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How does one handle the death of a loved-one?

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What is the Objectivist view on death and the after life? Im going through the death of someone very dear to me. Im new to Ayn Rand's philosophy and was just curious if this has ever been discussed before. I know that Objectivist dont believe in God, so probably no afterlife. But Im not sure, I know that Nietzsche believed in Eternal Recurrance where everyone lives their life again and again. Do you think its a good thing to trick yourself into believeing things that make you feel better, for your own self interest? It might minimize the stress, mourning process. Or better in the long run to face the fact that death is the end of the ride. Thanks

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What is the Objectivist view on death and the after life?  Im going through the death of someone very dear to me.  Im new to Ayn Rand's philosophy and was just curious if this has ever been discussed before.  I know that Objectivist dont believe in God, so probably no afterlife.  But Im not sure, I know that Nietzsche believed in Eternal Recurrance where everyone lives their life again and again.  Do you think its a good thing to trick yourself into believeing things that make you feel better, for your own self interest?  It might minimize the stress, mourning process.  Or better in the long run to face the fact that death is the end of the ride.  Thanks

When Ayn Rand lost her husband of fifty years it had a profound effect upon her emotional state. Her first interview after her husband's death was on the Phil Donohue television show, and she described in detail the state she was in. It might be helpful to you to get the tape and listen to her words.

As far as an "afterlife" is concerned, in response to a question by Donohue she said (not verbatim) something to the effect "If I thought for a moment there was an afterlife I would kill myself immediately so that I could be with him."

You can purchase the tape from the Ayn Rand Bookstore at

http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/store/pro...tem=17&mitem=22

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In the same show I believe she said something (concerning her own death) like

"It is not me who dies, it is the world that ceases to exist".

What on earth (..) was that supposed to mean?  :)

As I recall she said "I will not die. The world will end."

She was discussing what she expected the experience of death to be and her remark meant that she wouldn't experience death at all. She would simply cease experiencing the world.

It is the other side of the thought expressed in one of Ayn Rand's favorite poems: "The Westerner" by Badger Clark.

"The world began when I was born

And the world is mine to win."

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What is the Objectivist view on death and the after life?  Im going through the death of someone very dear to me.  Im new to Ayn Rand's philosophy and was just curious if this has ever been discussed before.  I know that Objectivist dont believe in God, so probably no afterlife.  But Im not sure, I know that Nietzsche believed in Eternal Recurrance where everyone lives their life again and again.  Do you think its a good thing to trick yourself into believeing things that make you feel better, for your own self interest?  It might minimize the stress, mourning process.  Or better in the long run to face the fact that death is the end of the ride.  Thanks

When death is necessary, I see it as a good thing, not a bad thing.

When Scott Nearing died, his wife, Helen, was happy that he died. It was a release from his worn out body.

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Regarding AR's statement — "I will not die; it's the world that will end" — it was made during her 1979 appearance on Tom Snyder's Tomorrow show. I believe a tape of this show is (or at least was at one time) commercially available. The portion of the interview in which she said it was also included in the film Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, and is transcribed in the book of the same name.

AR attributed the quotation to a Greek philosopher, whose name she didn't recall. Does anyone here know who it was?

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AR attributed the quotation to a Greek philosopher, whose name she didn't recall. Does anyone here know who it was?

I haven't heard the quote before, but it sounds similar to some of Epicurus' statements ("Death is nothing to us, since when we

are, death has not come, and when death has come, we are not.")

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Do you think its a good thing to trick yourself into believeing things that make you feel better, for your own self interest?  It might minimize the stress, mourning process.  Or better in the long run to face the fact that death is the end of the ride.

I don't believe "tricking" yourself into believing falsehoods is in your own self-interest. I think you would suffer more throughout your life if you believed in an afterlife.

When I took the afterlife seriously, it did nothing but cause me stress and depression, because I had no idea whether I was going to the good or bad afterlife. And, really, I had no way of knowing, since it isn't real.

People who don't reject the afterlife, tend to give up on ideas and blindly follow the dogma of their authorities. For them, it is better not to think for themselves, because what they think about, especially regarding philosophical matters, causes headache and misery.

It is always better to face the facts.

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When I took the afterlife seriously, it did nothing but cause me stress and depression, because I had no idea whether I was going to the good or bad afterlife. And, really, I had no way of knowing, since it isn't real.

People who don't reject the afterlife, tend to give up on ideas and blindly follow the dogma of their authorities.

