Ever since my deconversion I’ve been much more aware of how temporary my life and the lives of those around me are. Once I came to the conclusion that there is no afterlife, I became much more aware of how I want to spend my remaining days on earth. I find this has really helped me to keep my eyes more focused on what’s really important in my life and what isn’t. Of course none of us will ever be perfect at this, but contemplating death is a good thing to a point and we should use it to help us keep things in perspective and to appreciate each moment more. Considering I think the formation of religions was and still is based on this ultimate fear of our own death and our inability to control that and many other things in our lives, this is a topic that I’ve thought about a decent amount. And as foreign as the idea is to us – I encourage all of us to think about death more often! Not in a fearful way but in a way that reminds us that each moment in our lives is precious and that we should choose wisely how we spend them.
The book I recommended in a previous post also covers this topic near the end: The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
In that book, I came across these other titles that he mentions and they are on my to-read list:
Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death by Irvin D. Yalom
The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker
Anyone have thoughts on this topic?