I really like your personality, though some of your thoughts don't overlap with mine. As I said, you rely on mysticism. I am essentially a skeptic and a person who thinks scientifically. I don't believe in anything divine, mysterious, or supernatural. Moreover, I want to add that if you were eternally conscious in a rotting body, you would know about it and still be there, because it is eternity. However, we do not observe this. The extrapolation of the concept of eternity gives us to understand that, oddly enough, there is nothing eternal, except perhaps the universe can be reborn forever (the cycle of the singularity, Planck era, the era of Grand unification, the inflationary epoch, electroweak epoch, quark epoch, hadron epoch, lepton epoch, the proton era, the dark ages, reionization, the era of matter, domination of the lambda, epoch of disintegration, the era of black holes, the era of eternal darkness, which is essentially the heat death, and all of a SUDDEN a large explosion, caused by a quantum fluctuation). I note that the scenario of the future of the universe that I described is purely hypothetical. So far, no one knows what will actually happen, and a huge number of studies are being conducted. And the future scenario is not the key point that I wanted to focus on. How the universe will die is not important in this case, it is important that it will be eternally reborn. You can look at the picture, it is very interesting.
The fact that nothing is eternal within the universe, but the universe itself is eternal, is called emergence. The concept of emergence came from mathematics, or rather from the theory of systems, and means the irreducibility of the properties of a system to the sum of the properties of its components.>I'm just afraid of going to hell when I die
Life in principle and self-awareness of a sufficiently developed organism is hell, because it is doomed to a meaningless existence. I will not take the great philosophers who came to the conclusion about the absurdity and uselessness of being, but I will take painfully banal examples: terrorism, diseases of varying severity, whether they are physical or mental, bullying, poverty, loneliness, harmful dependencies et cetera. Some suicidal people sometimes seem to intuitively refer to the universe/God with the words "why I was given life", implying that they did not want to be born, but they had no choice.
First, based on my words above, you are already here. Second, there will be no "you" after death. What you are talking about is the soul, but there is no reason to believe that it exists. The very concept of the soul is extremely contradictory and crooked, whereas any scientific theory is beautiful and symmetrical. According to Wikipedia, it is an immortal substance, an immaterial entity. Okay. We know biological immortality, the absence of a certain species of mortality growth over time starting from a certain age (however, no creature is absolutely immortal, since it can be killed by external factors). That is, based on this definition, to be immortal, you must be a biological organism or part of it, but the soul is not an organism, it is something immaterial. Nonsense! The universe, at least the observable part of it, is all made up of matter: atoms, subatomic particles like neutrons, quarks, leptons, bosons, one-dimensional quantum particles. All possible dimensions are made up of matter. Even a term like antimatter doesn't mean it's not matter. This is the same substance, just consisting of a different type of particle. So how can the soul exist if the very fundamental structure of the universe opposes and contradicts the conditions of its realization?
You can say that not everything is made of matter, because there is such a thing as energy, but this would be a gross mistake, because it is a false dichotomy. Often, when reading articles about the universe or particle physics, you will find a phrase that mentions "matter and energy" as if they are two opposites, or two partners, or two sides of the same coin that make up everything else. This pops up in many contexts. You can read that "matter and antimatter annihilate into pure energy". Such conversations are misleading people. It doesn't mean much to physicists. These poetic epithets refer to what is clearly defined in mathematics and experiments, and ambiguous definitions simply express long precise phrases in short. In fact, matter and energy generally belong to different categories — it's like talking in one sentence about apples and orangutans, or about heaven and worms, or about birds and beach balls. Matter and energy do not belong to the same class of concepts and should not form a pair in the representation of a person. Matter is any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume. Energy is a single measure of various forms of movement and interaction of matter, a measure of the transition of the movement of matter from one form to another. The energy can be contained in the mass of the object (E=mc^2), it can be associated with the movement of the object (kinetic energy, E=m*v^2/2), and so on.
You can also say that I only mentioned the observable universe, and anything can happen in an unobserved universe. Indeed, there is no limit to imagination, but the world in which we find ourselves has its logical limitations. Mathematics has an incredible predictive power. With its help, the planet "at the tip of the pen" — Neptune — was discovered. You can predict where Voyager 1 will be in 5 years. Nevertheless, no one, since the creation of mathematics itself, has discovered, even if only theoretically, on paper, such a thing as the soul.
There were very stupid attempts to justify the soul scientifically, but they all failed. The first is weight loss after death. Some idiots believed it. In my opinion, even a student who somehow learned chemistry at school will know that this is the burning of ATP or adesinotriphosphate. This is a universal source of energy for all biochemical processes occurring in living systems, in particular for the formation of enzymes, a kind of chemical currency.
The second was a well-known clinical death. Some believe that if they see their body from the outside and fly through a tunnel at the end of which light is visible, then this confirms the existence of the soul (lol, how?).
Let's go through all the "symptoms". Exit from the body. The temporal-parietal node is responsible for integrating data collected by the senses and the body, forming a person's perception. When this part of the brain is damaged, it may well be the experience of leaving the body that so many people talk about.
Light at the end of the tunnel. A 2010 study involving heart attack patients found a link between this type of clinical death and blood carbon dioxide levels. Of the 52 cardiopacients, 11 had clinical death. The level of CO2 in the blood of these patients was significantly higher than in patients who did not mention the near-death experience. Scientists have concluded that excess carbon dioxide in the bloodstream can significantly affect vision, which leads to the appearance of a tunnel and bright light.
Hallucinations. While excess carbon dioxide affects vision during clinical death, a lack of oxygen in the brain complements this. It is well known that oxygen starvation can lead to hallucinations and even contribute to a sense of euphoria, which is often reported. And while the sample size for the assessment was not as large, studies have shown that people who reported clinical death during cardiac arrest also had low oxygen levels. Oxygen starvation can also lead to people seeing themselves transported to a place where they are surrounded by friends and relatives who have long since died.
Increased sensory perception. A common moment in clinical death, and one recent study shows that a kind of hypersensitive perception can be triggered by a significant spike in brain activity in the dying moments. The study was conducted on rats and was not particularly large-scale, so some members of the scientific community do not accept the results, but lead author Jimo Borjigin believes that they demonstrate the biological basis of the near-death experience.
That's about it. No magic.>I mean, imagine a reality where suicide wasn't possible. Where death or true oblivion wasn't possible.
This is easy to imagine, because it seems to me that there must be universes in which there is no life, and therefore no death or suicide. These can be unpredictable worlds with non-linear time. In such cases, protons and electrons will be unstable and may break up into particles that have a larger mass than themselves. If you think that in a universe where life is possible but death is not possible of its own free will, then this is impossible. Of course, you can be locked up in a solitary cell and you can't die on your own, but you will eventually die of illness or old age. Even if a super-developed evil civilization kept you alive indefinitely, this "infinity" would still have an end, because any substance will eventually decompose into its component parts, this is called entropy. None of your warnings make sense. Calm down.>Without the mind, there is nothing to process pain, or anything else.
Can't argue with that.>my fear of bodily pain & mental panic from a dying body
You can use a huge dose of tranquilizers. I have no experience, but I think it should help.