Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Life: ongoing resolution of fear of dying

  1. Mar 24, 2003 #1
    Life seems to me to be the ongoing resolution of fear of dying. Either we feel carefree peace of "Heaven," or unconsciously strive for it through attempting to settle our anxieties.

    When a person approaches death, often he experiences a calming, or otherwise attempts to reconcile his life "flashing before (his) eyes." Those who feel unsettled toward death I surmise would be less inclined to die; those who feel Nirvana would be more inclined to meet it.

    Some people live a life blessed with peace, others have walked through an earthly Hell through no fault of their own. Whether or not one survives in this world to avoid death, or seeks peace in a Heaven on Earth, we are reconciling toward an unknown day and in an unknown place our certain death.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 24, 2003 #2
    Some people are in so much pain that death comes as a relief and a release. I have been close to that feeling.
  4. Mar 25, 2003 #3
    What if you aren't afraid to die? Where do I fit into your idea?
  5. Mar 25, 2003 #4
    Life: ongoing resolution of fear of dying

    I guess that's one way to describe life, but it sounds a bit like a low budget horror movie. Sometimes I laugh at such movies, other times I walk out and ignore them, and still other times I watch them in macabe fascination of the droll and insipid. Usually though, I just don't watch horror movies.

    Today horror movies have once again found a niche for themselves as thinly disguised social commentary especially poinent to the younger crowd who feel unheard and disenfranchized. That is the essential problem, imo, with rational views of life and death. They disenfranchize all of us in one way or another.

    Catch 22, damned if you do and damned if you don't. Reject nirvana and you get to live a bit longer, accept nirvana and you die. Better to just ignore such horror movies imo, or accept them for what they represent. Life is a gift no one gave me as far as I am concerned, and, thus, a gift that comes without strings attached. I can give it back or pass it on whenever the inspiration strikes (I have two children, so the inspiration has struck more than once.) :0)
  6. Mar 25, 2003 #5
    You would, IMO, be more likely to ignore danger and survival, and risk death, which would not concern you much anyway in such a situation.

    wuliheron, ignore or accept? A simple formula. If we ignore fear, do we risk not only death but ignoring bravery as well?
  7. Mar 25, 2003 #6
    Is bravery to be placed on a pedistal? That is whole nother discussion. As for risking death, we do so every day. Some do it casually while others are very self-conscious about the act. Personally, I've risked death countless times and people have quite sensibly told me the best thing to do was to ignore the possibility.

    A huge percentage of the population dies deficating on the toilet. It takes a fair amount of energy just to take a dump. Does that mean we should consider ourselves brave for going to the bathroom? I think not.

    Ours is demonstrably a universe of change and irresistable forces. Life and death go together like peas in a pod. If you fear death you fear nature and life itself.
  8. Mar 25, 2003 #7

    Does loving life not count for anything?
  9. Mar 25, 2003 #8
    Fear is a natural response that humans have in order to keep itself alive. Man is born with certain fears like fear of falling. Other fears, such as fear of death. Is a learned fear. Perhaps learned only because we learn that we will die. With any fear there is a possibility of control and peace. I believe all fears can be overcome. Some fears should not be however. The fear of being shot in the head should still instill a person to run away from a madman with a gun. The fear of death isn't based on unresolved issues or even unresolved goals. The only time when someone feels it is time to die is when life makes them fear more than death. Life and its uncertainties can cause a greater fear than that of the uncertainties of death. Thus, suicide, peace before death.

    Also it is important to seperate fears for what they are. The healthy fears, like the one about the bullet I mentioned, should stay but be used under control. Fear of dying is important to keep yourself alive however fear of DEATH (not the actual dying) is absurd. You cannot stop death (although there are scientist right now trying to ) If you cannot prevent something from happening, you cannot do anything about it, thus creating un uneeded fear. Again the fear of DYING and the fear of DEATH are two different things. You can prevent yourself from dying at certain times, but you cannot prevent yourself from dying sometime.
  10. Mar 25, 2003 #9
    Some see such a situation as a shameful or cowardly death; others realize that for each of us death reflects one's entire life humbly, in fear or not, more than with humiliation.
  11. Mar 25, 2003 #10
    Does not parents fear for their children out of love?
  12. Mar 25, 2003 #11
    It is innate within us, naturally, to have a fear of death. Even if we are not conscious of that fear, it exists. It is a product of our evolution (or - so as not to bother anyone - a product of our intelligent design), without which no species could last.
  13. Mar 25, 2003 #12

    Another God

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member

    I think I am onm a similar level to Zero. I do not fear death (at least not consciously), but I love being alive. Thats why my primary life goal at the moment is to find a way to live forever, but at the same time I do things which many people consider to be dancing with death (Sky diving, white water kayaking, etc)

    I like life enough that I am not going to let fear get in the way of living it.
  14. Mar 25, 2003 #13
    me as well Another God. i have no fear of the big dirt nap; i am not rightly in a hurry to get there but, i don't let it hold me back from enjoying life either.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook