Please pardon me for bringing religion into it. I'll explain why religion is wrong in a few paragraphs.
My fear of death faded after I gave up Christianity. (I still believe in God.)
That religion has deeply affected western thinking, because it promotes the idea that what happens after death is all-important. It makes that a huge
focus, a huge worry.
Islam does the same - it's all about the afterlife.
What I love about Judaism, the original faith of Abraham (which has nothing to do with Israel and politics and all that), is that it gives no answer
for what comes next. It says that what you do RIGHT NOW and TODAY matter more than anything else.
It matters how you treat people. It matters how you spend your time. It matters what you choose to think about and concentrate on. It matters where
you work, and how well you do your job. It matters to YOUR life and it matters to every person who comes into contact with you.
It matters profoundly that you live each and every day the very best you can. Whether in a simple or a grand way, though I think the simple things
matter the most.
The failings of other-worldy religions are that they say, "as long as you follow this prescription for the after-life and earn that, nothing else
This idea has led to the crumbling of western societies. It has led to extreme selfishness and self-absorption. It's a poison for the individual and
societies at large. In the east it has led to the idea that dying for ideology is somehow good (suicide bombings). It is not good - it's just a wasted
When I put all of that away and began to concentrate on living each day the best way I know how, and leaving the afterlife as God's concern, as
something that doesn't apply to me here & now, death stopped being scary. It's something that will happen to me, and I don't know if I will simply be
no more, or if I will have an afterlife. I find that comforting, to know I'm not trying to earn it, that I'm simply trying to live as God told me
My life is very full. I'm enjoying it so much. I pray often that I will live long enough that my death is not a tragedy, but not so long that I am a
burden to anyone else. If that prayer is answered, I will be very blessed. Even if it was not true and today was my last day here - I have had a good
husband, smart and healthy children, a life of great experiences and adventure. I hope to see my children grow up, but beyond that, I've already been
blessed beyond imagination with a good life.
edit on 19-7-2011 by Schkeptick because: (no reason given)