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Thanks for posting this, Michael, very insightful. It's sort of OT, but with the passing of Steve Jobs, what he said, "Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose" seems very appropriate here. Or, as others have said, it is only when we realize that we are going to die do we understand how to live.

Yeah. The whole issue of death being the long sleep kinda gets reframed, to sat the least, if you consider what Mediums, NDEs and reincarnation research suggest about the nature of death.

Maybe you can still get away with it if you hold to the view that you will spend the rest of your days in a 'summerland-esque' paradise, where trials and tribulations are not to be found. But if you don't hold to that view it would seem that our life is but a stepping stone and many more trials and tribulations are to come.

I can see how survival may seem unattractive to some who long for the long silence.

"if you don't hold to that view it would seem that our life is but a stepping stone and many more trials and tribulations are to come."

Hamlet, at least, considered this prospect:

"To sleep, perchance to dream - ay, there's the rub, for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause ..."

Kathleen it reminds me of something I heard that was something like "you can only lose that which you think you can't live without" The source was talking about simplicity, in that if you live without wanting or getting attached to material things, it won't bother you when they are gone.

"if you live without wanting or getting attached to material things, it won't bother you when they are gone." - j9
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Sounds like someone who has never loved. What is love but attachment, connectedness, and oneness? When people have NDE's come back and say they felt an overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness they are saying the exact same thing as those people who say they felt an overwhelming sense of love.

So if you want to go through life not loving anyone or anything - knock yourself out.

Ah, but, Art, I'm not sure I consider love material.

Art, you can't ever attach yourself to material things, Steve Jobs had it right. There's a great difference in loving a painting versus loving your wife or your dog. The loving of a living thing does something different to us than the loving of a material thing. I think we were meant to experience the first, while experiencing love of material things was something we were meant to overcome. Oh well, I'm sounding kind of preachy, just my thoughts.

we are here to experience material things. That is the whole point of life.

Likely, the point of life is something we're not meant to know....for the time being. Science would have us believe otherwise. No greater waste of a life than striving to know the unknowable. A self-aggrandizing pursuit currently in vogue. Maybe acceptance of such IS the point.

I doubt that the whole point of life is simply to experience material things.

I think J9 makes a good point which is that many of us grow to realise that actually, most of the important things are not material at all: love, friendship, personal development, helping others etc.

Perhaps life in a material world might simply be a good way to learn some of the non-material lessons.

Perhaps the problem with materialism is not the enjoyment of material pleasures per se, but an undue attachment to them. Might it not be the case that trying to isolate ourselves from the material world is potentially as damaging as becoming too attached to it?

I is possible that the ideal path is in between.(end of fortune cookie)

For sure. In-between. Good comment, Paul.

Possibly the universe exists only for the purpose of satisfying our innate curiosity? A realm of such magnitude, it's easily capable of supporting far-more or far-less sentient characters than ourselves? A destination we've chosen, maybe?

A bad habit, putting (?) after each sentence. A media ploy commonly used to disenfranchise themselves from true opinion, regardless it may be obvious. :-)

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