Thursday, 22 November 2012

The theories of death - 1

I have been talking much about mortality and fatality without trying to explore if I am still alive or I am dead already without me knowing it. What if everything continues as it is in a different world which is the mirror image of our world and the shift from one world to the other happens in an instant? Talking of instants, do they really exist? For instants to exist, time has to be a reality. What if the past, present and future are happening right now? I may be experiencing everything simultaneously. Do you keep time in your dreams? Can you ever make out how much time would have elapsed during the course of your dream? I have many a time seen nightmares which seemed to have continued for hours, but when I check my watch after waking up, it has hardly been half an hour. Something is wrong in the way I interpret the world. Does the world really exist? Could it not be that I am just experiencing a long dream lying somewhere? How do I know if anything really exists? You can tell me of course, may be you can touch me too. But you can do the same acts in my dream too and I will believe it to be true. I may actually be watching a movie in my sub-consciousness. Do I exist? If I can prove I don’t really exist, then I can be assured I will never really die. If I can prove that I am also an illusion of myself, I can train myself not to experience pain. I can stand as an unattached observer of my body. Are you an illusion of my super or sub-consciousness? If I can convince myself about it, then I can kill you if I don’t really like you. You don’t really exist, so I won’t really kill.
What happens when I die? Why has this question not been resolved in thousands of years? Why has no one come back from the other side? Is this sufficient proof to make me realize that there is no other side? If there is no ‘other’ side, then there can be no ‘this’ side too. If I convince myself of the absence of the other side, I also convince myself of the non-existence of this side too. So I don’t exist. But if I am convinced this side, this world exists, then I can be sure other side exists too.

Mortality and morality are interlinked. If I am sure there is no heaven, hell, if I am sure there is no hell either, give me one good reason why I should be good. Of all the questions we struggle to find answers to, we are closest to deciphering one – does god exist? Let us examine two mutually exhaustive and exclusive scenarios -

        I.            If the world exists, and you read the newspaper daily then you know what a bad world this is. So, the creator of a bad world has to be a bad god. But god by definition cannot be bad. So we arrive at a contradiction. This proves that god does not exist. Or god is not good.

      II.            If the world does not exist, then there is no creator of world either. So god does not exist.

In my subsequent posts, we will examine all the possible theories of death. We will use logic. We will eliminate all the feeble theories and identify the few possibilities which can be true. We will never know for sure until we die. I am talking of ‘we’ as if I am sure that ‘I’ exist and ‘you’ exist. Descartes thought that he existed because he thought. The argument was inherently flawed. Do we know Descartes existed? We are not sure. We are not assuming we exist. It is sheer habit that prompts me to use the language of the commons.
We will bring the other related aspects of destiny and karma into discussion too. Be assured that god will not be spared. God has to cease to be the refuge of the weak. We will see if god can be accommodated in any of our theories. I must tell you though, if god existed, then those who hate to die would not have died. If he existed then my mother would still be with me. Alright, I will not make this personal here.

Let me also admit honestly that I want to be convinced of the possibility of a happy continuity after death, of the possibility that families and friend are re-united after death, of the hope that my mother is in a much happier place than this world and I will be able to meet her on the other side.

Could death be good? This I can answer right away. Yes, it could be. Sit in some quiet place, take ten deep breaths and think, if in the final analysis you are dead, then does it really matter how you live? You can stop worrying about your finances, your job, and your future. If you go really deep into future (provided future exists), you will find yourself dead. So just live as you like right now. This will be as close to preaching as I will get. Our aim is to unravel, not assume, not recommend.
So fellows, if you exist, keep up with me as I develop and dissect the theories of death. Once we are done with death, we will talk about life...


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