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The most important question I can ask.

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posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:22 AM
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There is a question for which I really want...no scratch that, need an
answer. A question which has many fundamental implications for life as a
human being. I am trying to understand what I am and what I'm supposed to
be doing and this has been pretty constant for the twenty eight years I
have been alive.

The question is one which I think most if not all people will ask
themselves at some point during their lives in some way. Some people will
believe they know the answer and to them it's all wrapped up nicely and
that's fine.

My problem is not being able to believe anything unless I have had it
proven to me personally through experience or through indisputable
scientific evidence. I can't just believe something because I want it to
be true.



The question is this:

Is consciousness a result of biology or does it exist separately?



The implications are enormous depending on which is truth.

If consciousness is a product of the workings of my body and brain then I
am nothing more then a very complicated biological machine. My thoughts,
dreams, moral decisions, loves, aspirations, experiences and all things
which I learn through my life are meaningless and will disappear once I die.
I guess I will endeavour a little longer through the memories of those
who knew me but once they die, I will be no more.

This is a terrifying thought to me. I don't want to live a life if it
means nothing more then passing on genetic material, it just seems like
such a cruel accident of evolution that I am self aware and able to ask
these questions If I'm just an animal and nothing more.

Conversely, If the opposite is true, If there exists a part of us all
which transcends physical reality as we understand it, many other amazing
things become a possibility. Existence after physical death, a meaning to
all learning and experience in 'this life', a greater truth to the
universe and a greater meaning to all things.


I wish I could just believe in something blindly because I find life
really difficult sometimes due to the fact that I just don't know. Thinking about the
former being the truth makes extremely depressed and I long for some
confirmation that the latter is the case. Some discovery or insight which
makes it apparent that there is more to Human beings then simply flesh and
blood.

Just imagine how things would change in the world if everyone was made
aware that everything they do is building toward something and has
implications beyond the physical. People would live in such a different way,
for themselves and for other and the world would change for the betterment
of everyone.

The reason for me posting this on ATS is because I'm having a bit of a bad
time of it lately and I guess that the thoughts of others are often very
insightful here and can take my thoughts in directions I wouldn't have
been able to take myself. I need inspiration. I need...something.

Thanks in advance.




posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:26 AM
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book ' who in fact you really are' will answer those questions, merci



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:28 AM
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reply to post by angelx666
 


I appreciate the reply and suggestion and will try to find this book.

thanks



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:36 AM
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Consciousness is both separate and biological.

Man is the only creature with self-awareness, free-will and an understanding of the passing of time.

Your purpose here is simple. You exist to learn moral and ethical lessons, experience good and evil, and to love and serve your fellow humans.

Death is an ending only in a biological sense. The consciousness survives with full awareness of personality and memory.

Life is for living! Enjoy it! :-)



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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I think we are programmed to act this way through biology.

But in the end, does it matter?

If no one truly knows, just think of the thing that makes you feel the best yourself. You do not need someone else's opinion to match yours.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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PS - It is absolutely true that the most powerful truth is personal experience.

For example, even if science disproves the existence of UFOs, and a person absolutely does not believe in them... If that person experiences one then all the proof goes away.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:40 AM
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reply to post by emsed1
 


This is exactly what I want to be true and I wish I could just believe it but I can't no matter how much I want to. Thanks for putting it so simply and so well.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by FritosBBQTwist
 


well in the end, it matters to me. And don't need others opinions to match mine so much as want to hear them to encourage me to think in different ways and directions because I feel like I'm at a bit of a dead end.

thanks



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:49 AM
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Most people have beliefs. The word belief in itself implies doubt. So the question is "how do i get in the know."

There are many people who have near death experiences that will faststeadily tell you without a doubt that life does not cease to exist.

I don't have any beliefs, I am very much aware this life is a microsecond of your continued conciousness.

I was in a coma for a while and remember a very surreal existence. People in coma's don't generally have brainwaves. My coma was induced by my medical doctor.

All I can say is I remember a vastly different world. I would suggest reading up on NDE's and near NDE's. Iands.org is great place to start.



