FEAR OF DEATH: IS IT AN ILLUSION?
Did you know that the fear of death is universal? No one can face death courageously; it consumes both the weak and the mighty. Many have tried to cheat death simply because they don’t know what the outcomes of dying are.
There are two basic reasons people fear death; one, the fear of losing a loved one and losing themselves. Second, the process of getting over someone you loved, accepting that they are gone, and move on with your life like they never existed is horrifying.
People have different views concerning death; they want to hold on to what they know and forget about worry. This is the main reason why religion exists; the need to believe in something superior to them gives them something to believe in.
Different religions have different beliefs concerning death. Here is an overview;
There is an afterlife after death. People’s souls go to two places; heaven and hell. Heaven is where people who did good deeds go to spend their afterlife in and hell where souls who found pleasure in doing bad are dammed to eternal suffering. There is no actual death in Christianity. They believe that death is simply a transition from one life to another.
Muslims believe that the present life one lives now is mere preparation for the next realm. One’s true purpose is not on the physical world, rather the next life (afterlife), where they will worship Allah and have peace. The Islam religion states that for one to have a life after death, they should practice three basic things in physical life; prayer, knowledge, and charity. These three aspects can help the dead live good life in the next realm.
Hinduism takes death in a very spiritual manner. They believe in reincarnation and the rebirth of souls. Hindus do not bury their deceased. Rather they cremate their bodies. They strongly believe that the earth has five major elements; air, water, fire, and earth. They believe that when a body is cremated, the five elements have a piece and generate life from the body. When the body is cremated, and ashes were thrown over a water mass, some flies into the air, some sink in the water, fire consumes the body during crenation, tying the soul to the right spheres. The deceased returns to earth, and their journey continues in different forms.
This religion has strong beliefs in life. They believe that life is beyond worldly possessions; it’s about sacrifice and doing good. They believe in reincarnation. They believe that when leaving earth, their journey does not continue. Instead, they become a new person with new life.
Death is simply a break from the physical world. They believe that when one dies, they do not have an afterlife; rather, the awakening of the deceased to their true purpose. The kind of life one lives after their death depends on the deed they did while on earth.
Despite religion having its own views concerning death, there is no real answer to what happens to one after death. Once dead, you are forever gone and cannot come back to earth. Wondering how is it possible that people die and come back? They do not die; rather, their heart slows down to a point where it is hard to detect their heartbeat; you cannot cheat death.
WHY SHOULD YOU GET RID OF THE FEAR OF DEATH?
There are two sides of every coin, heads, and tails and every cloud has a silver lining. But, looking on the positive side, death makes people realize that there is just one life to live, always appreciate those around you and what they do for you, and make the most out of it.
Negatively; Fear is the major setback in life, consuming everything that comes it’s way. It steals your zeal for life. It simply turns your accomplishments into the impossible.
WHY FEAR OF DEATH IS AN ILLUSION
For a long time, great philosophers have tried to study death in vain, but no answer about it was found, just assumptions. So they also succumbed to death itself.
Socrates’ argument on death
Socrates, a Classical Greek philosopher who made major ethical contributions to life, talks about fear and states that people would rather have an alibi about death and the afterlife than live in constant fear of the unknown. It is much easier to imagine terrifying post-death experiences to hell or hell-like place that the unhappy immortals go to. The other view is that people who have done good deeds go to heaven, living happy immortal lives.
“Death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness or a change and migration of the soul from this world to another.” He also states that in unknown matters that demand courage, some bravery is required, like death. People believe in what they want to because they have no proof of the unknown.
You may falsely accuse Socrates because he gave arguments according to his own beliefs. However, has anyone ever been to the afterlife and back? Perhaps religion would tell of people who died and rose, a few people saw them, perhaps lived with them; but, is there any real proof that they know what truly happens after death if they rose from the dead?
Epicurus’ argument on death
Epicurus, a Greek philosopher and founder of the school of Philosophy, had contributions about death. He argues that man should not let the irrigational fear of death engulf him, rather rid it off.
Epicurus states that pain and pleasure are measures of what is considered good and evil. Death is the end of the body and soul and thus should not be feared. The gods do not punish nor reward humans; the universe is eternal and infinite.
By “Death,” Epicurus does not refer to death as a painful experience. He also does not mean that “that moment of death,” because we have no experience of and, maybe good or bad for us. We only experience death once, which we cannot speak of as we no longer exist and have no sentience while dead.
The philosopher’s arguments are sound. He tries to remove the irritational fear man towards death. We can rid it off and live life without fear of losing a loved one or knowing that we have not lived life how we are supposed to.
Since there is totally no proof of what goes on after death, the human mind plays along with the pre-set beliefs placed by society. So either you become reborn in another manner, live a totally different life, or believe that life continues after death, either in heaven where souls with good deeds go and hell, where souls with no good deeds go to.
Fear of death is simply an Illusion!
“For to fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise without really being wise; Also, for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For no one knows whether death may not be the greatest good that can happen to man.”
― Plato, Apology