Wednesday, January 3, 2024

On the philosophical dogmas that support humans' belief in Death

Relative publication sites: PhilPapers


1. Agonies that did not exist (Prelude)

Once upon a time thinkers in ancient Greece laid the foundations of philosophy before philosophy even existed. Back then, Parmenides and Heraclitus tried to explain what being is in an era where no philosophical dogmas existed. Raw thinking was our tool back then to examine the mysteries of the cosmos. Mysteries that we accepted and tried to transcend, mysteries we saw as our own self.

Death back then was not part of the agonies of man, no more than life itself was.

And then came Aristotle.

And the world learnt of right and wrong.

From that point onwards every opinion tried to be justified so that people believed it.

And we broke the cosmos into pieces.

With ourselves being one of them.

Death became the biggest agony of humans.

Just because we started believing in life for no reason at all.

(Only because we were told…)

And we started fearing death.

(Only because we started fearing life as well…)

2. Philosophy and Death

Death dictates our life in ways we do not even realize.

But things weren’t always like this.

Philosophers and common people alike have been contemplating death for millennia and we are destined to do so for as much as we exist in this world. For the living, dying is the one thing that can cause terror and destroy our temporary happiness. For those who exist, death is the one thing that makes them realize that they will not exist for ever and, thus, makes them aware of their ephemeral nature.

Regardless of the philosophical ideas for death that each one of us may have, regardless of whether the ephemeral may be more eternal than the eternal itself, one thing we all share: Our BELIEF IN DEATH.

No matter what we think about it, we never question its existence!

Harmonia Philosophica philosophy program already contains multiple articles that show how dogmatism can hinder our vision even when things are clear, let alone when things are obscure as in the case of death. This paper is an attempt to re-examine the case of the dogmatism in favor of death that transcends our civilization and give the final blow to the dogma of death.

"I do not wish to judge how far my efforts coincide with those of other philosophers.
Indeed, what I have written here makes no claim to novelty in detail,
and the reason why I give no sources is that it is a matter of indifference to me
whether the thoughts that I have had have been anticipated by someone else"
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

3. An introduction to Truth Puzzles

Philosophers have pondered on the answers to the great metaphysical questions of humankind for aeons.

And they have failed miserably to find definitive answers.

Every philosopher has his or her own views, which usually are in complete opposition to the views of other philosophers.

There is currently no way to decide who is right and who is wrong.

Perhaps there will never be.

Truth puzzles were created as part of the Harmonia Philosophica philosophy program to help find the answer to the great metaphysical questions of humankind via linking the major elements of philosophy in multiple ways.

Simply put, Truth Puzzles are brain maps that were created as a way to easily and quickly draft your thoughts on how the great elements of philosophy and life connect to each other.

Major elements of a Truth Puzzle

The elements of the puzzle are the major elements that trouble philosophers for centuries: God, existence, Being, self, others, life, death, phenomena, reality, One, faith, nothingness, knowledge, senses, thought, consciousness. One can of course add more as he or she pleases, but these are the major ones.

The goal of a truth puzzle is to draw the connections between these elements.

How to fill in the puzzles?

It is very easy: Just take all the elements, draw them on a paper and then connect them! The connections could be lines with arrows (indicating e.g. cause and effect, for example an arrow drawn from God to Existence could indicate that God is the source of existence) or with bi-directional arrows as well. The connections could also be without arrows or even lines with explanations detailing the nature of the connections.

I have created Truth Puzzles on paper while sitting for coffee, or with any of the various mind mapping applications available. For example, the below image was created with the miMind Android application. Any brain map application will do the trick.

Truth Puzzle 2021-07-24 by me

Now the important part of the instructions: Don’t think too much!

As said already, the solution to the problem is not evident and perhaps will never be! So don’t bother with thinking! Just like in automatic writing, let yourself go and just randomly draw lines and connections between the elements of the puzzle!

Given the complex nature of the problem and our almost total ignorance of what life and existence truly are, there is really no point in trying to think how to draw a Truth Puzzle.

Truth Puzzle 2021-07-25 by Karpouzi

And to be honest, randomly drawing without the arbitrarily created obstacles by human-defined logic, could be the best shot we ever had at the problem in the first place.