[edit on 18-1-2010 by brilab45]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:49 AM
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Sorry, double post.



[edit on 18-1-2010 by brilab45]

[edit on 18-1-2010 by brilab45]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:51 AM
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You are still quite young (well you are compared to me
)
My take is that some people are fortunate and live life according to who they really are from day 1. Others never learn and the majority of us are somewhere in the middle.
I think for a lot of us there are periods of just getting by so I wouldn't stress about it.
I have no idea what happens to us after death but my take is that we also make our own karma here on earth.
Maybe you will be another Bill Gates or Richard Branson. Maybe you will be stacking supermarket shelves or sweeping the streets..
Maybe you should feel fortunate that you are able to be on here agonising on the meaning of life.. Elsewhere there are people just trying to survive.
Philosophical discussions are a luxury.
What counts is trying to listen to your inner voice and being happy with who/what you are.
No one is above anyone else and anyone of us can make a difference,


[edit on 18-1-2010 by unicorn1]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:55 AM
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Bookstores are filled with books that attempt to provide proof of the afterlife. One that comes to mind is "The Afterlife Experiments," which I found to be a good read. But, regardless of the amount of "proof" one gathers pointing in one direction or the other, there will always be doubt. Personally, I have a feeling that I will persist after my physical body dies, but I'm not certain.

In the end, all we can do is live a good life, and perhaps be pleasantly surprised one day. Or not.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:57 AM
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reply to post by Chonx
 


The human body needs electricity to function, it has a built in current that flows through your nervous system constantly.

If there was no electrical current, you would be dead. Without it you cannot live from the start.

Take this back to the drawing board here and ask the question, where did the very first electrical current come from?

No answer?

Look at it in the opposite, where did my or where will my childs electrical current come from? It will come from the mother but the mother cannot give life without the father.

Look back at the first question again and see thats its all right in front of you, do not overcomplicate it.



[edit on 18-1-2010 by XXXN3O]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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I know you are looking for a definite answer, but honestly sir, there is none.

You can mull over book after book after book after book of "fact" (be it scientific or other). Not only that, science and society used to say it was fact that the world is flat.

Don't get me wrong, I fully respect and accept science, but they are all about theory. No one ever knows anything for 100%...it's just no fun that way.


You said " well in the end, it matters to me. And don't need others opinions to match mine so much as want to hear them to encourage me to think in different ways and directions because I feel like I'm at a bit of a dead end"

Well here you go: I encourage you to think in different ways and directions. You are not a dead end, you are just allowing yourself to live that way. I used to go through this. I wanted to know FOR FACT that what I thought was right, or be told what is right. Well I went on that search (which inevitably leads straight to religion) and shocker...every religion has different "facts".

The only pure way to know what you are and what you will be (afterlife) is just to live it and find out because there is no other way!

I can tell you I think that we do at least hang around earth for a while. Why? Because I have experienced ghosts on a few different occasions. That sealed me in the afterlife program.

So that leads me to try to live a good life, because obviously there are consequences for our actions during our life.

These revelations happened after I got fed up trying to "find" the reason.

Open your mind a bit, actually USE your senses. you will find the answers. there is no book, no man, no anything that can show you what the truth is about life. It all comes from inside.

On a more frank note...you don't always need a book or someone else to tell you whats what. That's following..and it looks like you want to be a leader. Lead. All great men must overcome the urge to follow and take on the burden of leadership.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:06 AM
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There cannot be any scientific proof of existence of God, soul and such. Just as there cannot be any scientific proof of the opposite.
And of course forcing yourself to believe in things you do not believe in is absurd.
However - i see no reason to suffer because of this issue.
Even if we are just an evolutionary biological machines - we are complex enough not to be simply another DNA-passing link. Life is ,gladly-sadly, much more then just that. Enjoy the ride as it lasts.
And existence of God and immortality of the soul does not ensure immortality of "thoughts,dreams, moral decisions, loves, aspirations, experiences and all things which people learn through their life". Brain that keeps the memories will die without any question, this is scientific fact. But it will serve you in your life according to your experience. I think that one's moral choices and decisions do shape the soul, but it is my personal belief. No scientific proof. Sorry.


