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Old 2013-08-20, 06:30   Link #21
Seitsuki
Onee!
 
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Auckland, NZ
Ooh. I remember staying awake at night when I was 6 with the sudden epiphany 'I'm going to die someday. Why was I born at all then? What's the point if everything's just going to end?' For like a week straight too, then I apparently just forgot about the whole thing. Existential angst is so much fun!

Now I'm going through the phase 'life's pretty ok, 6.5/10, living is nice and all but eh not desperately attached either'. Or at least I hope it's a phase. I'm assuming this is is one of those things you get better at dealing with as you get older?
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Old 2013-08-20, 06:51   Link #22
Ridwan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seitsuki View Post
Ooh. I remember staying awake at night when I was 6 with the sudden epiphany 'I'm going to die someday. Why was I born at all then? What's the point if everything's just going to end?' For like a week straight too, then I apparently just forgot about the whole thing. Existential angst is so much fun!
Yeah, it's usually better to knock this door at earlier age.
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Old 2013-08-20, 07:26   Link #23
Qilin
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Age: 23
It's for this sort of thing that I appreciate the perspective shared by a good deal eastern philosophy. It has all the awareness of mortality without all the angst. In the first place, I never did like all the angst and despair that usually came with existentialist philosophy.
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Last edited by Qilin; 2013-08-20 at 08:38.
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Old 2013-08-20, 08:13   Link #24
Masuzu
« 勝利のため »
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: « キセキの世代 »
I first realised the concept of death at an unknown age while watching Powerpuff Girls of all things.
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Old 2013-08-20, 08:22   Link #25
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Age: 39
I first thought about it while watching The Empire Strikes Back. My mother took me to the cinema, just one of the very few times she ever did so when I was a child.

I remember asking her what would happen to the stormtroopers who died on screen.

I really thought they were killed during the making of the film.
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Old 2013-08-20, 10:01   Link #26
EscapeReality
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Kazamatsuri City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post


To answer your questions directly:

(1)
No, I don't normally think about death. It's not because I'm squeamish about the subject, but rather because I don't think about it as "death" per se. Rather, I think about it from the perspective of existence. Why do I exist? What is the meaning of my existence? Am I here for a reason? What should I do in the absence of a reason? If this is the one life I have, how should I make it count?

I used to dwell very heavily on these thoughts, when I was in my teens and in my 20s. I was privately melancholic and though I thought I hid it well, people close to me could sense my pessimism. One or two even kindly offered me the solace of religion, which I considered. I eventually felt that the answers were not to be found there.

I don't think so much about "death" any more. Not because existentialist questions no longer occupy my thoughts, but rather because I've come to terms with my mortality and have long since found what I wanted to focus on, the things that are important to me and which I enjoy.

(2)
In hindsight, I don't think I was unusual at all. I secretly suspect that everyone asks these questions, but not everyone dares to articulate them for fear of appearing morbid.

It's a great pity because I feel they are important questions to ask. It takes a lot of honest self-reflection and not everyone is up to that. It's not their fault. They're simply being human. No one likes to dwell on the end when the beginning has barely begun.

I strongly believe in the need to be fully aware of our mortality, on the brute fact that our time is short and limited. It's only after we have embraced this truth that we are able to push ourselves to make the best of whatever we have.

Accepting that life has no grand purpose is absolutely not the same as believing that life is meaningless. On the contrary, accepting that there is no divine plan means accepting that you are absolutely free to do what you will.

Your will becomes your purpose. There may be many others like it, but your purpose is your own. Rejoice in it, and understand that you owe it to yourself to fulfil it.


Seen in this context, death is nothing to be afraid of, not if the journey towards it has been worthwhile.


That's good advice - although I'm not sure if I've found the purpose I really wanted so far - and I agree with how we need to realize and understand the truth of death. It's a very neglected topic at school. My English class spent the entire year discussing various topics, and near the last day of school my teacher brought up death and she asked us how we would write our own obituaries. At that moment, the class grew very silent. We just couldn't fully grasp the concept of our own death. It's a concept so mysterious to us, because we never have given it much thought. I don't think we thought about it much afterwards either. Sure, it might seem a bit premature to some for high-schoolers to have these thoughts, but I agree that we would live out our lives differently if the idea of our inevitable death was fully internalized.
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Old 2013-08-20, 10:04   Link #27
Masuzu
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There isn't really any early or late to death, some people die before they're even born.
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Old 2013-08-20, 10:15   Link #28
EscapeReality
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Masuzu View Post
There isn't really any early or late to death, some people die before they're even born.
True, but they've never exactly realized their existence, so what would be the significance of death to them?
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Old 2013-08-20, 10:56   Link #29
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeReality View Post
True, but they've never exactly realized their existence, so what would be the significance of death to them?
Nothing. In fact, the idea of thinking about death itself has a glaring loophole : you can't do anything about anything else when you are dead because you don't know what comes after that.

