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I was born in 1984. In the year 2002, I was 18 years old. I am now 28. I am referred to by the same name, but I am not the same person. I will reminisce with old friends, and we will talk about when we did this and that. But that wasn't me. That person is dead. The same way the 4 year old me is dead, but is still called me.. And my current self will eventually die, and age will turn me into something else. We die many times. My past self is dead. He is not me, but he uses my name, and I use the name of a person who will soon be a stranger. It's weird how all of these different people go by the same name. Which one is the most real? It's confusing as fuck.

So I just came to the conclusion that we die many times, so why should we fear the last one? I fear that I will cease to exist, but I have already ceased to exist many times. We all want to hold onto this particular identity, this self, but it is constantly being lost.
 

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The reason people fear the last one is because they start to figure out what life is and isn't about and then life is taken away from them.

Most people in any relatively advanced country lives under a societal indoctrination, that includes a religious template related to the understanding of death and adds an unnecessary element of some divine punishment to death, that makes people anxious about it.
While the question about what happens after death (if anything does) is an important one, people fear not know just as much.
 

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I don't think the past you ceases to exist - that would mean there was nothing left of the old you. Instead, I think people start off with relatively little - a foundation, a basic outline. Then parts are added and taken away, sometimes you gain a staircase, but lose a window. You get some paint added and some furniture, but then someone makes a comment about how it doesn't look right and you change it. Sometimes, you ignore them and add in another piece that's identical. However you react, you end up with some form of a house - furnished, painted etc. It may be hard to live in that house, but you made it, with your choices - your choices to act and react. It doesn't look anything like the basic foundation you started with, but it still has some characteristics, it's just more developed.

Of course, when people experience extreme trauma, that can knock down half the building, or more, and you have to start again, rebuilding. And because the whole house wasn't knocked down, it can be even more complicated, because you're looking at the bit that's left and trying to fit everything back into that.

But yeah, you don't lose anything when you develop. You just... develop.

With the final death, as you put it, that's when you don't know what will happen - if your house will simply vanish and you along with it, or you'll get shoved out onto the street, or you'll end up living in a brand new house. No one knows and not knowing scares people - hence why they force theories and ideas onto things in an attempt to make them make sense.
 

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It's extremely uncanny that you'd bring this up. As a result of a few thought experiments I've done over the last couple days, I've come to the same realization. As far as I see it, there's no other way of thinking about it. However, the true self is the present self. As you said, your past selves don't exist anymore. Neither do your future selves. It follows, then, that only your present self exists, and is the most real version of you.

The last death is... a bit more permanent. That's the way it seems to me, but I still have to wrap my head around it all. I'll explain my thought experiments later.
 

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There is in a sense a dying of the old. The needsd of a child, the hurts - a part of us dies so that we may grow. Oliver Wendell Holmes touched on that in his poem, "The Chambered Nautilus." In a sense, I died to recover from the trauma of childhood. That me, as defined by needs, fears, is dead. A block of my psyche is remembered but not here.The last dying . . . I am more convinced as I go on that we always were, always will be. I am not at all orthodox to any one belief.

On the symbolis death of an earlier self, the "Inner Child therapy "was popular 25 years ago - go back nemtally, find your young self and nurture it. But that, in cases I have known, stopped all recovery - the past has to be over and done with to be free of it.
 

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Oh I, I just died in your arms tonight / It must have been something you said.
 
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I could be cheesey and say nothing ever dies, but lives on in memory.
I think dying is the wrong word for it. You grow and change, but dying is more a final stop in the physical realm (which doesn't happen as you grow really.....) Actually, you kind of DO die repeatedly and get replaced on a cellular level. So hey, maybe you are dying all the time and you are still alive at the same time, so you're actually undead?Then a
gain I also found out for ever 1 human cell there are around 10 microbial cells in the human body. So we aren't even 'human', so how can just one of us die when it's the human and the billions of microbes?
 

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Well, that's one way to look at it - and if it helps you to think that way to stave off the fear of death, then good on that...

