Recently I was talking with my sister about the future of humanity. I have always felt that we must do what we can for the future of humanity. It is a major driving force for me though most of what I can do for the future of humanity is think, talk and write. My sister’s response was that while she agreed with me after she dies she won’t care. This logic is flawless. Whether you are religious or not there is still a sense that once you die nothing matters. Those who believe in a heaven usually believe it as a separate place. Atheists believe you cease to be. While there are other beliefs that suggest after death you just come back to Earth and go again. Those beliefs also say that you as a conscious being won’t continue on. Regardless I will die and it won’t matter is a prevalent belief throughout humanity. It is also a detrimental thought to the future of humanity.
Humans tend to think of themselves outside of the collective humanity. We do what we want for ourselves. However every human is part of humanity. What we think and feel and do reflects the greater whole of humanity. If we are all going around saying I will die and it won’t matter then the future of humanity will ultimately die and it won’t matter. We need to get over our own death and start thinking about the immortality of humanity rather than the mortality of humans. Our fixation with death will be the death of us.
I love that idea that people that believe in an afterlife don’t care about the world or any of its contents or goings on after they have died. It’s an idea I have never considered before, but one which for some reason seems to be held by many on route to Valhalla or whatever.
It’s a ludicrous product of the alienated and disenchanted state of modern society. Back in the day, post-death events were considered so important for those who remained alive, that they felt the need to keep the line open with the departed relative, so that they could continue to contribute to the group into retirement.
The absence of extended-familial solicitude is a formidable progeny of rationalism, which appears to still be all the rage in the industrialised world. It really makes a damn good amount of sense to just not really give a damn. A tad nihilist perchance. But the idea is gripping for any existentially anxious individual, peeved with their clan’s inability to provide a sufficient enough attribution of meaningfulness to existence. (namely that: “sorry bud, there really isn’t anything out there. but have you played charades?”: A game that loses a lot of its oomf when the lights are turned off).
The Buddha seemed to think that the nicest thing anyone could do was to help a person understand through their own physical experience of reality, that this is it. No doubt I would agree if I was starving in Africa. But I’m not, so I’ve had some spare time to consider the options, thanks to the generous welfare system we have installed around here, and it’s occurred to me, that an equally rational conclusion would be that projecting images onto things, while an inherently absurd activity, can really be quite fun. Sure it confuses the hell out of us all, but bloody hell, I have a welfare check, and I’m bloody gonna buy those strawberries and go to the zoo.
Many forget that the founder of Buddhism was a staunch atheist. He taught this is it so try and live the perfect life.
and that life generally sucks and is inherently meaningless. I don’t know if it’s irony that his meditation technique operates like a superconductor of meaning. Meaning enough to reveal the lack thereof. Like a pair of super-hi-tech expensively engineered glasses, that are really actually so effective that you can see the sub-atomic particles that make up your beloved aunt’s nose mole.
That was his goal though so it isn’t ironic. He wanted a method for people to be able to sit down and think about their life and be able to improve it.