Seriously, there are more important things to do than to think about it when you are alive and healthy - you can start thinking about death when you are close to it. If you really want to think so about it, it is preferable that you put yourself in a near-death experience because you can't understand something unless you get closer to it.

Possible examples of doing so are ingesting poison such as crystals extracted from boiling Chlorox, picking fights with your local motorcycle gang, taking a one-man trip into Pakistan.

Alternatives with pleasure would be engaging in strangulation sex, driving at 120km/h, taking legal thrill drugs such as OD on Subutex or Paracetamol with coffee, and stuntbiking.

For monetary benefits, go for Airborne, Rangers or Special Forces.

If you are not interested in any of the above or are too scared to do any, then stop thinking about death; you are wasting limited resources on Earth without contributing anything to society engaging in a detached philosophying without experimentation.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:01   Link #30
Xefi
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Location: "never say die"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
go for Airborne
went there and done that. totally not worth it!
Spoiler:
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:08   Link #31
SaintessHeart
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Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xefi View Post
went there and done that. totally not worth it!
Spoiler:
There are some regular combat divers who told me that they signed up for the thrill, and ended up learning about what death is. And these are the people who put explosives underwater and had to swim away from them within the preset time to avoid dying the water red (pun unintended).

Had my first taste of it when I was 6, had high fever until I KOed for 2 weeks. Next is a car accident in my teens by a hit-and-run. Never got to kill any human being, but I had silt the throats of chickens after catching them. After the 2nd or 3rd one, it felt......normal.

Think I still have a long way to go about understanding death.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:22   Link #32
Dr. Casey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
you are wasting limited resources on Earth without contributing anything to society engaging in a detached philosophying without experimentation.
Well, he did say that the one and only time he gave this any serious thought was whenever he was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, so it's not as though there's a whole lot of other things he could have done or accomplished during that window of time... and simply thinking about something doesn't use up perfectly good poisonous crystals, so it probably wastes less resources than some of the things you suggested.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:23   Link #33
SaintessHeart
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Age: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Well, he did say that the one and only time he gave this any serious thought was whenever he was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, so it's not as though there's a whole lot of other things he could have done or accomplished during that window of time... and simply thinking about something doesn't use up perfectly good poisonous crystals, so it probably wastes less resources than some of the things you suggested.
Think about the air he breathed!
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:32   Link #34
Dr. Casey
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Good point, Reality has some explaining to do

If I ever visit Singapore, Sainty, I think we should pick fights with biker gangs together. Our days spent living out a real life Streets of Rage will be memories I always look back upon fondly.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:33   Link #35
EscapeReality
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Age: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Nothing. In fact, the idea of thinking about death itself has a glaring loophole : you can't do anything about anything else when you are dead because you don't know what comes after that.

Seriously, there are more important things to do than to think about it when you are alive and healthy - you can start thinking about death when you are close to it. If you really want to think so about it, it is preferable that you put yourself in a near-death experience because you can't understand something unless you get closer to it.

Possible examples of doing so are ingesting poison such as crystals extracted from boiling Chlorox, picking fights with your local motorcycle gang, taking a one-man trip into Pakistan.

Alternatives with pleasure would be engaging in strangulation sex, driving at 120km/h, taking legal thrill drugs such as OD on Subutex or Paracetamol with coffee, and stuntbiking.

For monetary benefits, go for Airborne, Rangers or Special Forces.

If you are not interested in any of the above or are too scared to do any, then stop thinking about death; you are wasting limited resources on Earth without contributing anything to society engaging in a detached philosophying without experimentation.
I take your point that a better way to understand death is to put oneself close to it, but I disagree that it is a waste of time to philosophize about death without doing so. I am merely trying to be able to come to terms with death early on in life. Why live out your life oblivious to death until your final moments, instead of accepting it early and basing the rest of your life on that proposition? I can probably do better for the society by living with a clear focus rather than blundering around ignoring death and thinking that I still have got plenty of time left to live anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Think about the air he breathed!
Oxygen isn't a limited resource - it's being continually produced by plants through photosynthesis.

