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This Too Shall Pass

by thehusk

There is no hope. There is pain, tiredness, longing and sadness. And fear. Boundless fear.

But presumably, this pain will come to an end. Though it may get far worse before then.

Perhaps I will somehow find the courage to end it by that point. But if not, it will come to a natural conclusion.

The average lifespan is under 80. Knock several years off that for depression and chronic isolation, plus a few more for lifestyle factors. It could easily be less that 40 years. Even less if I get a terminal illness.

What’s 40 years, given the span of the universe? A blink. The last 33 have gone by in a blur. It’ll be over in no time.

No matter how bad it gets, this will come to an end. Unless there’s a hell. In which case I’m truly fucked

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6 comments

thebends 11/14/2020 - 4:22 pm

That last part you said is what terrifies me the most. Not a literal “hell” but a continuation of this existence. At least as living beings we have death to hope for. We see death as the end. But what if death is just a transition to another essence, and another and another? What if this 80 years turns out to be Infinity, and we can’t even tell ourselves that this shall pass? Maybe the ignorance of life is the best reward we’ll ever get. A break from eternity, if only in our minds, where we can believe that this torture will come to an end.

thehusk 11/14/2020 - 7:32 pm

Well, I suppose if it’s not literally hell, then there’s no reason to think it would necessarily be as bad as this life. Transition implies change. Why would the suffering that this world causes follow us to a place where things are different? If my body no longer causes me pain then that’s already an improvement.

But I do fear somehow becoming trapped with my psychological pain, in an endless cycle, unable to change, like some kind of eternal echo.

thebends 11/15/2020 - 1:21 am

That’s true, a new existence might be better. I just feel like any kind of awareness will lead to suffering because the (living) world will always be full of pain. Even if I’m reborn in an ivory tower, I’ll eventually learn about disease, injustice, rape, murder, and all that stuff that makes us realize that suffering is eternal even if we aren’t in the middle of it. The Buddhists more or less realize this, and their solution is to purify themselves so they can break out of the cycle of eternal rebirth. In other words, screw the world, every man for himself. Isn’t that kind of what suicide is? Sorry, got off topic a bit. The whole thing is just depressing af

thehusk 11/15/2020 - 7:14 am

That’s presuming you’d be ‘reborn’ into this world, or one like it, driven by the survival mechanisms that lead to suffering. But if existence was somehow detached from physical survival, I don’t see why any existence beyond that would necessarily ‘re-attach’ us.

If this self can continue beyond the death of the physical body (highly questionable), then why wouldn’t we stay in that non-physical state, free of the pains that afflict us here? There could be no awareness or concern for the suffering we left behind. Who knows what that would be like. But it might not be bad. Of course that’s all hypothetical.

thebends 11/15/2020 - 11:11 am

Knowledge/awareness is the ultimate pain.

As long as we exist in some form of awareness, then we will witness pain. And unless we retract into a state of total selfish apathy content to float blissfully amongst the screams of the suffering, there will be pain. What I’m saying is that awareness itself is the problem. Not physical ailments, not money, not hunger or survival. Thus if awareness continues infinitely, so will pain.

Like I said, the Buddhists seek to free themselves but I believe their logic is flawed. They think once you are promoted to the head of the class, you escape the cycle of life & death (physical pain). I got news for them, their horror is just beginning. Once you divest yourself of mundane suffering, the real hell begins.

If I am even 0.01% correct, then we are doomed for eternity. Or at least until someone figures out how to make this entire thing called Existence come to a merciful end.

thehusk 11/15/2020 - 12:37 pm

I think I disagree. It depends on what the contents of awareness are, and the emotional response to those contents. Awareness is neutral. It’s the emotional response that leads to suffering, and that is largely bound up in biology.

I don’t think we can know what we’d be aware of beyond this life. And I don’t think it would be unduly selfish not to suffer because of the pain of others you are powerless to prevent, even if you were somehow aware of it.

You seem to have hit on a worldview even bleaker than my own (which is pretty damn bleak.) But I’m not sure there’s good reason to go that far.

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