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    We frequently talk about coming to terms with mortality. What does that look like for you? How does one come to terms with their own mortality?

    Do you believe in karma?


    Any form of post-life existence whatsoever?

    Ultimate liberation?



    I will let Gareth explain it.



    Hahahahaha lmfao!!!!



    I once had a magnificent chat with Arch on this subject.  We both had near death experiences, in cars that were definitely going to crash, followed by the actual crash.  Obviously we both survived them.  The common denominator was a feeling of complete calm and total acceptance, coupled with a mild curiosity as to what would happen to each of us.

    The time between knowing we were going to crash, and actually crashing seemed to take minutes rather than seconds.  During those artificial ‘minutes’ we both had time to accept the situation, and accept we were most likely going to die.

    Arch’s was in Texas where he catapulted out of a crashing vehicle, mine was in Vermont where the guy driving lost control on snow and ice on the highway, crossed the wide barrier and ended up facing south on the northbound highway.  That was pretty much the only difference in our experiences.

    It completely eradicated any subliminal fear I had of death.  I came to terms with my own mortality completely at that point and found that it had the effect of making me realise every day matters, every action matters, every person matters.



    I come to terms with it by constantly talking about it.

    Sometimes the conversations, usually with my wife, go something like this:

    Creamate or sky burial? I don’t know if I like the idea of having my naked body spread on a big rock waiting for the animals to eat me. My gonads pointing to the Sun and heating up. Wife then tells me, “you’ll never know, you’ll be dead”. Bingo! You’ll never know you’ll be dead. In my mind that is all there is . This is all there is. Once this ends there is nothing. There is death. The End. Cancel christmas.



    The report that you considered liking or not liking what happens to your dead body after you are dead, is indicative of the vague assumption that you won’t actually die.  You will.

    What happens to our earthly remains after we are dead, is really more about those who survive us and grieve when we are dead. If your family want a location set, so they can visit it and think of you, then they should have one.  Personally I don’t care what happens to my corpse – if there’s any parts left that still work, be my guest and harvest them for transplants.  Tip the rest in the trash, I’m fine with that.

    They say you never hear the gunshot that kills you.  This is most likely true, as a bullet travels faster than the speed of sound, so that by the time the sound of the shot reached you, you’d already be dead and unable to hear it.  That thought also forces us to realise when we are dead, we are gone.



    Over 8,000 kids will starve to death today. Anyone that believes in “karma” is a self centered idiot. My only concern about death is to paraphrase Hitchens “the party goes on without you”. I love life, the good and bad, dark and light. Consolation is that I won’t miss it a bit.



    The thought of Karma is pleasing as it ensures the baddies lose, even if it happens years hence.  Believing in Karma is harmless – it’s a way of putting rose tinted glasses on when you perceive annoying stuff.  (It’s also a way of expressing selfish satisfaction over another’s misfortune, without having to be perceived as ‘mean’!).  To all intents and purposes, believing in Karma is a way of adjusting your reactions to negative events in your life.  Optional self-hypnosis 🙂



    I think perhaps the concept of karma actually may have led up to organized religion. To help justify the perceived cruelty of nature.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by  _Robert_.


    @robert I think I agree with you



    WHAT????? You mean I’m NOT going to become a unicorn when I die and reincarnate?


    I mentioned this before but if I am to be reincarnated I want to return as a ladies field hockey pitch on finals day on a wet Sunday. I think I will post this in the “Happiness” post too.



    I would come back as a flying squirrel, lol



    Karma is a perpetually undefined term. Even the broadest meaning of the concept is extremely different per Hinduism vs. Bhuddism. But that aside almost no one gives a single definition and methodology that can stand up to scrutiny. Major problems include:

    The problem of bad results vs. bad intentions. One persons suffering by x is another persons pleasure by x. How to rate actions on a scale, for example, from 1-10. Are specific bad/good deeds met with the same kind of response? What happens if you action distresses some but helps others…is it all balanced out? Can you have a negative balance ahead of time (when you are born, or experiencing a negative before you do something negative).  how can you objectively classify individual acts. How can you properly work out the broader benefits and consequences of an action. How do you include the benefits and consequences that result from your actions after you are dead (and no longer able to experience the consequences). Must karma go hand in hand with reincarnation? Who or what keeps the balance books? Does karmic retribution insinuate a form of destiny or fatalism? Does it interfere with free will? Are the ignorant responsible for their actions (children, uneducated, mental problems). Does manslaughter or bad results as an unintended consequence of a slightly bad action count? Is physical benefits inseparable from physical benefits and consequences? Does luck or chance factor into it? Having a wave of consequences can lead to a far more distressful experience than individual ones added up…is that wave of consequences intentional? Does a system of karma require an intelligent force behind it?

    But it ultimately comes down to this. No one has proposed a system for classifying acts and consequences and then followed people and interviewed all the people they interacted with to see if this person’s accounting sheet balanced out. This is virtually impossible to do. Karma is, almost inherently, untestable.

    The only thing remotely similar to karma that can be slightly tested, is the emotional consequences you pay for doing things you know are wrong. That is, creating your own toxic environment by knowingly lying, manipulating, abusing and hurting others. It is extremely unlikely you can constantly do this and not be distressed by the environment you’ve created around you. But then, that isn’t cosmic retribution, that is simply the human mind and subjective experience. It may go this way for many people, while others may escape from the self-created-emotional-hell and those who do will suffer to quite different degrees. But this is why it isn’t the same as Karma: It is almost certainly dependent on a whole lot of chance/luck, inherited personality traits an personal psychological conditioning.

    No. No Karma.

    As for reincarnation…there is absolutely zero evidence of it and no way to test it. It is much more absurd than Karma.


    Daniel W.

    @regthefronkeyfarmer that Southwest Airline clip made me laugh. What a riot?

    @strega, so karma isn’t real, but we all like schafenfreude? I do!

    @davis, nice analysis! I do like the idea, however, that certain politicians, religious figures, and a few former coworkers, will be reincarnated as hens in a factory farm, over and over and over… Did I just type that? 🙂

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