Last edited by EscapeReality; 2013-08-20 at 11:40. Reason: Didn't want to double post.
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:43   Link #36
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
taking a one-man trip into Pakistan.
Pakistan is no fun. If you really want to risk your life, why not use it to go somewhere fancy like the Bermuda Triangle for example? Work together with a TV station or a movie studio or something and record your journey live, just in case it can be done. By going there, at least you’ll figure out one of the world’s biggest mysteries for yourself before you’re gone .
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Old 2013-08-20, 11:57   Link #37
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Casey View Post
Good point, Reality has some explaining to do

If I ever visit Singapore, Sainty, I think we should pick fights with biker gangs together. Our days spent living out a real life Streets of Rage will be memories I always look back upon fondly.
We don't actually have biker gangs around here, only bike-loving groups. The older generation is all about Harley-Davidson while my generation is about Hayabusa.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeReality View Post
I take your point that a better way to understand death is to put oneself close to it, but I disagree that it is a waste of time to philosophize about death without doing so. I am merely trying to be able to come to terms with death early on in life. Why live out your life oblivious to death until your final moments, instead of accepting it early and basing the rest of your life on that proposition? I can probably do better for the society by living with a clear focus rather than blundering around ignoring death and thinking that I still have got plenty of time left to live anyway.
Still NATO (No Action, Talk Only). What good is talk and thought but no action?

Usage of the words shows about your current train of thought :

Trying : To make an effort to do or accomplish
To be able : Having sufficient power or resources to accomplish something

So you are making an effort to have power to come to terms with death? How do you acquire power to come to terms with death? What resources to you need to come to terms with something that unpredictable and one-chance?

That is the huge hole in your logic, and it is the lack of knowledge, then even worse, the methods to acquire the necessary knowledge. It is simply a hovering idle thought at playing philosopher - a frightful waste of time more than that of having an obliviousness to death.

Concepts are best approached with King Henry and his six wives. Have you ever asked, "What is death?", and the questions thereafter?

Quote:
Oxygen isn't a limited resource - it's being continually produced by plants through photosynthesis.
Can you be sure at this very point? Steady states only occur in closed systems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
Pakistan is no fun. If you really want to risk your life, why not use it to go somewhere fancy like the Bermuda Triangle for example? Work together with a TV station or a movie studio or something and record your journey live, just in case it can be done. By going there, at least you’ll figure out one of the world’s biggest mysteries for yourself before you’re gone .
You are suppose to go as close to death as possible without getting killed in order to bring back the experience, doofus.

That is why they have the saying that goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What kills you makes you dead."
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2013-08-20, 12:07   Link #38
Obelisk ze Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
You are suppose to go as close to death as possible without getting killed in order to bring back the experience, doofus.

That is why they have the saying that goes, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What kills you makes you dead."
But Bermuda Triangle is still a mystery. There still a chance that you might survive and get out. At least for me, going there risking your life for science is more interesting and exciting than to Pakistan. Hell, if you're risking your life, you might as well enjoy it to the full. If it's your time to die, then you'll die regardless of the setting. At least Bermuda Triangle is not a sure suicide.
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Old 2013-08-20, 12:25   Link #39
Ridwan
Got A Bad Desire
 
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: قلوب المؤمنين
Quote:
Originally Posted by Obelisk ze Tormentor View Post
Pakistan is no fun. If you really want to risk your life, why not use it to go somewhere fancy like the Bermuda Triangle for example? Work together with a TV station or a movie studio or something and record your journey live, just in case it can be done. By going there, at least you’ll figure out one of the world’s biggest mysteries for yourself before you’re gone .
Gee, Australia is just next door
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Old 2013-08-20, 12:43   Link #40
LeoXiao
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vereinigte Staaten
Age: 22
To be honest, I do not have an inherent intellectual opposition to dying in the hypothetical case that it could not be avoided - it is true that there are still many things I want to experience and many personal flaws to be overcome, but there are also many things I have already experienced. Whether I live 20 or 80 years, in a sense, is comparable to the difference between walking 20 or 80 meters to get somewhere - negligible. I'd like to think that if my death were somehow imminent and unavoidable, I would face it calmly with this knowledge, but obviously I'm not taking into account my instinctual fears or natural wish for self-preservation.

"I'm not afraid to die, but I would like to live as long as possible."

OTOH, for some people it might be a curse to live too long. Hypothetically: A 100-year-old lady has probably lost everyone she knows from her generation, and possibly her children as well. Very likely she is plagued by all kinds of health problems and lives in pain. Her mindset and culture, gained in her youth, are now things that few modern folk can relate to. Maybe she can't even think clearly. Maybe the years go by faster and faster her, feeling like months or even weeks as they pass. What would be the difference, then, for her to leave the world at 90 instead of 100 or even later? I do not understand why one would want to live forever.

Perhaps it should be "I'm not afraid to die, but I'd like someone to be there to succeed me."

Other possibilities:
"If I do not fear life, why should I fear death?"
"In death there is neither prince above nor servant below, nor the matter of the four seasons. Unrestricted, you take the longevity of heaven and earth as your own, and even a monarch's joy cannot surpass it ... How can I give [it] up to return to the toils of the human realm?"
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