If logical and analytical thinking have not helped us in progressing towards the solution of the problems at hand, irrational thinking could be the way forward. Because after all, only irrational thinking is truly free from any dogmas that can hinder our efforts to navigate ourselves through the unknown forest of being.

Anyway, the cosmos also seems not to follow the logical way.

The connections in the brain maps are filled in randomly as the writer of the brain map sees fit! There are no principles! No thinking!

But could such a random process produce any meaningful result? one might ask…

Sure it can! Why shouldn’t it?

We know so little about life, death, existence and all the other elements of philosophy, that thinking has not managed to bring us any inch closer to the truth if such thing ever exists. Our best shot in finding the ‘solution’ to the great philosophical problems of humankind is to just start drawing lines in random based on our instinct or just based on… nothing! Who knows? One of those Truth Puzzles could hold the answer we have been searching for since Plato. And if non-thinking sounds weird to you, read related articles in Harmonia Philosophica about non-thinking (with the tag ‘against thinking’ or ‘non-thinking’) and you will understand what we are talking about here. In short, structured thinking is as good as the principles on which it is based upon. And our thinking about the abovementioned elements of philosophy is based on pure ignorance.

A randomly filled in Truth Puzzle might be the solution we have been looking for.

But what do Truth Puzzles have to do with the problem of Death?

Well, it all started with a Truth Puzzle…

4. There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?)

The ‘Truth Puzzles’ brain maps have been used on numerous occasions in Harmonia Philosophica. Randomly filled in with all the major elements of philosophy (life, death, existence, being, God, truth, phenomena, faith, self, others, knowledge, thinking, consciousness, nothingness, One), these Truth Puzzles have been documented as a way to generate innovative ideas to solve what existence, life and being is.

But in a specific case these brain maps provided a valuable lesson.

An important insight into the matter at hand.

From the only place such a lesson could be coming from.

(A kid who has not learnt how to think…)

One day, I asked a child to fill in a brain map. I had already written all the elements of the Truth Puzzle on a piece of paper and just asked the child to fill in the relationships between ALL these elements in whatever way it saw fit.

The child liked the “game” and started filling in the brain map relationships.

When it finished, it gave the brain map back to me.

To my amazement, this is what it had handed over…

‘No death’ brain map (Truth Puzzle)

The child had put relationships (arrowless relationships to be exact – but having arrows was never a requirement as mentioned above) between all elements of the Truth Puzzle.

Except for one.

The element of ‘Death’ was omitted from the relationships!

After discussing we found out that this was done because the left hand of the child was on top of the ‘Death’ word while filling in the puzzle, something that by itself does not reduce the importance of what had happened or the amazement element of the coincidence; I would rather say that it increases it, if we see this as a more fundamental way in which the ‘Death’ element was hidden completely from the eyesight of the child. A coincidence that it could alone be the topic of a separate dedicated article. I am sure Jung would be very much interested in such a coincidence had he come upon such. (And as an additional note I should say that the kid at that point in time could not read English, so doing this on purpose is completely ruled out)

Yet, I am not talking about the coincidence of omitting only the ‘Death’ element from the Truth Puzzle. What I am talking about is something much more fundamental: The child did not use all the elements in the brain map even though it was told to do so!

This might sound mundane, but it is not.

We constantly make assumptions in our thoughts and based on these assumptions we produce more thoughts. We deduce conclusions, we derive theorems, we build science and cultivate philosophy. However, we keep on forgetting that our assumptions are here only to be questioned and replaced by new ones based on our own free will!

In the Truth Puzzles I created I assumed that all these great words (Truth, Death, Life, Existence, …) should all somehow be connected with each other.

A random (and beautiful) coincidence reminded me of the need to be more vigilant of my own dogmatism. I should never take for granted rules that I myself invented.

This applies to me, to you, to all philosophers, to all scientists, to all thinkers, to all humans. We should constantly question the obvious and make irrational thoughts! Only the irrational is free enough to produce valid results without the need for unfounded assumptions.

At the end, I am not certain whether Death does not exist.

But from that point onwards…

I will keep in mind that I do not know whether Death exists either.

5. What is wrong with our way of thought?

We think based on things we consider obvious.

And we tend to never question what we consider obvious.

(Isn’t that obvious?)

As the Truth Puzzle with the missing ‘Death’ showed, assumptions are dangerous. When one makes the same assumptions over and over again, he or she seems to start believing that these assumptions are something more than what they truly are; he/ she seems to start believing that the assumptions are ‘true’.

