Reflecting On Death

by Charles Gillette 23 Replies latest jw friends

  • Charles Gillette
    Charles Gillette

    Who said it? Reflecting on death. I can't remember, maybe Steve Jobs before he died.I thought I would share it with you and see what you think about it, and I'm quoting I think from his book.

    "I'm about fifty-fifty on believing in God. For most of my life, I've felt that there must be more to our own existence than meets the eye.

    I might be overestimating the odds 50/50 out of a desire to believe in an afterlife. I like to think that something survives after you die. It is strange to think that you accumulate all this experience, and maybe a little wisdom, and it all goes away.

    So I really want to believe that something survives, that maybe your consciousness endures. But, on the other hand, perhaps it is like an on and off switch,"click" and your gone".

    So, for me I no longer think in terms of a belief system.Yet we all hunger for a better life that can endure with happiness.But really do we want to go on and on and on with no end in sight, I don't know I only know what I have experienced in this life for the past 73 years. It's been a struggle because of the 33 years as a watchtower slave 1969 to 2002 when I Joined Simon's site back in 2002.

    Your thought will be appreciated,thank you.


  • DesirousOfChange

    I like to think that something survives after you die.

    I'd like to believe that also.

    I'd especially like to believe that there is someone Higher who really is "in control" and who has a "plan to fix" all of the injustices, f***ups, etc.

    I just don't see any evidence to support such belief.


  • WillYouDFme
    I just don't see any evidence to support such belief.

    Aint that the truth. Sadly.

    And no Jobs didn't say that.

  • Saethydd

    I've found little evidence that our "essence" or our "sense of self" carries on in any form after our brains die, but that doesn't mean we're gone entirely.

    Our thoughts, knowledge, and wisdom can be preserved in the written word which could impact the world long after we ourselves are gone. One never knows what will happen to our writings in the future, perhaps some great significance will be placed on it by the world as was the case with Emily Dickenson, or maybe future archeologists will examine our writings to gain insight into the lives of our generation. Every experience we have and record has the potential to help our offspring or our race go a little further, fly a little higher, and delve a little deeper.

    Even if we have not written much down our words and actions could deeply impact people we care about for years to come. Perhaps our words guided someone towards a path in life for which they are well-suited, gave them have the strength to carry on when they were ready to give up, or just helped them become a better person. If you want something to good to survive you after death, then look for every opportunity to improve people's lives for the better, and take it.

  • sparky1

    One of the issues that I see with us 'older ones' is that we belonged to a death denying religious cult. We were told that 'Millions Now Living Will Never Die' and so we never had to work through the reality of our own deaths. Remember our parents telling us that Armageddon was 'just around the corner' and we would never have to finish elementary school, then junior high school and then high school? Or they would put things off such as medical care or financial planning and savings because we would never need to take care of such things because Armageddon was so close? As young children we were programmed to put death out of our minds by the Jehovah's Witness religion because death would not be a part of our human experience. We were promised that we would be the first generation of humans not to face death. And yet here we are. Growing older by the day (I'm 63 years old ) we must now admit to ourselves that our time on this earth IS LIMITED and there probably is nothing else beyond this. We have been the victim of a cruel hoax and now must deal with the consequences.

    These two books have helped me immensely in coming to terms with death and life. I learned a lot about the human condition from them also. I have them in my personal library and highly recommend them. (My post pertains mainly to those who were born in to this religion and those who joined pre-1975.)

  • Prester John
    Prester John

    Accepting the fact that I was going to die some day was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    CG you voice a popular opinion on death. We value ourselves enough to think that surely there is more to it than this? We were handed this down from those who lived before us but death is the norm and rationally there is no alternative.

    I remember at the age of four and visiting friends with my parents where a car accident in the street had recently killed a five year old, a neighbour of our host. The sadness generated in this discussion taught me the finality of death. A dozen years later I had adopted the JW viewpoint and all the baggage which goes with it.Twenty seven years afterwards I escaped and thought OK we die but it was unreasonable to ever have thought otherwise.

    It has been and continues to be the most exiting thing ever possible to live and control our life for the time we have it, we can only make the best of the experience and not waste it on religion. But I seem to be an extremist here!

    One response to the shortness of life is art. We have enjoyed or rather endured the religious take on mortality, why not and reflect on what poets and writers have said about the value of our lives:

    This Quiet Dust was Gentlemen and Ladies

    This quiet dust was gentlemen and ladies
    And lads and girls;
    Was laughter and ability and sighing,
    And frocks and curls;

    This passive place a summer's nimble mansion,
    Where bloom and bees
    Fulfilled their oriental circuit,
    Then ceased like these.

    Emily Dickinson

    Who pondered deeply on matters existential. Thanks for reminding me Saethydd

  • Betheliesalot

    I watched his speech a few years back and a couple lines stands out, "Stay Hungry, stay foolish" and "always wake up each day thinking today will be your last, because one day you will certainly be right"

  • Xanthippe
    IS it so small a thing
    To have enjoy'd the sun,
    To have lived light in the spring,
    To have loved, to have thought, to have done;
    To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes; 5
    That we must feign a bliss
    Of doubtful future date,
    And while we dream on this

    Lose all our present state,

    Matthew Arnold

    Live well now and don't worry about things you have no power to change, including death.

  • eyeuse2badub
    I don't know I only know what I have experienced in this life for the past 73 years. It's been a struggle because of the 33 years as a watchtower slave 1969 to 2002 when I Joined Simon's site back in 2002.

    Amen brother! I've been around for 72 years now and have certainly had my share of happiness and sadness. I have wondered from time to time about what lies "beyond", always curious about what "beyond" is. I slaved for the wt for many decades. baptized in 1959 (age12) and mentally checked out in 1995 (age 48) when the long hoped for "this generation" ran out! Reluctantly and stubbornly I stayed until 2010 when my conscience fade began in earnest.

    Accepting our own mortality is difficult but inevitable. Having to make our own decisions based on real life was probably a bit intimidating at first but WOW the freedom from the wt is so liberating. Life outside the cocoon with our own wings.

    just saying!

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