How does one accept the idea of "Eternal Oblivion?" - "Eternal Oblivion," AKA the idea that there is nothing after death

Ho boy, this caused me some serious existential angst in my mid-30s when I suddenly realized I'm actually neither immortal nor invulnerable and a lot of people younger than me are already dead and my clock is ticking too. The heavy simplicity of it all is that it doesn't really matter. You can worry or you can not, it won't change the outcome and you have absolutely no power over it. You could get hit by a bus on Tuesday and it would not even affect the world much and all the worries and thoughts you invested would've been time wasted you could've spend on things that would have fulfilled you more. As soon as I let that sink in, like really sink in as part of my reality, somehow it made me stop worrying. I take life one day at a time and try to be most content in the now, with the good things right in the moment around me. As adults, we really unlearn this, to just enjoy the moment. There's always the bigger picture, the goals to reach, the things you missed - and living like that can not only be absolutely crushing, it makes you feel like your life is passing you by at a breakneck speed which in turn will also make thoughts like this more.. threatening? Crushing? Not sure how I'd call it.

The more you keep obsessing about factors that are out of your control anyways, the more miserable it will make you. Being able to mostly live after that philosophy made me genuinely a more rounded and happier person overall. I don't want to die but it's not on the table for me right in the now anyways, so why even think about it?


Tactical Autism Response Division
True & Honest Fan
Don't bother with the question at all, answering it is a trap. The point is to enjoy the now and learn as much as possible. For me, developing faith & spirituality helps me to do that by rendering that question irrelevant.
Since I'd rather be happy than right, I think it's wisest to believe the thing that offers the most conditions in which you can thrive.

Confronting this idea is what I would consider the basis as to why concepts of the afterlife were conceived at all. Taking the metaphorical ideas of a Heaven or Hell in the afterlife as a state of being you are in whilst passing. Rather than waste time and energy stressing about if there is an afterlife or where you will end up you should instead plan and act so that when you do die that your state and affairs will be arranged in such a way that you are satisfied and hopeful.

Heaven and Hell are useful as concepts of existence where both are essentially extreme states of being. I for one would consider passing into Heaven is when I do die I will have accomplished what I wanted and with the confidence that my progeny will be able to life and thrive beyond me. Or if you do not choose to have descendants make sure that whatever your life's achievement was something that you are confident will exist as a testament to your existence if you're so inclined.


I am imaginary
If there is nothing after death, then you will not witness or feel anything and there is nothing to worry about. It's hard to imagine what that means as we've never known life without ourselves, but logically there is nothing to fear. Enjoy your time on this planet and be grateful that you got to consciously witness it and wonder about its existence.

If there is existence, or even something resembling consciousness after death, then try your best to lead a good life and better yourself as a person. Life will have truly been a an existential stage, and you want to make the best of it.

I try my best to live life as if they're both true - they're not mutually exclusive and there is no real way of knowing. I'm also better off for it, and so are the people around me.

'Nothing' and our very existence is not something we can really comprehend. It's scary, and I think it's normal to feel a sense of panic when you try to rationalize it - I certainly do as well. The reality is we don't know and it doesn't make sense, which sends our brains into error mode.

There are two main avenues towards the truth:

  1. Rationality & science
  2. Intuition & belief

Sometimes we get closer to the truth by means of intuition & belief first, while rationality & science catches up. Existence is one of those things (if not the thing) where rationality & science may never really offer a conclusive answer. Religion and spirituality are our means of pursuing this truth intuitively. They don't have to be mutually exclusive with rationality and science - on the contrary, they should be complementary. On that basis, you can easily eliminate nonsensical (and sometimes outright insane) beliefs, while still finding solace in the truth that feels right to you.

I used to consider myself an Atheist, but I eventually realized that I was being insincere with myself. Perhaps Agnostic describes it better, though I'm finding some merit in Christianity as a whole. It doesn't mean that I think there's anything in the Bible that should be taken literally, or that I'm suddenly going to church on Sunday. There's just something there that feels right to me, and it helps me get through those moments where my mind is trying to rationalize nothingness. If that's all it is, then it's still a good thing.