But philosophy is not even sure if truth is something meaningful and existent in the first place.

The problem is that since our thought progresses gradually over time and since one must base his/ her thoughts on what the ones before him have already said, from one point in time and onwards it becomes very costly to question the assumption that helped us start thinking in the first place. Because if we do question them, we would need to start building again from scratch the castle we have now built on the sand.

Few people, if any, have the courage to start such a journey, when there is so vast knowledge readily available at hand.

Yet, killing our own self is the only way philosophers can progress and move forward when everything seems at a dead end.

So here we are.

Thinking about life and death.

Failing to answer.

Let’s take a breath and look back.

To where it all started.

When death was nothing but a word we invented.

And let us see clearly.

What are the dogmas that make us believe in life?

What are the dogmas that makes us believe in death?

And perhaps by doing so, we may find our way.

(Inside the forest of Being that was never meant to be unless we forget it died…)

6. What does it take to believe in death?

Many philosophical dogmas are lingering silently under out (common) belief in “death”.

A belief that in its turn dictates our philosophy and way of living.

Many people talk about “immortality” and try to show why the human soul is not destroyed after the end of the physical body. Many people try to articulate arguments in favor of the idea that an “immortal” spirit exists, that continues to “be” even after the physical brain stops functioning. However, these discussions and efforts are based on the wrong presumption that “immortality” is what must be proved, and not “death” per se.

Many people today take many things for granted. And the problem is that many of these things are assumptions and not something proven[1]. Our time is characterized by an arrogant belief in a materialistic point of view for everything, according to which only what modern physics and chemistry claims to be true is true. The opinions of philosophers – and especially of those who lived many years ago – are not considered by many.

And so, assumptions of the past turn into hard beliefs.

And soon, these beliefs turn into dogmas that govern our being.

We must destroy what we think we know in order to think.

For to believe in “death”, many things must we believe. To believe in the complete extinction of the human spirit after the physical body stops functioning, one must believe in a series of dogmas that are still under debate between philosophers and perhaps will forever be. To believe in “death”, you must for example believe in the existence of differences between objects, something with which Parmenides would disagree. You must believe in the existence of the notion of “change”, something that could be a good topic to discuss with Zenon, or you must believe in the existence of the notion of “time”, something with which many modern scientists like Einstein would have a problem with.

And the catalogue goes on.

The following sections examine these dogmas underlying the belief in death.

So that we know what we should forget.

6.1 The concept of Many

To believe that everything stops with death, one must not believe in One, but in the existence of the Many. If one believes in One (pun intended), then there is no point in discussing about Death per se.

Parmenides would find the idea of something that can cease to exist ridiculous, as he found wrong the idea of the Many to exist. His thought was based on the notion of the One.

And if we are all part of the One, there is nothing that can exist on its own, let alone to have an end.

6.2 The concept of Change

What does it mean for something or someone to “change”? How can something change? If it changes, doesn’t it become a different “something”? How can we change every second, but still remain the same?

The simplest questions are the hardest ones.

We believe things can change. This may sound weird since we obviously see things changing, yet Parmenides would argue fiercely against this naive belief. How can an object change and still stay the same? If an apple changes to something else, is it still an apple? Believe it or not (pun intended) the notion of Change is something under discussion in philosophy.

What is evident seems to hold the key to the most serious underlying dogmas that define our thought. If death is also a change we undergo, why do we think that change results in something so drastic as complete extinction? As I said in the “The Extinct Fish that Reappeared” Philosophy Wire, everything is a matter of definition. And we should re-examine our definitions if we want to mature spiritually. If we cannot really tell how something can actually “change”, then maybe the simplest childish answer that comes to our mind is the correct one: things do not change!

And guess what: Without Change, there is no death…

6.3 The concept of Identity

Besides the belief in the notion of Change, believing in the notion of death (in a way that means the complete extinction of my body and spirit from the world) also requires someone to believe in the notion of “Identity” as well.

What is an apple? How do we know it is still that apple after it has decayed? Who am I? Who are you? How do we still know it is you even after you have changed way of thinking, way of walking, or even something as simple as your haircut? How can I still be me if all my human body cells get replaced?

