Are you Alive or Dead?

(c) Jie Qi (CC BY 2.0)

(c) Jie Qi (CC BY 2.0)

I once heard that when you die, you relive every second of your life all over again. This is more than just your life flashing before your eye.  Your whole “existence” relived as though you are living it for the first time.  So that begs the question, your existence right at this moment: are you living it for the first time or reliving your whole life before die (which will happen within the next few seconds)?

Why do I feel like this is like a “Schrödinger’s cat” kind of question…

If this were true, while reliving your life would you consciously know you that are experiencing it again?  If you are consciously aware, then you can most likely have the power to change things.  And if you can change things, could you live your life the way you wanted it?  Think about it… you could redo your awful high-school experience, not date that jack-ass in college, choose the career path that you really wanted, subtly hint to a dear friend they “may” have cancer and will die from it.  If you are consciously aware of this ‘reliving’ experience you can make the life you wanted.  Being consciously aware, you would already know everything and the actual outcome of the original path.

But you know… this “second chance” is not reality.  You could try to be that evil persona that lives deep inside of you.  That hidden persona that everyone has, but refuses to acknowledge.  You can act out the hurt on all the people that you have wanted to hurt.  Be the assassin, thief, marauder, sadist, monster of your dark thoughts.  Morals, ethics, everything-out the window because there is no impact on anyone in reality.  Your life is only all about you, isn’t it?  Does it really matter what happens to other people, as long as you are satisfied?  You become a serial killer.  If you got caught, so what!  You may be thrown in jail, you may get the death penalty-but that’s ok!  Hey, you are about to die within the next few seconds in reality anyways.  This whole “reliving your life again” is just playing out in your head.  And in your head there are no consequences.

Right?

Right?!?!

Well, you did just live the last moments of your actual life in your head replaying your life cast as Jack the Ripper.  Is that really how you want your life to end?  To be an eviscerating serial killer instead of someone who actually did a lot of good in their real life.  Someone who didn’t intentionally murder anyone.

You got caught up in your last moments of who you wanted to be instead of reliving who you actually were.

So what are you:  Alive or Dead?

 

 

10 thoughts on “Are you Alive or Dead?

  1. Is there third option? Also, is there any mental prep work I can do to remove a specific 5-year period from the final replay? It doesn’t have to be every second does it?

    I don’t want to alter it, save for those five years. Actually, I’d live them again because they brought me to a very good point (I just don’t want to see them).

    Also, I’d like to think that I am trying to alter the end of this story as I live it out. Still a work in progress but I guess that means I’m alive. Nice post, it was fun to consider.

    • Hmmmm…. good thought. Well, if you are consciously aware of what is going on and have control, there is probably an option to skip or fast forward through that time.

      If you are not consciously aware that you are reliving your life, then that time will be experienced again. However, you wouldn’t know you went through it “twice”. You would only be aware of going through it once. That’s kind of a stinky answer.

      I love thinking about these things. My favorite thing to think about is where the end of the universe is. Is it really endless. What is endless? After pondering all of this, I usually walk away with a headache…

      • You wouldn’t happen to be one of those people, would you, who likes asking friends and significant others, out of the blue, questions such as whether they would rather lose their sense of smell or their ability color coordinate their clothes? You are, aren’t you. No need to answer. Still like you either way..

  2. Quite a conundrum to contemplate. There are some things I would like to change in my life, but given that that would probably change my life overall – and I’m pretty happy with my life – I guess I’ll stick with what I have, either first or second time experiencing it.

  3. First, I hope you appreciate the effort I exerted not to ask what substances you might have been ingesting this morning that sent your mind on this path.

    Second, the answer to the question posed by your title is easy: Yes.

    Third, since I am a person with Buddhist, Taoist, and woo woo (that is becoming the phrase of the day for me) inclinations, I have no idea whether changing my actions would change the outcome of anything since outcomes have never depended on my actions alone. It may be that if, this time, I hit my big brother with a 2×4 and killed him that time he rubbed my teeth with his dirty socks, I would still be sitting here now as a stay-at-home dad in a house in Minnesota, not a prison in Texas or a high rise apartment in Buenos Aires. In other words, outcomes are not my department. So why worry about it? /:~)

    • Absolutely no substances ingested – those are my normal thoughts. And glad to know you are alive 🙂

      Interesting outlook. It is one I have often thought about as well during my studies of Buddhism – that my current situations, whether I could change them or not, does not affect the end goal. But then I start asking the “What if” question and I would get into trouble… I would like to not worry about it, but I can never shut my brain up. Maybe I need to ingest something for that.

  4. I wouldn’t want to relive my life again. Once is enough. And it spooks me that such a phenomenon is even possible. To die, thinking it is over, only to begin afresh. Which makes me wonder: how can I be sure I have never lived this life before? I get deja vu more often than I’d like to!!

    • Did you watch a movie called Triangle (2009)? It stars Melissa George and t’s about a woman trying to save her son while stuck in a time loop. The events go round and round and round. Never ending. She even kills her other self in the process. And the killer is later killed by her other self who is also again killed by her other self . . . It is grim. It disturbs. Reliving a life can be terrifying.

  5. I love the deep recursive thought processes required to wrap my throbbing head around this concept. I guess I am a glutton for punishment sometimes, or maybe I just have a deep yearning to understand what’s going on around me, and probably more importantly, inside my head.

    From my own personal experience, I find that I get lured into living inside my head for far longer than what some might consider healthy. Striking a balance between dreaming about what you want to be and actually being that person is a slippery slope to walk upon.

    In a utopian version of our perceived world, everything goes exactly as we wish, exactly as our ego-centric mind has planned. In my mind, utopia does not equal reality. Things go haywire, problems arise, obstacles get thrown in our path. It’s only when I experience these things – and then skip right by, around, or over them – that I actually live. So, yeah, I guess I would say I’m definitely alive 😉

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