Violence Jack

Hands-on paleontologist
Didn't the pope say that bad people don't even go to hell? They just go to the abyss? By abyss i'm guessing he means you're added to the collected consciousness forever or maybe you just melt away into oblivion? Both of those options seem like a nightmare either becoming part of the howling nothingness versus existing as part of a collective with no sovereignty over yourself.

I think living your life and maintaining your "soul" or whatever you wanna call it is the main reason we live our lives on this 3rd dimensional plain. However lately I've been feeling like there's something or someone pulling the strings on reality. Either way whining about outcomes we can't possibly comprehend is futile, but it's one of the most human aspects there is.

Shit have we even figured out whether or not all the thoughts we think are our own? If that's still on the table maybe some entity hit the "have existential pain" button on our sims panel and we simply go through the motions.


Yo, Buddy. Still alive?
The end goal of buddhism is to ascend the various stages of rebirth in order to reach non-existence after.

Testaclese Maximus

as friendly as a rabbit
True & Honest Fan
Call it the soul or intangible conciousness or whatever else, it’s all the same thing; a part of us that transcends our physical bodies emanating from a place we can’t see with these mortal eyes. Our brains just channel the signal coming from somewhere else and filter the information into something they can understand.


popular twitch speedrunner edward snowden
Any afterlife would be an eternal hell, be grateful that all this shit will one day end and you will suffer no more, don't cling to the exceptional concept of an "eternal life" just because that's the only thing you know and are used to.

Sinners Sandwich

Eid Htrad Redav Eid !
I'm more concerned about losing my loved ones than dying myself.

I think the law of attraction is proof that something exists. So an afterlife is likely too. But I hope it's not a boring 9 to 5 office job in god's realm. ?
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Further proof that Cardinal Bergoglio is not the Roman Pontiff. If his heresies can be so casually mentioned by someone that I am presuming does not even engage in the most basic tenets of Catholicism, then how can anyone say that Jorge Bergoglio is the head of the True Church of Christ? Are supporters of this anti-Papacy going to seriously sit by and let a pagan that believes that "the outcomes are incomprehensible" dictate whether or not Cardinal Bergoglio is the pope or not?

To answer your confusion and divulge from the topic of the papacy, you do not enter a state of "soul annihilation" if you reject God, as Bergoglio would like to put it. Hell is a place of infinite, eternal suffering that you are sent to if you refuse to love God in this one life that you are given to prove yourself to Him. The true Roman Pontiff is Joseph Ratzinger, who failed to validly resign from his position as the pope.
Hilarious. I came here to post this exact sentiment.

Why accept it? I mean, whatever it is, it's unaffected by your acceptance or not. I'll live forever unless I don't, and by then I'll be too dead to notice.

Yeah, trying to actively imagine it is fucking stressful because you're trying to imagine not imagining anything at all, and human brains don't seem to do that. Even if you did, you wouldn't notice, because once you noticed, it's not nothing anymore.

Or, to reuse an analogy I've used elsewhere on this forum, what do you think happens to a game of sim city that you're playing if I drop a bowling ball on your computer?
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Bum Driller

Cultural Appropriator & Cowboy Chemist
The problem is less about "understanding" what happens after death. I know after death I will be the same as I was before I was born. The main issue is "accepting" it.

Is this the sort of thing that fixes itself over time or do I need to do something about it myself? I can't live the rest of my life losing my mind every time the topic of death comes around. I mean I can, but... that's impractical for obvious reasons.
Just think about the Death as much as you need to. It's inevitable, and eventually you will face it. Eventually, also, your fear of it will pass the more you process the thought in your mind. Love it, if you need to, as it may help you to accept your own passing, but remember that Death is in truth neither to be loved nor hated. It just is.
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