To believe that someone is dead means that you believe you can actually tell when this someone is himself and when he has seized being himself, i.e. when he has “died”. When someone dies, we understand he has changed and he is not who we knew he was: he does not talk, he does play, he does not interact the way he did (the false belief in the notion of Time will be analyzed below, so we can still use past and present tense here). When we think we “know” someone we attribute to him certain characteristics. We know a friend of us is who he is because he talks in a specific way, walks in a specific way, interacts with us in a specific way. But what if he changes the way he talks? Will he not be the same? We know he is the same because he thinks in a certain way – in “his” way. But what if he changes his way of thinking? Will he not be the same? We know he is the same because he has a specific birth mark on his arm. But that if he removes that mark? Will he become someone else? We know the is the same because he has specific hair. But what if he changes them? Will he not be the same? We know he is the same because he has a specific set of cells in his organism as all individuals do. But human cells are continuously replaced (even the cells in our brain), about six (6) times during our whole lifetime. Are we not the same after the changes in our cells? We know someone is the same because he lives. But what if he stops living? Is he not the same anymore? Dying is part of who we are and “knowing” someone means knowing his death as well. The point is that we do not have a specific way to know when someone is someone and not someone else! We cannot tell the identity of someone (or something) and we certainly do not have specific ways to tell when someone has stopped being!

The limits we set with respect to the “identity” of a person are not based on something solid. The simple phrase “he has died” implies that we know those limits, while in reality those limits do not exist but in our mind…

And yes, your guess correctly: Without a way to identify a person (i.e. to identify who that person is, let alone to also identify that this person has seized to exist), there is no death…

6.4 The concept of Time

But what about Time itself? Our belief for death is based on our belief in the existence of time per se. There can be no death, i.e. discontinuation of existence from a point in time onwards, without time itself existing and transcending our world.

But time is a very elusive notion, that is even questioned by scientists, let alone philosophers, who have the tendency to question everything.

There is a huge debate about Time and whether it exists or not. Is it part of reality or just an arbitrary notion we invented based on our limited perception of the world? Einstein was famous is saying “People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion”. His theories anyway portrayed time as just another dimension. Meaning that as we can easily get from Athens to Paris (3 spatial dimensions) we can easily (well, not now but perhaps in the future) go from Time point A to Time point B by taking our personal time machine. If that is the case, then Death is essentially not we have been fearing about. We can always visit our great-great-great-grandfather when needed and get his advice. And perhaps we do go back in time to when humans did not believe so much in this stubborn illusion we call “time”, but in immortality…

Time could be one of our biggest illusions.

And death can only exist in a world where people still believe in this stubborn illusion…

6.5 The concept of Matter (Materialism)

Humans to-day believe in Materialism. Of all the dogmas, this is the one that is most persistent and critical for our well-being. A well-being that does not take into account what makes us unique.

The dogma of Materialism underlies almost all humans do to-day. And it is a crucial belief that supports our belief in Death. Materialism dictates that everything in the world is made of matter (hence the name). Thus, it is easy to conclude that when the matter that makes a human body seizes to function then we have seized to Be. Yet, there are many things that are left unanswered by such a worldview. Materialism is a dogmatic philosophical belief and a rather old one to be honest. Harmonia Philosophica has multiple articles against materialism – all trying to expose the same thing: Any scientific or philosophical model based only on matter in the way modern post-18th century science has defined it[2], is largely incapacitated to address any of the basic elements of our being.

Our consciousness, for example, is something that is left to die if we think we are nothing more than lifeless beings. Non-living particles cannot ever become alive, no matter how much we choose to ignore this simple but fundamental problem. There is no point in believing we have free will if we believe we are nothing more than a set of particles wandering around without purpose simply because something happened in the past before we were even breathing on the scene.

In a materialistic world everything that makes us humans is simply not there at all. They are not left unanswered or temporarily unexplained, they are just intentionally left out of the picture. And one cannot discover anything related to the sea if he chooses not to see his wet feet.

In summary, materialism has many gaps or inherent antinomies that disprove it. Belief in that dogma is more a matter of blind faith than a matter of scientific knowledge. And once more, the implications for our belief in death are devastating: Without our belief in Materialism our belief in Death would be null of any meaning.

Only if we believe that our life is governed by the rules of matter can we accept that everything ends because matter ends as well. Human consciousness reduced into interactions between material objects is of course limited and has an expiry date. Humans consisted only of matter have of course an end date they cannot surpass. Because matter is not eternal. Everything material is a dead end and is gone when it can no longer sustain itself.

