As mentioned in previous blog posts, I enjoy thought provoking conversation with no clear outcome, and a high degree of abstraction (preferably while under the influence to abandon social constructs and habitual thinking patterns).
Consider the following example:
You're at an unspecified age, your body and mental capacity has deteriorated to the point you must be fully committed to a nursing home, within the next 30 days. At said nursing home, you will lose autonomy of your life: your meds will be administered, you're meals predetermined, someone puts you to bed, changes your clothes and upon being admitted, you'll be confined to a wheelchair.
Would you choose to end your own life before this happens (assuming your affairs are in order, on good terms with your family etc.)?
You can do anything you want, and there no concern about the afterlife, and subsequent various beliefs (or consequences of ending your own life). We are only considering HOW you will die. Money, possessions, people whatever you dream up is available. It could be anything from a time-release instant pain free death pill which activates within X time as you float down a quaint river with your family in a canoe, to being propelled to outer space and once clearing the atmosphere, a randomly selected number (within say 12 hours) starts a countdown to detonate the one-man rocket ship you are on.
Let's make this a little deeper, harder and more philosophical:
I think, one of the scariest views people hold about death, is the uncertainty about when it is coming. Such fear, as buried as it is, has a much more profound impact on our lives than we may like to admit. As the saying goes: Live as if you'll die tomorrow, dream as if you'll live forever. Personally, I believe our death is inside of us as much as our life is. The two are co-dependent. One cannot exist without the other. Therefore, if you are alive, you must equally harbour your death, and as such it must be as prominent as our life force. The Law of Conservation of Energy states energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Is death simply the transfer of our life energy to another host, and death simply the absence of energy (or even electricity)?
Whatever age you are at now, can you imagine pre-determining your own death date and means? I'm not talking about "suicide" in the sense of one not valuing their own life, and death is a means to an end or "escape". I'm talking about having a self-imposed pre-determined date for your exit from (this) life. You choose the date, time, location and circumstance. How does your life change? Your habits? Your values? Stephen Covey writes in his profound book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, on 'beginning with the end in mind'. In the exercise, he has you envision your funeral, and what you want people to say about you, who you want to attend, the legacy you want to leave etc. Take it a step further, why not begin with how your end will end? For the religious and stoics reading this, some would say there is a an existing and predetermined death-date. This should liberate individuals. Live on the edge, for if you die, it was the time you would have died normally, no sense living in fear of when you will die.
Is the uncertainty of ones death not removed if one self-imposes such a date and time? Can one face it more courageously knowing they have orchestrated the circumstance to favour them? If there is a pre-determined death date, and (our) death itself is within us, is it possible for someone to become in-tune with themself significantly enough to know when their death date is? What happens if their really is a pre-determined death date (time, location etc.), and this cannot be changed? Will the circumstances you sought to create simply not work out? What if your death date was meant to be exactly 1 year later?
Is everyone's death apart of a collective death energy, or is the death of each person an individual similar to that of an individual life? I think people consider their own life force as it being individual but death as a single entity which takes life from us. Can a death force be just as individual as ones own life force?
As per one of my original posts on predetermined outcomes and free will, does determining your own death date count as free will? Or was it predetermined to be that way? If so, how is it you can choose a death date and have it be predetermined?
Does predetermining your own death method and date, as outlined above, count as suicide? What benefits/drawbacks are there in terms of "emotional collateral damage" to friends, family and loved ones?
I'd really like to hear your comments, especially if you have done psychedelics and had a near death experience. What was your opinion on death before, during and after the NDE? Has anyone had an NDE without psychedelics and one (or more) with them? If you're willing, please compare and contrast.