Which fact accounts for the stranglehold that religious authorities have had for millenniums over their minions. I have always thought that the greatest evil of religion was cojoling people into having less concern for their own happiness here on Earth.

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There has been a suicide in a close circle of friends that I used to be in. Well, it was my friends wife, she had hung herself. Both Jason (her husband) and I look at the situation with as much objectivity as possible. Because it was a suicide and we knew the state of drug use she was going through. It was almost as if it didn't suprise us. She had taken a dark path with drugs (far more than I've witnessed) and it ended up being her own demise, so in this situation Jason (her husband) understands that fact and is using logic to deal with it. He's doing very well considering, and he has dealt with his emotion very effectively (and he's not an objectivist in any way other than he's a pretty rational human being).

My personal view on death has been viewed by my relatives as a detached way of dealing with it without compassion or much emotion. In a lot of ways they are right. I feel that death is a human beings final 'enlightenment'. With death we will know all that we can't comprehend thus far in this world...what happens when we die. The only people I've lost that I've been very close to are my grandparents and they died in my teens. I dealt with both of those situations with a grace because I knew that they lead very long lives (regardless if they were happy or not that wasn't my place to decide). I feel that if one can view death objectively one would have to consider the rationality of the concept of impermanence. If one could realize that nothing living lives forever then one could easily come to grip with the loss of any living thing, regardless of the emotion it causes. That emotion is a natural human process and should deffinately not be ignored. If ignored then it could damage your ability to be rational and succeed because you have repressed an emotion instead of facing it head on. That repression will come back up in different ways through the subconscience and could prevent progress of you, the individual.

My condolences go out to you sir and I hope that you and the people that loved this person come out stronger.

And to Betsy...I just looked up "The Westerner" by Badger Clark and I found that poem to be profound and empowering. Thank you for citing that because it was something that I enjoyed reading.

~Michael

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Guest jrshep
There has been a suicide in a close circle of friends that I used to be in.

Swifty and Release,

I am sorry to hear about your losses. There is a book, "The Grief Recovery Handbook," by John W. James, Russell Friedman, which I found helpful and thought that I would mention. It's available from Amazon for $10.40 as a paperback.

From Amazon's description (needed spaces added):

"Incomplete recovery from grief can have a lifelong negative effect on your capacity for happiness. Drawing from their own histories, as well as from others, the authors illustrate what grief is and how it is possible to recover and regain energy and spontaneity. Based on a proven program, now extensively revised, The Grief Recovery Handbook offers grievers the specific actions needed to complete the grieving process and accept loss. For those ready to regain a sense of aliveness, the principles outlined here make this a life-changing handbook."

The two authors went through their own significant losses and found themselves troubled by the lack of truly helpful information on grieving, so they wrote their book from what they learned on their own journeys through grief.

Regards,

John

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As I recall she said "I will not die.  The world will end."

She was discussing what she expected the experience of death to be and her remark meant that she wouldn't experience death at all.  She would simply cease experiencing the world.

It is the other side of the thought expressed in one of Ayn Rand's favorite poems: "The Westerner" by Badger Clark.

"The world began when I was born

And the world is mine to win."

That quote from Ayn Rand is a simple but beautifully stated concept of what death means for an atheist. As an atheist who that has spent the time pondering the concept of death, I must agree with her completely.

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I have no problem with death, but I kinduv don't like the idea of being there when it happens to me. After I die I won't care.

Why choose hanging as a way to die? I would rather die the way Scott Nearing died. When he reached the age of 100, he apparently started to feel the effects of his age and he decided that 100 years is long enough for a man to live. He killed himself by first living on nothing but juice (veggy juice and fruit juice) and then on nothing but water. He died without suffering and with a functional state of mind and at home. He was lying down talking with his wife and he said "Now!" and he closed his eyes and was dead.

He lived as he chose and he died as he chose.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Perhaps someday we will have the technology to defeat death, even bring dead people back to life. Who knows?

How true. And every day billions of people accept and practice moralities and politics that are bent and determined to make sure that we will never reach such a level of prosperity. To think of the countless pains and frustrations in life that simply would not exist in a free and Capitalistic society of Objectivists...

I'm sorry, but that just makes me very angry. To think of what could and should be and to contrast it with the enormity of the smallness of its enemies.

But it is a righteous anger; one that gives me the resolve to keep working for that future.

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