being's innate fear of death. The org promises no death. That is what keeps those who are scared of dying from leaving and learning of not to be scared of living. The org capitalizes on a primal instinct. Survival
I would venture to say that you were scared of dying while you were a JW. Now you can start to be less scared of living
Your fear is about the life you have left and how it will all end. 'Cause we all die. Dying is a part of our lives. Life is short. Live well and live large
A lot of JWs fear death more than the average person because they fear that they aren't going to prove worthy to survive Armageddon.
That said, it must have come as quite a shock to JWs who completely believed the dates the WT set (I think especially of 1914, 1925, and 1975) when those years came and went and the "old system" just kept on going.
Love that Mark Twain quote DOC!
I have to say I really really do not want to die because I am So darn NOSEY I have to know what's going on! I wouldn't even mind being one of those FUTURAMA style heads! Just for gawds sake let me know what's happening in the world.
We are such inquisitive animals ( partly why we are a success) the thought of going to ground to " know nothing" drives me nuts....will we meet aliens, will we conquer hunger, will we stop mistreating animals...or learn to talk to them? Will we get rid of our national boundaries? Stop global warming?Will we Move solar systems before the Sun turns into a white giant and fries the earth? What will the music sound like In 1000 years? What will the buildings look like? Will The sphinx last? Will we be genetically engineered?
When Will we become immortal? Upload our consciousness to a hardrive, of sorts?
I wish I'd taken care of myself better,though that's not always a guarantee. You are not alone dear heart.
I struggle with this one aspect more than anything. I was given a sense of permanence for 38 years and now find out it's all bullshit.
When my mind gets quiet, right before I fall asleep, is when I'll start ruminating.
I like the Twain comment that DoC posted. I'm not afraid of being dead though. I'm afraid of not being alive anymore. In business they refer to it as FOMO, fear of missing out. I have that in spades.
I was telling me wife the way I see things today. I know the destination. It's Siberia. I don't want to go to Siberia but I have to. Sure, along the journey there I'll try to have fun, try to delay, but I know how the story ends and it's not what I want. It looms large.
I'm at least determined to make sure that I live now. What's worse is not living while you're alive. I want to look back and smile on my deathbed because I did what I could to make meaning in all of this.