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Nov. 18, 2016 at 9:10 pm

...And Christians who believe that death is just the crossing into eternal life with our loving Father.

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WordAddict replied...
Nov. 19, 2016 at 11:47 am

Wow, I'm glad to see how this conversation is going! Thanks to all of you for contributing.
 
@Lucy,

"It's the end of the trip and the beginning of the vacation - a vacation without any end."
 
This is an interesting way to look at it, but it makes me feel a bit unsure. Have you ever heard the quote, "The joy is in the journey"? It seems that you think life is more of a crucible of self-worth, and you may only relax once you reach Heaven. So, is death relief, or is it reward?
 
"Sometimes I think it's not death itself that's sad, but the "how" and the "when" of it. It's hard to see our loved ones suffer, and it's hard to be left on earth without them."
 
This is a good point; the how, the when. It is a fact to us that all things come to an end, but the greatest skepticism lies within those two words. Because of those questions, death is what keeps us poking and prodding at it, and we come up empty-handed, for it is the mastermind of unpredictibility. We may mold the world around us to our heart's content, but death is the one thing we cannot tame.
 
It's hard to be left on earth without them. Another reason for why I have leanings toward believing that there is an 'afterlife,' of sorts. Science cannot fathom how we can possibly love someone who has passed long ago, even someone we have never met. There must be some metaphysical 'string' attached to all people, one that crosses the boundaries between life and...wherever death leads. That is why we feel lost, hurt, when a loved one passes. There is still a connection. Death does not snap the string in two, but rather extends it into an even broader field of connection. For you, this 'string' could be a part of God—could be a kind of entelechy. While it is stretched farther, you may feel more alone, but you still feel—death has not severed that connection.
 
@the-mormon,

"So, in short, I believe death is simply a passing from this life to the next (a life which lasts forever)"
 
From this life to the next... Like the night nudges us along into the next day.
 
A life which lasts forever... Does the day last forever? No, unless the Earth stopped moving and you were stuck in the eternal light of the sun. But eventually, all stars burn out... Perhaps it is not a 'life' which lasts forever, but something else. A new 'life' that begins anew? Just because the sun burns out, and we are drenched in eternal night, does it mean that death is everlasting? Perhaps not.
 
Maybe death is just the flip-side, an alternate 'life'...the life which lasts forever. We can't see in the dark, however, so even if we are existing in this forever-life, we won't know it. We won't be able to compare it to the life we knew before.
 
@warrior,

"I have no fear of death, I actually look forward to it because then I will finally be with God and Jesus and feel the overwhelming love and glory and be with my loved ones."
 
I am intrigued by the religious viewpoints of life and death for this reason; "I have no fear of death." I find it interesting how you are able to visualize the end as something to look forward to, rather then to shrink away from in fear.
 
While you say you're eager to be united with Christ, there must be a twinge of uncertainty within you. Not fear—uncertainty. I have heard somewhere that people generally have a slightly positive outlook on their futures, but it's strange that death is the one exception to break this outlook (for most of us). This is where the uncertainty creeps in.
 
The thought of not being alone when you reach death must be reassuring. That if there is an afterlife, you will be accepted with open arms, and be in the good company of those you love. As human beings, we are naturally hard-wired to crave the affection and companionship of other human beings. I truly do think that isolation is the greatest fear of all, and death is what brings that isolation into complete reality. If you knew that you would not be reunited with Christ and people close to you, would you still have the same outlook towards the future? Would you still be able to say, "I have no fear of death"?
 
"To me, death is a flight of stairs leading to a door, but sometimes I wish it was more like an escalator or elevator."
 
A flight of stairs. An elevator. Something that lifts you higher, rather than beats you down. When I imagine death, I visualize beings sucked up into a night sky. Not plunging down into a deep, dark hole. Hmm...
 
@Teagan,

"Death, the one inevitable trait of everything consumes it as one of its own."
 
Death is all-consuming?—even of itself? I'm interested in the meaning of this. Are you implying that death is like the universe, that even if nothing else in the world existed, that it would still be present?
 
"Death would be relief from the hardships of society and humanity. These people are the only true people that can fathom and discern the title of death."
 
You describe death as an escape. That the only way to be free is to reach the end. Freedom, that is, but relief? I tend to think of relief as being a feeling rather than a state of existence. Of course, I have no evidence saying that death allows you to feel one way or another, but I'm curious as to what you think about the difference between those two words in terms of death (freedom, relief).
 
...the only true people that can fathom and discern the title of death. So death is relief. To someone else, death may be joy. It may be peace. Feelings are all relative to one's circumstances.
 
Escaping from the hardships of society... I think I understand what you mean, here—in this case, death brings detatchment. It brings isolation from all that is familiar to us. Are we giving in to our greatest fear, isolation, if we view death as an escape from society?
 
(Sorry for my far-flung explanations, by the way. I like picking apart people's words and trying to make sense of them, but sometimes I come up with strange examples to prove my point.)

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Nov. 21, 2016 at 1:21 am

@WordAddict
"If you knew that you would not be reunited with Christ and people close to you, would you still have the same outlook towards the future? Would you still be able to say, "I have no fear of death"?
 