It sounds tautological, but one of the main preconditions for death to exist is our belief that life does not exist as well…

6.6 The concept of consciousness

Believing in death presupposes that we understand consciousness as something so special that it can end. The modern materialistic philosophy sees consciousness as something complex that stems from material interactions in the brain. Thus, as something that cannot survive death, i.e. the stopping of the function of the brain.

Nothing so simple as a set of interactions between beings that can go on forever can be part of a worldview that holds death as something true. We need to believe our sense of existence is something unique, so that it can stop being when we do.

Only in a world where being conscious means everything regarding life, can the end of life have meaning, as a state where we are not conscious of anything.

Once again, our deep belief in life seems interconnected with our deep belief in death as well…

6.7 The concept of the Living and the Dead

In the past, primitive people buried their dead and put food with their bodies. They “knew” that life did not end with death. In the past, alchemists “knew” that everything had a living force in it. It is important to know and understand that the distinction between “living organisms” and “things” was made on the years of Kepler by the “new” science of the days: mathematics could be applied for the first time so as to predict the movement of planets, but in order to do that, a great new assumption should be made.

An assumption so great and so fundamental, that changed the way we think forever. The assumption was “simple”: there must exist “living things” and “non-living things”, with mathematics being applied only to the latter. This defined almost everything from thereon. Ask a modern physicist to find “human” in the Universe and he will have a hard time. Because the “Universe” is a complex set of things – there is no room for humans with consciousness in it.  Ask a modern biologist to explain to you the difference between particles organized into living matter and particles forming a “non-living” object. He will have a hard time explaining, because a model which is defined as void of consciousness, cannot suddenly “discover” consciousness. Bohr characterized Pauli’s theory for the fourth quantum number as “crazy” and by that he meant “correct”[3].

Believing in things outside our being is part of the foundations of our belief in death.

We used to stand in awe in front of the cosmos.

But afterwards we ‘learnt’ that we live.

And we gave birth to our death.

For without such a belief, no one would be possible to meet its end.

6.8 The concept of our Self (Metaphysical ignorance and arrogance)

Our personal ignorance and arrogance are a largely ignored facet of the debate when we discuss about death. Our ignorance of basic metaphysical matters is so profound that it makes our dogmatic belief in death and its meaning almost comical. We claim to know what death is and yet we do not know what life is, we do not know what existence is, we do not know what Being is.

To be honest, we do not even know everything about flu.

Yet, we are arrogant enough to claim that we know what Death is!

We believe so much into our self and the knowledge we have acquired up to know, that we are stupid enough to claim things regarding death without even knowing the basics. We should at least follow the example of Socrates who boldly admitted that we did not know anything and surely did not know what death is if we want to be honest to our self.

It may sound weird but our belief in our self and our capabilities to understand the cosmos has also led (literally) to our death!

6.9 The concept of Nothingness

It goes without saying that death is a synonym for nothingness when it comes to us, when it comes to life. Yet the very notion of nothingness is something debatable, at least in the world of philosophers. How can “nothing” actually be? From Parmenides onwards, many thinkers questioned that very simple thing. How can we think of something that does not exist?

There is no big surprise here.

In order to believe that everything dies, you must believe in Nothing that will come at the end.

7. A way forward

All antinomies that mathematics or modern science discover are based on things we take for granted but we should not. After exploring the things we must have as axioms in order to believe in death, the most basic being the notion of “Change” and the notion of “Time”, we must now move on.

And we can do that only by denying all “truths” that we now think we know, only by being irrational. Because “rationality” is based on axioms and only by discarding all axioms can someone reach the truth (if such a notion even exists and this word is not another “axiom” we believe in). Truth is related to “Being” and anything like “being based on axioms” is far away from its real essence. We must base our conclusions on what we know and not on what we understand[4].

And what we know is that we “are”.

Where did the idea that we will sometime “stop being” come from? Because certainly no-one “not being” could come up with such a notion. And certainly, no-one had any experience of “not being” so as to formulate and spread the idea. Where did we learn of things that “are not”? Because certainly no person could have experienced non-existence. And certainly, no-one can think of something that is “not” (Parmenides).

So where did the notion of “death” come from?

