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    Thread: Why does a positive view of the afterlife not seem to prevent deep grief?

    1. #26
      strange trains of thought Achievements:
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      This turn of discussion is important, I think. Well done, snoop.

      It seems possible that a more positive worldview (whether it includes an afterlife or not) naturally emerges when one begins to let go of emotions/actions based solely on fear. Some fears are rational, but not all...like the fear of death, loss, or pain (imo).

      I don't mean to overreach here, but I think these fears are pointless in a sense. Pain might be reasonable to fear, that instinct can save our lives on occasion. But death/loss/afterlife? To me that's likes fearing the sun will rise and set each day and the moon will emerge each night. Why bother? Better to expend efforts elsewhere.

      As for why some still grieve?
      Because everyone reacts differently to emotional stress I think.
      Based on more variables than anyone is willing to read in a single post.

      In my personal experience?
      Though I have moved on from losses in my life, the momentary grief--that "10 second heartbreak"--never truly disappears. It is there at times despite your most focused efforts, despite all rationality.

      Also, some people are more sensitive than others. I for example routinely cry about nonsense things...like commercials, things that happened a decade ago, or things that have absolutely nothing to do with me. Usually with very little warning. Yet many people limit their emotional responses more efficiently.

      Emotions are a hotbed of unpredictability, no? Of circumstance and perception and exceptions to the rules and all that lovely grey area that makes it fun to examine and discuss.

      I want so badly to know how to answer the OP smartly on this one, but honestly my thoughts on the afterlife (like most things) are so far from determined that assuming a positive outcome is simply out of my league.

      Grief can mean many things to many people, though.

      Some toast, some bring flowers every year, some burst into tears...
      Some just remember and smile.

      Even those assuming the best for their departed one are are grieving in a very specific way.
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    2. #27
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      I will be the first to admit that you are still susceptible to momentary lapses of judgement and strong emotional states, but I view them like consciousness, time, and rivers. You gotta let them come and go. Moving on is the end goal, coming to terms with what is ailing you allows you to learn the skills needed to let moments like these pass. The more you make it a habit, the more it becomes habit, and it's nearly like you skip the middle man altogether. It becomes an automatic process, like muscle memory.

      Keeping yourself from getting too lost in the details is an active process, seeing the big picture is mindfully being aware of what is going on to and around you. You bring all the details together to paint an all encompassing portrait, it frees up cognition and allows you to make new connections. It's the difference between Newton's theories and quantum mechanics. If you get lost in the details, you are stuck in a linear thought process that allows you to make fewer decisions, arbitrarily let's say 2 or 3. Using lateral thinking, knowing and understanding polarity and opposites, you can see that a lot more is going on than meets the eye, and in order to more creatively solve issues important to you, you can start approaching the problem from an entirely different way. The greatest inventors in society have not come up with solutions that are obvious or even fairly obvious. They thought outside of the box, they used their imagination and wondered if there a force like electricity really existed, tested the hypothesis, and then based on the results found ways to harness and utilize this force. What if gravity were not a force, as it merely appears to be, what if time and space are inexorably linked? What if it's spacetime, and not space and time? Things appear to be a lot of ways, but it is because we believe they have to be this way that makes it "true" in our subjective reality. Denial is terribly limiting and close-minded.

      Thus, if we don't deny that there are problems, if we don't deny that there are solutions, if we keep an open mind to things but still remain skeptical (treat it truly as if both possibilities are capable of being the "truth" as we understand it, not trying to prove something wrong per se, but to make sure as certainly that we can that it isn't), we can see through illusions and come to an understanding of something. Understanding in this case meaning the ability to practically utilize "knowledge" or observed (what appear to be) facts. Proving something wrong shouldn't be an end goal for a skeptic either, it should be proving why something is wrong, to achieve understanding.
      Last edited by snoop; 11-24-2014 at 09:50 PM.

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