One of the biggest questions that human beings grapple with in their lifetime is what we think happens after we die. Is there something else? Do we come back as someone or something else? Do we cease to exist, all awareness of the world gone?
If you’re still entertaining ideas, these 18 people are weighing in – and some of their answers might surprise you.
18. What about your dreams?
I always wake-up when I die in my dreams.
I’ve had dreams where it seemed like I lived a lifetime. So perhaps you’re on to something. Maybe we just wake up and say, that was a crazy dream, and go on with our day.
17. An excellent quote.
“It’s one of the great wonders of life: What will it be like to go to sleep and never wake up? And if you think long enough about that, something will happen to you. You will find out, among other things, that it will pose the next question to you: What was it like to wake up after never having gone to sleep? That was when you were born. You see, you can’t have an experience of nothing. Nature abhors a vacuum.”
16. If you’ve got good friends.
I think one of your best friends deletes your browsing history
“Take the hard drive out of my computer at home… Put it in the bath… And make sure it’s completely wiped.”
15. No need to fear.
“Death is nothing to us. When we exist, death is not; and when death exists, we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death, and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the belief that in death, there is awareness.”
14. If you want to be practical.
We clean the bed and assign it to another patient.
Bag em’ and tag em’
13. There is peace.
When I was much younger, I had a dream where I passed away.
Not a typical dream, not a romanticized dream. It was a dream where I was an archer in a medieval battle.
About 5 minutes into the battle, chaos was all around me, and I watched an opposing archer aim and loose an arrow straight into my left eye. I remember the sensation of impact, ringing in my ears, and falling to the ground.
I remember the warmth of the blood on my face. The feeling of life leaving my body, and the sense of worry evaporating into warmth and peace as the world left behind me.
I remember waking up shortly after thinking that the feeling and reality of that experience was so vivid and so detailed that it must have been an experience from a previous incarnation hundreds of years ago.
From that moment on, I’ve never feared the actual process of death. I feel like I’ve experienced it many times before.
12. It must not have been bad, since you can’t remember it.
Exactly the same as before you were born.
“I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.” -Mark Twain
11. If you would like some dread…
When we die, the whole world as seen by us, dies together with us.
10. No consciousness at all.
Nothingness. Not even darkness or void. Just nothing for all of eternity.
Somehow this is very comforting to me. Darkness and voids sound terrifying. Nothingness sounds like you’re just not there.
9. If you have nice stuff.
Your family fights for your belongings.
8. One of two things.
I’ve answered this one before but here it is again
Either two things happen after you die: you either go somewhere or it’s oblivion
If it is oblivion, then we’re just going back to the same place before we were born and there’s nothing wrong with that. We were there for billions or trillions of years, possibly infinity. You lose that concept of time since your brain doesn’t work anymore so you don’t even know it’s over. It’s not nothing because nothing would be something and that means that you are aware, which you can not be if you’re dead
If we do go somewhere, then that’s something no one understands because no one has ever come back to tell us. Those stories of people coming back after they “died” and “saw stuff” weren’t really dead. Their hearts stopped but their brains were still working
If the Universe continues to recycle itself infinitely, then there’s a chance we will be reborn or continuously reborn but have no memory of our previous selves
7. We’ll worry about that tomorrow.
Sounds like a problem for dead-me.
Currently going to therapy to clean up the mess my brain causes thinking about it. Funnily, when I almost died it felt peaceful, but when I think about death I just panic and nothing else.
6. That wouldn’t be so bad.
I don’t know about you but I am suppose to get a free ice cream sundae.
5. Hopefully not something lame.
90% of life is a chore, I’m not going to miss it that much.
Don’t call a help line, I’m not depressed and the other 10% of life is totally worth living for. There’s stuff I want to see someday, like my kid’s kids. I’m just saying “setting the bar down” doesn’t sound half bad.
If there’s something after great, but being afraid of some hell is lame too because what could be lamer than a vengeful god? I mean, if I was gonna believe in a god it’s not going to be some lame ass god. It’s either nothing, or nothing to fear.
4. One of my favorites.
Picture a wave. In the ocean. You can see it, measure it, its height, the way the sunlight refracts when it passes through. And it’s there. And you can see it, you know what it is. It’s a wave.
And then it crashes in the shore and it’s gone. But the water is still there. The wave was just a different way for the water to be, for a little while. You know it’s one conception of death for Buddhists: the wave returns to the ocean, where it came from and where it’s supposed to be.
Quote is from the tv show The Good Place.
3. Buddhist + Gamer.
Edit: thanks for the awards. I don’t know what they mean or how to utilize them.
I’m a Buddhist (but a gamer first and foremost) so it’s cool you guys made those connections
This totally makes up for r/movies continuously banning me
2. The void isn’t so bad.
When I was a kid I drowned while on holiday with my family, a giant fat man jumped in the pool on top of me and no one noticed till I was on the bottom of the pool.
I remember the feeling of my lungs being on fire, then shivering then as everything was going dark a strange sense of peace and I was ok with it, No panic or terror then it went black.
I was resuscitated at the side of the pool a few minutes later. I remember nothing from the black to being “alive” again.
I was around 7 when it happened and since then I’ve been strangely at peace with the fact that one day I will die and slip into the dark void of nothingness.
Hope that helps.
1. There’s no exit ramp.
I have no idea, but we’re all going together.
I’ve gotta say, some of these really got me thinking?
If you’ve got an idea that’s not on this list we want to hear it in the comments!