I'm disinclined to think the same. Sure, it may be the case that you've changed so much that you can view the previous version of yourself as being dead - a lot easier to think, I believe, in the jump from *4* to 28 than *18* to 28 - but the plain, unphilosophised reality is that these were all you at different stages of growth. There was never some sudden point of finality in *any* of these instances where you had an event where nothing comes after, where you have a horrible accident, a heart attack, or simply fall asleep and don't wake up. Besides, all of these previous points in life have strongly enriched the person you've become today.

If you believe in an afterlife, then potentially you don't technically have a point of real finality, though what you say seems to suggest that you don't, or you're on the fence.

The tricky thing about philosophising is that you can potentially abstract things to incredible degrees, having a certain degree of logical consistency but without accurately describing reality. Comparing aging to death doesn't seem to properly fit to me, though I get where you're coming from.
 
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Well, in a sense, my soul has 'died' and has been 'reborn' a few times, like a phoenix, but I am still the same person. It's similar to the idea of reincarnation - same soul, different self-identification.
 

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I think some people grow slowly, over time. Others grow in short bursts, from life changing events or even simple perceived life changing events. I'm definitely more of the "grows in short bursts" type of person, and am in the process of being "reborn" now.

This isn't to say that people who grow slowly don't also grow in bursts, but there is some trend that exists. I do grow slowly too, but I can probably pin down three or four "life changing moments" where in one year I grew more than all the previous years combined.

Of course the word "grow" is very broad hah. I like your idea of being "reborn." I look back, and see the old self as fascinating, but so much lesser. And I look forward, hoping I can do the same again, about myself now.
 

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It's extremely uncanny that you'd bring this up. As a result of a few thought experiments I've done over the last couple days, I've come to the same realization. As far as I see it, there's no other way of thinking about it. However, the true self is the present self. As you said, your past selves don't exist anymore. Neither do your future selves. It follows, then, that only your present self exists, and is the most real version of you.

The last death is... a bit more permanent. That's the way it seems to me, but I still have to wrap my head around it all. I'll explain my thought experiments later.
Ever read "the power of now?" It is a very insightful (short) book that encompasses what you are feeling and experiencing. There are things I question in it (I do not think each person in the world should look at it exactly as the author has portrayed), but the premise is exactly what you speak of.
 

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It's extremely uncanny that you'd bring this up. As a result of a few thought experiments I've done over the last couple days, I've come to the same realization. As far as I see it, there's no other way of thinking about it. However, the true self is the present self. As you said, your past selves don't exist anymore. Neither do your future selves. It follows, then, that only your present self exists, and is the most real version of you.

The last death is... a bit more permanent. That's the way it seems to me, but I still have to wrap my head around it all. I'll explain my thought experiments later.
Actually, the word permanent doesn't really apply, since we just stated(I agree with what's being discussed here) that the self, and the physical body, which are inseparable(so far as the physical body is the only thing capable of feeding your present self the exact stimuli it is currently getting, that could change if you're a brain in a vat), is constantly being regenerated. Your sense of self is arbitrary and mainly a construct in your memory that helps increase the complexity of your actions(tools, speech, all that).

Your last death is the collapse of the memory structure. Each other little death is the modification of it. Functionally, they are same, although they differ in the scope of their effects.
 

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I was born in 1984. In the year 2002, I was 18 years old. I am now 28. I am referred to by the same name, but I am not the same person. I will reminisce with old friends, and we will talk about when we did this and that. But that wasn't me. That person is dead. The same way the 4 year old me is dead, but is still called me.. And my current self will eventually die, and age will turn me into something else. We die many times. My past self is dead. He is not me, but he uses my name, and I use the name of a person who will soon be a stranger. It's weird how all of these different people go by the same name. Which one is the most real? It's confusing as fuck.

So I just came to the conclusion that we die many times, so why should we fear the last one? I fear that I will cease to exist, but I have already ceased to exist many times. We all want to hold onto this particular identity, this self, but it is constantly being lost.
Who are you now? How do you describe and understand this current self you feel you are? When you search yourself do you find more and more?

You've already said it yourself - which is the most real? and this self is constantly being lost. Our current existence feels inherently more real but it varies what we are aware of about our current self too, so is it any more real than the others? It's more conscious, but is that being more real? It's utterly bizarre and incredibly intuitive at the same time that we delude ourselves into believing we have an identity that can be lost. It's bizarre because we don't have the capacity to hold enough information to construct an identity, but it's intuitive because our limitations mean that a limited idea of identity is natural.