To answer that all we have to do is take a look in the mirror.

The best way out of a dead-end is to stop thinking logically and start tearing the world down, as a crazy person would do. As William James said, “what we want to think is what is”. And what we have hard time explaining may have a simple solution: maybe the distinction we cannot explain does not even exist…

Is it a coincidence that everything related to “not being” cannot be explained easily?

Time, change, the problem of identity, the problem of life…

All these elements are hard to explain. All these are hard to define.

But yet, our very being is dependent on those ideas. Pythagoras talked about harmonia and yet one cannot find harmonia if he or she believes in things that entail the “end of being”. What “is” cannot suddenly “stop being” and vice versa.

But humans are weird beings. They used to live in the paradise of Being and yet they chose to understand what they felt. And they divided the cosmos into pieces. And as philosophy was replaced by exact science, humans turned into objects. Objects that have a start and an end. We must stop believing we are mere objects if we are to fulfill our destiny as humans. When in a Universe void of consciousness, consciousness appears as a candle in the dark, one can stick to the fact that this light will someday fade out. But this is a very shortsighted view. Someone else might stick to the fact that this candle came from somewhere, produced its flame from an energy that surrounds the cosmos and shed its light everywhere. How can such a candle die out?

We must try to just listen and dance with the music of the cosmos, rather than try to “understand” everything while standing still…

And in the horror of our dasein, a weird different cosmos might arise.

A cosmos where all those things we take for granted are not there…

7.1 A world of One

What if we are all part of One and no one is something unique as we want to believe? What if we are all an inherent part of a cosmos that exists as a whole and only so? In that case any question about death is moot, we cannot even exist separately as individuals. There is no “me” and “you”. And yet, we live forever, in the Being of One that includes our self.

7.2 A world without Change

What if change is something that is inherently impossible for things? What if nothing can change and things can only be? In that case what we see and experience as death could be just an illusion based on our persistence in seeing things. Ripples on the surface of the calm lake of Being by random rocks of existence thrown at it. In a world without change, nothing can be dead, nor born as well…

7.3 A world without Identity

What if there was no way to distinguish you and me? What if we were all the same things? In that case, there would be no point in claiming anyone is dead, for you couldn’t be able to also claim that someone is less alive than someone else. In such a case, what we hold as our most precious part, our own self, does not exist. Yet, immortality would be part of us in the form of being part of a whole that never ends.

7.4 A world without Time

What if time is just something we invented? What if time is just something that we see? What if there is no difference between now, before and after? What if I will always Be? Indifferent of any changes between yesterday, now and a decade from now? In that case, there is nothing to discuss about death since everyone that is now here will forever be here. The past has not passed yet. I will always be here writing this; you will always be here reading it…

7.5 A world without Matter

What if the matter that we see around us is nothing more than a manifestation of our spirit? What if we, as observers, create the cosmos every moment we breathe? What if matter is just another form of energy, an energy that will never be dead no matter what we say or feel? An energy that manifests itself only through us. In that case, death is just the agony of matter, not something that matters to us.

7.6 A world without death or life

What if we decide not to make a distinction between things that breathe and things that are no longer there? What if the cosmos we see was just full of… Being?

All these ideas might sound weird, crazy, or even just… wrong.

And yet, why would we feel that the opposite of those ideas feels anything different?

If anything of the above feels wrong, it is about us feeling that the opposite is right.

In a world where we are still looking for the light…

How can we know the difference between right and wrong if we are the ones shedding the light? Imagine a world where there is no living nor dead, but only beings. Would you feel less important in this world? Less alive than what you now feel?

7.7 A world without consciousness

What if consciousness is nothing special? What if what we believe makes us alive is nothing more than a simple brain function that lies everywhere? What if humans are something special not because we feel ourselves, but because we can do the opposite as well?

In that case “I think therefore I am” could be replaced with some more illogical, yet potentially more correct, motto. “I think therefore I can be dead” is something that sounds tragic, yet it could be the basis for being immortal if “thinking” is something tedious like drinking a bottle of wine…

7.8 A world without Me

What if I am not so important? So as to have an opinion that makes a difference on the living or the dead? What if I stop thinking about anything I might understand regarding death and decide to only live? In that case, simply sitting under a tree and saying nothing could be more important than thinking too much about life or its end.