First of all, if that was not the case then yes, I would fear death. If I didn't have some notion as to what lies beyond death, if it remained so mysterious endpoint, a question as to whether everything stops and goes black or if there is something beyond, yes I would probably be terrified. Heaven is the only thing that calms my heart. Yet as confidant I sound, right there is the slight uncertainty. There are many Christians who don't make it to Heaven, because they didn't believe with all their heart, for straying, for being sucked into the world. And that gives me the greatest fear in relation to death. I don't fear death, but I fear not being who I should be when death arrives. When I was at my first college party no too long ago surrounded by drinks and the smell of weed, my biggest thought was "what if I die right now, here, where I should not be, acting like someone I'm not, if I die right now...what if I dont go to Heaven" and that thought horrified me. That uncertainty, that uncertainty I felt at that party, that I feel when I stray from God, that is what makes death terrifying.
 
And when describing death, after hearing from ppl with near-death experiences, it is a sensation when you rise out your body, can see your body below and an angel comes to guide you. It's really deep, but that's a tangent for another time. Near-death experiences...

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

Sorry it's taken me so long to reply to this, WordAddict! I've been sorely neglecting online stuff for the past month or so...:)
 
I have heard the saying "The joy is in the journey," and I disagree with it. In my ethics class last year, I learned that everything we do is done for a reason (or at least, it should be done for a reason), either because it is a means to an end or an end in itself. While we may enjoy the means to an end (and probably should, if possible), we're not supposed to mistake the means for the end itself. We're not living this life on earth simply for the sake of life on earth, although life on earth is a good thing that we should enjoy to the fullest. We're living it in order to reach a fuller, better life, the one we were made for. In other words, we shouldn't use "You only live once" as an excuse to do whatever we want, be that morally acceptable or not. Instead, we should use "You only live once" as a reminder that we have only one chance to get to Heaven, and so use every opportunity for growing in holiness that we can get. Does that answer your question? Death is neither relief nor reward; it's something we must go through in order to get to our eternal destination, which will be either reward or punishment. 
 
I definitely believe there's still a connection between us and our loved ones who have passed on, whether or not we can really feel it. The Catholic Church teaches a doctrine called the Communion of Saints. Basically we believe that since we're all part of the Body of Christ, all members of the Church are connected, whether they're on earth, in Purgatory, or in Heaven. The only way we can really be separated from loved ones is by H.ell. We might not be able to see or touch our loved ones in Purgatory or Heaven, but we can still pray for them and talk to them through God. 

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Lucy-AgnesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 28, 2016 at 5:40 pm

There's a passage from the novel "Fabiola" that I think is kinda relevent to this conversation:
 
"Oh, for a ray from some unkown light that would dart into the grave, and show her what death was! Poetry had pretended to enlighten it, and even glorify it; but it had only, in truth, remained at the door, as a genius with a drooping head, and torch reversed. Science had looked in, and come out scared, with tarnished wings, and lamp extinguished in the fetid air; for it had only discovered a charnel-house. And philosophy had barely ventured to wander round and round, peep in with dread, recoil, and then talk or babble; and, shrugging its shoulders, acknowldege taht the problem was yet unsolved, the mystery still veiled. Oh, for something or someone who could remove the dark perplexity!"
 
And a few sentences later, it speaks of the Christian view of death:
 
"...One greater and better than poet, sage, or sophist, had made the trial. He had descended first into the dark couch of death, had blessed it, as He had done the cradle making infancy sacred, and had rendered death a holy thing, and its place a sanctuary. He went into the darkness of evening, and He came forth in the splendor of morning...From that day the grave had ceased to be an object of dread to the Christian soul, for it continued to be what He had made it - the furrow into which the seed of immortality must needs be cast."

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Teagan_JosephsonThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 4 at 6:03 pm

Wow! Sorry I haven't checked this in a while. Some stuff happened. I appreciate your description of my passage. And I do have to agree with most of what you have said. (This is off topic but i'll tie it back to what I was talking about) I have recently started to study the hero cycle. In this cycle there is a point where the character travels into a place of great suffering. A hel.l of some sort, then they return from this place of ultimate suffering and are wiser. Changed. I recently have experienced one of these great sufferings. Hopefully the only one of its degree. I in early December attempted suicide (I am telling you this because I feel like trust everyone in this forum though I have only posted once I have been following it closely) and was hospitalized. Since then i’ve tried writing the feeling one gets when they are about to end their own life. With no success. When I wrote that comment on your forum I was in my darker days. Thus the line and death would be relief from the hardships of society and humanity. At that moment death would have been a relief from the hardships of life. Having this experience has definitely made me has some sort of insight on death.

On the subject of religion i'm an atheist, this only helped make the idea of suicide more appealing to me. When you feel truly depressed you don't want to keep living, it would seem that even in the “land of happiness” suffering would still seem inevitable. If you want to see more of my work I hope you go to my writes on my profile, maybe we can talk more, @WordAddict

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WordAddict replied...
Feb. 5 at 10:11 pm

You are brave. I cannot tell you how happy I am to hear that you are here. I had no idea how terrible you felt when you posted that. I will never know how it felt for you just a few months ago. Please know that you are meant to be here, with us, always. I think seeing you post this today just made my week - I cannot express how relieved I am, knowing that you are okay. You can always ask for guidance or help here, there will always be someone who is happy to listen. 
 
I assure you, I will get around to responding specifically to the bits of discussion (I blame my procrastination once again). But I just had to respond to this. Thank you, a thousand times over, for existing with us, Teagan. :) I'll always be happy to listen if you need a listener.

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