I shall define death this way: The end of consciousness; the cessation of self-awareness; the nullification of the distinction of “I”. This is a fitting description of death qua death, or “proper death”, as it is more aptly described. What I mean is death unqualified by either science or religion…qualifications like “spiritual death”, or “death” as merely a biological pattern…of “life” scientifically reconfigured. In both cases, consciousness—the awareness of the Self—has nothing to do with death…death is merely one aspect of a perfunctory reality. Death is existant; and it is not an end of anything. And in this case, death is not existentially relevant to man, and so it is not relevant to philosophical truth, and thus is not relevant to ROOT truth. For philosophy deals with the observer—you and I as our singular Selves—where science deals with the observed, and religion deals with the observer as a mere function of divine will. Spiritual death refers to the irreversible debauchery of one’s character and the experience of divine punishment, and consiounsess in this case never ceases, and so there is no death as an ending, which means death is purely abstract, merely describing a different version of life. Biological death, being rooted in the mathematics of science, doesn’t concede the fundamental legitimacy or efficacy of consciousness, and this is because science posing as philosophy is inexorably determinist. And therefore death has nothing to do with the individual, who has no frame of reference for anything at all absent his consciousness. Scientific determinism precludes consciousness entirely.
My argument for the irrationality of death is fairly simply, and it is this: It is a self-nullifying and contradictory act to incorporate into reality, be it via divine power or purpose, or scientific processes, the destruction/subtraction/expiration of that by which creation and the powers and processes which cause it have any frame of reference whatsoever. The eradication of the reference by which God or nature (physics) and creation can be known as such, and thus given any value, is impossible because it necessarily amounts to a plenary invalidation of both. And once the Cause and the Caused are invalidated they cannot be, because they can have no meaning. Their being is entirely dependent upon their meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy, all of which can only be functions of that which is the practical reference for all of these things. The Truth of all which is said to exist is the sum of meaning, purpose, relevancy, and efficacy. But without that TO which the Truth of the Cause and the Caused can, in fact, be True, then they cannot be Cause or Caused in the first place. In which case they could not have caused or be caused at all. Without the conscious reference, who is there to say what is, and what is is is to be called, and what is actually does, and where it is, and where it’s been and where it’s going? There is no one.
For a simple example, take “chocolate”. “Chocolate” which is not referenced to he who can apply it to his single, constant, unchanging and thus objective reference of himSELF, which thus necessarily implies consciousness, or awareness of Self, is not and cannot in fact be chocolate. Without this reference, chocolate is not “chocolate”—the thing has no meaning. It has no purpose, no relevancy, no efficacy…it has no Truth, and therefore is not a thing at all. It is neither chocolate nor “chocolate”. And therefore if the reference dies…if “I” qua “I” dies then so must everything else. If “I” goes blank, then all of reality, all of existence, likewise goes blank. And if it goes blank then it never existed at all, because blankness, nothingness, is infinite. And this is why death is impossible. If we concede the absolute end of the Self then there is no reason why anything referenced to the Self should ever have begun in the first place. None at all. Unreferenced reality cannot be real, and could never have been real because a relevant past suggests a relevant present, which is not there. What is not real now, never was.
It may seem the height of arrogance to suggest that without “I”—without the Self, the individual conscious frame of reference for all of reality—that existence itself is null. We are bred, I submit, by the implicit humility of western thought and culture to accept that “I” is purely an extension of “other”, and that what is good for the Self is only that which is good for the collective…for the “greater good”. From this, at least in part, we implicitly concede that “I” is at root transient, and alone is insignificant to the overall ontological and spiritual landscape. We, individually, are small…mere blips in the vast expanse of time and space and the universe…that reality is reality and existence is existence whether the individual is conscious of it or not. To suggest otherwise, as I myself have personally experienced more than once, is to be branded a solipsist, a subjectivist, a mystic, and/or a peddler of Kantian collectivist metaphysics. But whether or not these labels are fitting or rational (they aren’t) is nothing but a distraction. Conjecture about my motives or my ideas in this context is besides the point. All I am doing is asking an obvious question with an obvious answer.
How would I know?
I am told that reality objectively exists and is true and will continue to be true despite my consciousness of it, but how would I know? Absent my Self…that is, my awareness of my Self, I have no frame of reference for such an assertion. So, when I am told that reality is objective and existant outside of me what I’m being asked to do, ironically, is to accept the claim by blind faith. I am being asked to believe in a thing absent any objective evidence that I can be aware of, because, as I am told, reality is entirely outside of my awareness. My awareness is irrelevant to reality, because when it’s gone, reality is still entirely real.
This is a problem.
If my consciousness is integrated into reality then reality cannot be utterly real without it; and if it’s not integrated, and reality is outside of it, then my consciousness is entirely irrelevant to it, distinct from it, and therefore is a complete lie. I cannot be conscious of reality because my consciousness is irrelevant to reality qua reality. It’s a figment…an illusion. Thus, I am being asked to accept an objective reality without any objective evidence. And this, dear readers, by some means of rational extortion and contortion passes for objective truth in many philosophical circles.
And it may further be argued that there is evidence for an objective reality outside of my consciousness that I can be shown now, and that is why I should accept the notion, as if what I accept by consciousness now has any bearing upon a state of absolute unconsciousness. Whatever I know as a Self ceases to be known when I am no longer that Self. The Self ceases, and thus any evidence I gather from the frame of reference of Self also ceases. Such evidence is not really evidence in that case. And further, to make this argument, that evidence now from consciousness is meaningful, is really just a concession that consciousness is utterly necessary to truth, which nullifies the entire argument that truth is still true and reality still real absent consciousness.
I must say that I find it specious at best to assert that one who accepts the obvious fact that without one’s conscious frame of reference there can be no such thing as reality means that he is a sollipsist, or that morality becomes merely a function of one’s subjective whim. That is, to be blunt, bad logic. Given that before any concepts can mean anything they must be consistently applied to the reality which the conscious observer perceives and defines necessarily to himself, the subjectivity of truth and morality is, from this premise, quite impossible. Because individual consciousness is the frame of reference, morality and truth can be objective. Individual consciousness allows ideas to have a reference point…a constant for what would otherwise be purely relative. It allows “me” to ACTUALLY be me and “you” to ACTUALLY be you, and from this we can derive a consistent epistemology and ethics. It allows reason to be reasonable, and thus ethics to be ethical. Reason, being anchored in a constant reference, has a consistent meaning, no matter who is using it…me or you or he or she. Because reason is shared, it is NOT subjective. There is no subjectivity implicit to the singular Self who communicates…that is, who shares concepts and conceptual consistency. The same reason that defines MY Self as the reference for all of reality TO ME also applies to YOUR Self as an equal reference TO YOU, because we share the concepts and thus share reason. The fact that reason must be referenced to the Self doesn’t make it unreasonable, but reasonable, because now it has a reference. The only time morality and truth become subjective is when one no longer SHARES in the rational truth of the Self as the singular objective reference. The only time truth becomes a lie and good becomes evil is when people reject the idea that their consciousness—their singular awareness of Self— is the only absolute reference for reality. And thus, the only time there is “death” is when the Self rejects its own infinite existence. The only time death is “real” so to speak is when one assumes that their consciousness is transient, or tertiary, or fundamentally irrelevant to reality.
So take heart, and know that because You must always be You, you cannot die and you will not die. You may travel, but you will not end. You may be out of sight, but you cannot be out of existence.