The key to being immortal could be in us feeling already dead…

The key to the existence of death could be stemming from life itself…

What if we can never die? What if we never lived?

(What if only the cosmos can be dead?)

7.9 A world full of everything

What if there is more to life than Me?

What if Nothing does not exist?

In that case death is nothing since it can never be.

And so do we.

In a world where Nothing does not exist, there is no point in debating Death.

Because Everything is all there is.

(Nothing is just created by me when trying to think…)

8. Question Everything!

Philosophy is all about questioning everything.

Science is also all about questioning everything.

And yet, when it comes to one of the most important facets of our life – death – we forget that simple truth. And we blindly accept multiple dogmas in our urge to claim that we know more than we do. Be irrational and what you see could be a whole new world altogether. Full of new truths completely different that the ones you now believe.

Question your dogmas!

Surprise the universe!

You may not be brave enough to believe in your immortality…

But hey, do yourself a favor.

At least be coward enough not to believe in death!

9. Do you believe in Life?

A few days after Harmonia Philosophica posted the article about the child omitting Death from a Truth Puzzle, thus indicating how we should re-examine our axioms in philosophy (check the “There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?)” section above), a new twist was added to the plot.

Some days after that event, the same child struck again.

During a discussion about life and what life means, the child simply asked the obvious…

‘How do you know you are alive?’


‘But I can eat!’ I answered back.

‘So? You are not alive!” said the child and giggled.


To cut a long story short, to whatever I said the child continued to answer back that there is no proof I am alive. And this discussion brought into my mind the previous Truth Puzzle instance and the lessons learned from that. For the same lesson should be learned from this story as well.

Of course, the child was playing. Yet, within that funny game of denying the obvious (that I am alive), it showed something very serious and important: Why should we take for granted anything? Our knowledge about metaphysical questions regarding existence and being is (close to) zero. We do not know what the cosmos is, we do not know what our consciousness is, we do not know where we go. The greatest philosophers and scientists have tried to answer such questions regarding the nature of our life and failed miserably.

So, who are we to claim that we are alive?

Is it because we feel something? But what does that mean and how can we interpret it with zero knowledge about the meaning of all this ‘something’ that we feel? How can we even know what we see, and sense is real without any objective definition of the infamous ‘Reality’ to begin with? How can we say that someone ‘is’ alive if we have not even reached a consensus on what ‘Is’ is?

It reminds me of the story with the captive Vietnam general who once told his American interrogator that the Vietnamese did not believe they would win the war. The Americans were so much pleased with the answer that did not even bother to check out the rest of the interrogation transcript. Because if they did, they would see that the same general, when asked if he thought the Americans could win the war, he also answered No…

At the depth of our anxiety about death, lies our anxiety about life per se.

Opposites locked together. In an eternal dance around our own self.

It is interesting to note that the use of the word “life” is closely correlated with the use of the word “death” in English-language texts dating from 1500 up to 2019, according to the related Google Books Ngram Viewer analysis results that are shown below.

 Because at the end it seems that the greatest and most important dogma that underlies our belief in death, is our belief in life.

Question the obvious we must.

And the most obvious thing is our self.

Are we alive?

Are we dead?

(Does it matter?)

All I can hear…

Is laughter…


[1] Truth Puzzles: Solving the mysteries of the world…, Harmonia Philosophica, 2021/07/25, retrieve from on 2023-12-24.

[2] There is no Death! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence?), Harmonia Philosophica, 2021/11/18, retrieved from on 2023-12-24.

[3] There is no Death! There is no Life either! (A child, a brain map and a coincidence? – Part II), Harmonia Philosophica, 2021/11/20, retrieved from on 2023-12-24.

[4] What does it take to believe in death?, Harmonia Philosophica, 2011/05/08, retrieved from on 2023-12-24.

[5] Against Death (On the dogmatism that death exists), Harmonia Philosophica, 2022/03/06, retrieved from on 2023-12-24.

APPENDIX - Resurrection – Illogical, thus True.

Crucifixus est Dei filius,

non pudet, quia pudentum est.

Et mortuus est Dei filius,

prorsus credibile est, quia ineptum est.

Et sepultus ressurrexit,

certum est, quia impossibile est

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus

The son of God is crucified,

this does not bring shame because it is disgraceful.

And the son of God is dead,

this is worthy of faith because it is illogical.