[edit on 18-1-2010 by ZeroKnowledge]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:09 AM
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Hey


I'm near you in years, and feel much of the same. Life can be rough sometimes, especially when it seems you are unable to obtain the sort of understanding you desire!

Uncomfortable as it is, I sit on the fence. When I reach the occasional threshold of boredom/disgust, I tell myself that surely, sometime soon, down the road, I will know more than I do now.

That said, maybe the experience of life, and the experience of death, are what we are supposed to learn. Maybe we are arrogant to think that we have the right, the ability, the need to figure it out.

I talk about it, and I think about it. It can be fun, frustrating, exhausting, exhilarating, and depressing. Believing in something for the sake of believing, or having an answer, isn't the road I go down either. However, if one makes the choice to not simply go down any old road, then they must also we willing to bear the agony that accompanies trying to find the "right" one.

-Eleph



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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Thankyou for the replies. Isn't just an amazing and beautiful thing that you guys, who are complete stangers to me with no investment in my happiness who I will most likely never meet can make me smile and encourage me to think. I have a lot to ponder from the few replies which this thread has already recieved. THANKYOU

iamsupermanv2 - what you said about not following and trying to lead really resonated with me. I have a real problem with having the courage to do something if I'm not sure of the outcome and it's just not a healthy way to live. (it took my girlfriend about a year and a half of trying for me to start a relationship with her because the last one I had ended so badly and I was afraid of it happening again).

Elpheagle - The fence is so very uncomfortable. I sometimes feel like I'm getting closer to an understanding. After reading or experiencing something I'll sometimes have a fleeting flash of knowing and I'll feel like I almost know but not quite.... this, however, only lasts a fraction of a second. Like a glimpse of part of the truth which I just can't hold on to. It's very frustrating.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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reply to post by Chonx
 


Quite the contrary, we actually have a very vested interest in your happiness.

Humankind is all one family. Much like the happiness of our immediate family is important, so is the happiness of our extended family.

In many cases asking the simple question you asked is the first step on the path to understanding. They say, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

It sounds like you are ready. :-)



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:38 AM
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reply to post by Chonx
 


I'm glad my comments helped you a bit.

Leading is scary, but it separates the men from the boys.

Get out of your bubble and live life. That's the main point.

as Miss Frizzle said:" Take Chances, Make Mistakes, AND GET MESSY!"



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by Chonx
Is consciousness a result of biology or does it exist separately?

Here's the quick answer, which is irrefutable by theists and atheists alike — that is, nobody can successfully argue it.

The answer: The entire Universe is conscious, including you. Therefore, consciousness exists both internally and externally.

The proof? Easy.

You are a "product" of the Universe. Everything about you is a product of the Universe — the atoms that make up the molecules that make up your fiendishly sophisticated biology were once nothing more than subatomic particles forged into atoms at the moment of Creation (the Big Bang or whatever you want to call it).

Your atoms have been recycled in clouds of nascent gases and dust between stars, in the cores of stars themselves, and right here on the planet Earth countless times. Your atoms have probably comprised many life forms over the ages. Your molecules have been recycled in everything from simple microorganisms to plant life to apex predators.

This is all irrefutable by Science. It cannot be argued by Religion, either.

You are a PRODUCT of the Universe. Everything about you, including your CONSCIOUSNESS, is no more and no less a product of natural forces that made the Universe what it is.

What you are is what the Universe IS.

Therefore... The Universe is at least as CONSCIOUS as YOU are. If you accept that there are other, more advanced life forms in the Universe, then the Universe is at least as conscious as THEY are.

The Universe is capable of Consciousness, therefore, the Universe IS conscious.

Of course, you can take that a step further and say that the Universe has a sense of humor, and you'd be correct. You could say the Universe is Sophisticated and Barbaric and Good and Evil, and you'd still be correct.

Because all of these peculiarities are PRODUCTS of the Universe. We are no more and no less the products of this Universe, and there is nothing within us that isn't also OUT THERE.

So... Wonder no more. You share everything in common with the Universe around you. Consciousness is both within you and outside of you.

— Doc Velocity



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