What will you miss the most ?

If you have a split second to review your life before you slip into your eternal nothingness, what aspects of being alive will you miss the most ?

Posted: September 29th 2009

flagellant www

I have had cause to address a similar question from time to time, but it has never been an instantaneous review: I frequently think about 'slipping into eternal nothingness’, as you put it, or ceasing to exist as I would. The general, hypothetical answer is that I would miss the wonder of life itself but, of course, there won’t be a 'me’ to do the missing.

A more specific answer is the joy of having good relationships with other human beings and, going even finer, closeness with a loving, understanding partner.

Some years ago, when I had to consider the possibility that I might not wake from surgery, I didn’t backslide. Instead, I chose to waken to one of my favourite pieces of music: Mozart’s Requiem. I chose this as a celebration of artistic achievement, the opportunity to re-affirm my attachment to life, and to express my contempt for superstition of all sorts.

As it happens, I shall have to face the problem once more during the next six months. Even though I shall have rather more than a split second to reconsider, my attitude will not change.

Posted: September 30th 2009

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SmartLX www

If that’s the reality then it’s your eternal nothingness too, you know.

It’s a strange question to ask an atheist, really, because from my perspective there won’t be a me to miss anything. I won’t experience eternity, empty or otherwise; I will not exist, so eternity will pass without me.

Not that you’re necessarily angling for the following, but those who might be frightened into believing by the prospect of eternal nothingness would have a flimsy faith indeed. It does not serve one well to reason, “There is an afterlife because it would be nicer if there is.”

What I would do, had I a split-second to review my life at its end, is wish that I could spend more time with those who are important to me. Foremost in my mind would be the woman who, assuming I live one more month, will be my wife.

Posted: September 29th 2009

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