Kai after his burial he rose,

this is certain because it is impossible.

It is the resurrection of Christ a real event?

The answer may come from an unexpected place …

Long ago when I was reading “The Birth of Tragedy” by Nietzsche, I realized that what some people think they know about “Nietzsche the atheist” is not valid. Nietzsche in this document refers to things that easily could be part of a… theological text. He talks about this primary One, and how the man in his Dionysian ecstasy comes in harmony with it. He analyzes his opposition to the religion of his days, which contrast is based on the fact that religion has become a religion of scholars (while Logic cannot explain the world!). He talks against science and reason that try to explain the world while seeming simply adhering to its surface.

Maybe analyzing something logically is not the solution. Maybe you should stand “irrational” in front of the problem to find a solution. Isn’t that what scientists we admire as “geniuses” do?

He rose.

Do you believe it? No.

The resurrection of a man who has died is a deeply illogical fact. It cannot happen based on what we know. But it is for this very reason that Shestov motivates us to believe it! Why should we believe the “reasonable” things? Not many true things are reasonable. Is it logical that we live for no reason at all and then we become fertilizer without any reason? Why immortality is irrational and accidental existence is logical? Who has instilled such ideas in us?

He rose.

Do you believe it? No.

Many say they saw him resurrected. But you do not believe them. They tell you so. You refuse to listen. You deny your own existence. An existence which cries out that you are more than a set of meat and bones. And yet you’re rational. You believe that you will die. But life itself is irrational. You cannot logically find its meaning. Because it is hidden where you are not looking. Stop thinking. See with your eyes closed. They tell you. You do not hear them. You want to see. But even if you saw you would not have believed it. Because you are logical. You would try to find the “trick” behind what you see. You live a life in logic. How can you become irrational now? How can you start living now?

He rose.

Do you believe it? No.

He lived and he died while being innocent. You think he did a trick. A stunt. Or even worse: you think that it was a common liar. A common liar who just got a crisis of conscience and sacrificed himself… for fun! They tell you he resurrected. Others also wrote down their testimony to satisfy your need for modern “written sources”. As you did not believe Homer, you do not believe them either. You are what you have told you to be. You hear what they have told you to listen. You are a ridiculous little man (or woman) who cannot think on his own without the prior consent of his “spiritual leaders”. You would never defend with your own life something absurd that you saw happening, you would never defend your beliefs. You do not have the guts to do so. You simply follow. If “reliable sources” do not tell you so, you do not believe so. But if your “sources” tell you so, then you are ready to believe anything, no matter how absurd, without protest.

Are there parallel universes? Yes.

He rose.

Do you believe it? No.

Be unreasonable and see what eyes cannot see: Resurrection means victory over death. Don’t you see? You’re not just blood and bones. You’re an enlightened being. And you have no need of sources (you have) or evidence or empirical data (which you also have) to believe. You’re a deeply irrational creature dropped in the world, and you every day feel anxious about who you are and where you go. You know nothing but know that there is meaning in all this.

We must be irrational! As irrational life is! Logic could never solve important problems (after all, Gödel has proved that logic cannot answer everything, and cannot even help us answer simple questions like “can you demonstrate that this proposal cannot be proved?”) while insight and intuition have provided solutions to many mysteries. Scientific riddles of ages have been solved with irrational thinking – not by “logic. Your logic makes you believe in “infinite”. And yet you have never seen it… Are you being irrational? Your logic makes you think that there are problems without a solution (“This proposal cannot be proved”) and yet you “know” that such problems do not exist. Is that irrational?

We live. We are basically irrational.

Perhaps the question should be put differently.

As Rilke says, the purpose of life is to be defeated by greater things.

He died.

Do you believe it?


[1] Anyway, science cannot prove anything, in the sense that for any argument a set of arbitrarily axioms is used. Rf. to “The limits of science”, Harmonia Philosophica.

[2] Discussions about the notion of matter can lead to non-materialistic views, if we are to consider the fact that in modern physics matter is more of a type of energy that manifests itself into existence with the help of the observer (rf. to modern quantum mechanics and the observer problem).

[3] Rf. To Yung, Pauli – The phsychoanalyzer, the physicist and number 137.

[4] Rf. To “Harmonia Philosophica”, Harmonia Philosophica [English] for the difference between those and how all antinomies can be merged philosophically into One Reality

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