[Buddha-l] Being left alone to quietly die

Erik Hoogcarspel jehms at xs4all.nl
Sat Jun 5 01:33:48 MDT 2010

Op 05-06-10 01:04, lemmett at talk21.com schreef:
> Freud did think that we can't imagine our own deaths because we have to smuggle in ourselves as observers that imagine it. I'm not sure I think that is much more than an observation though - not an argument. Merleau-Ponty says something similar that "neither my birth nor my death can appear to me as my experiences..." in the Phenomenology of Perception and Derrida says something similar in Aporias. More interesting still is that Goethe agreed and may have concluded he was immortal.
Great, those quotes, I bet you can find just as much quotes for the 
opposite. What's the use? Do you even understand what they mean? The 
authors in question may just be wrong or they may mean something 
different, or, as in the case of Merleau-Ponty, the translation may be 
shaky. The problem is in the conception of the I. Sartre once wrote a 
short story about a suicide terrorist who abandoned his intention to 
blow up a building because he realized he wouldn't be there to witness 
the results. But Sartre also thought that the I was an object for 
consciousness, because we can think about ourselves and we can lose our 
I, in the case of amnesia, and become a different person.
In Buddhist philosophy the I is seen as a stream, or a continuity. The 
continuity is necessary for the existence of karma. But how about people 
with MPS? And can we be conscious of the extinction of the I, for 
instance in deep samadhi? Is there something like a fourth state of 
consciousness from where you can whitness deep sleep and even death? And 
what if the I is just a mental structure, how is continuity possible? 
And we haven't even discussed the part of the body. There can be 
different personalities in one body, but not different bodies for one 
personality (except perhaps in the Teaparty Movement and in North 
Korea). And a personality without a body has never been established.
Most answers to these questions are speculative. If you want certainty 
you better start doing some thinking of your own.


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