We're not exactly equipped to know what real is. All we see are glimpses of reality through moments and limited portions of space. We cannot focus on every aspect of reality at once so how can we claim to know it?

It is, as you say, "confusing as fuck" :laughing:
 

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I couldve sworn this was gonna be about an Amy Winehouse song (referencing Back to Black when she says she died a hundred times over her and her boyfriends breakups) but I think we do die. The transformations people go through can be extreme from what Ive seen in my own life, though Id say my overall soul is still the same. So I think we're changeable but not at our core which we see a bit in our lives here on earth and it is pretty unexplainable and supernatural. This question is tripping me out a little and making me feel like Im propelling forward at the speed of light or something and maybe that describes the space where my actual self is and not my body. Someone is in one of those soulsearch moods.
 

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l can become annoyed when l hang around people who will try to keep an ongoing personal joke with you for eons for this reason, but then l've felt bad about it.

l have found that l'm not able to sync up with the ''refresh rate'' of those around me, and it took many years to keep repeating the cycle to see that it was really the case.

The few who were at my speed, either outpaced me or took a different path. l can't relate to most old friends and the last one l met up with was clearly disappointed. Awkward hour of me remembering random things bit by bit but still seeming not to get the connection back, it was like tuning in a bad radio station.


l expect this to regulate with age.
 

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The one to blame here is our society. Society uses the term "time" for comfort. We were taught to think about it since before we can remember ourselves. It is so integrated into our lives that we cannot say a single sentence without using a form of time.
There is no time. What is true is only what is now, and what is now always shifts, always changes. Ironically I can't talk about it without using time but that's just how our language, any language, was built.
The person from 10 years ago had a different body structure, different thoughts, but he didn't "die". Using death to describe it is highly inaccurate. He is you. He shifted and changed over those 10 years into what you are now. He doesn't have a physical existence but he is a part of you and he is not "dead". There is an endless chain of cause and effect that chains the you from 10 years ago to the you now.

Death is absolute. When you are dead, if you personally don't believe in the after-life, there is no change. There is nowhere to change.
 

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I was born in 1984. In the year 2002, I was 18 years old. I am now 28. I am referred to by the same name, but I am not the same person. I will reminisce with old friends, and we will talk about when we did this and that. But that wasn't me. That person is dead. The same way the 4 year old me is dead, but is still called me.. And my current self will eventually die, and age will turn me into something else. We die many times. My past self is dead. He is not me, but he uses my name, and I use the name of a person who will soon be a stranger. It's weird how all of these different people go by the same name. Which one is the most real? It's confusing as fuck.

So I just came to the conclusion that we die many times, so why should we fear the last one? I fear that I will cease to exist, but I have already ceased to exist many times. We all want to hold onto this particular identity, this self, but it is constantly being lost.
it reminds me of that line from "Six Feet Under," where Nate says, "You can't take a picture. It's already gone."

The only similarity with us and our "past lives" is that there is some sense of continuity, typically, but it makes you wonder if your younger and older selves -- if running into each other unexpectedly at the local coffee shop -- would even recognize each other. And if the changes are even more drastic? It can just be odd.

I remember being my "old me" at least in terms of memories, but I can't really remember the frame of reference I used at the time -- that frame that was uniquely me at the time. it does kind of fit with what one would expect from a stranger. It's just an odd feeling to meet the "me, not me" in memory.

Each moment is a doorway that we step through to get to the next, and after many many moments and many many doorways, we have moved across the universe, and the self we were when we stepped through that first door no longer exists.

Your post reminded me of a quote I read once in a Harlan Ellison story, and I managed to dig it up -- it's the ending to "Chained to the Fast Lane in the Red Queen's Race":

"Is he who opens a door and he who closes it the same being?" GASTON BACHELARD (1884-1962)
 

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Huh. Funny. I always see myself as the sum of all versions of me that have ever been around. So in a way, all 'mes' are still alive inside of me.

So... I appear to be multi faceted, according to myself.

*Contemplates whether this is complete nonsense or not...*
 
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