It’s natural that all living things should have a fear of dying, because a desire to survive is a fundmamental trait of reproductive fitness and genetic competition.
But it’s not as clear if it’s sensible to be afraid of dying. Is death the permanent end of our influence on the world? Is there some magical “second round” after death if we behave or think the right way? Do we fail at life if we die? Should we fear and flee it at all costs as long as we are able?
It’s possibly true that the experience of life is the important part. What matters is that we experience, so the universe was created so that experiences could be rich and incredible. In that case, it probably is better to try not to die so that one may experience more.
Whatever the case, given that death is unavoidable and that worry and stress are harmful, it’s important to not really be too fearful of death. One approach to overcoming the fear of death is to realize that it’s normal, and that we experience it regularly throughout our lives:
Each night when we sleep, our brains cease to maintain our consciousness. We cease to exist as experiential beings, evidenced by the instant passage of time while we sleep. In the same way that we didn’t exist before we were born, as well as the way that we might not exist after death, we do not exist when we are sleep. This is the same as death, it just isn’t permanent. In the case of sleep we’re able to resume our lives, but more importantly it shows us that there is really nothing to fear about death. Death simply causes time to pass instantly from an observational perspective.
And just as it’s possible to resume our consciousness and existence each morning when we wake, it could be possible to do the same if the implementation of our universe allows access to the state of our minds when we lived.
If we are restored from the data inside our minds after we die, it will be just like waking up.
If we are not, then it will be just like going to sleep.
Fear not, and sweet dreams :)
Updated: 30 January, 2022
Created: 31 December, 2021