If you present your dog to a veterinarian with the instruction to put him to sleep, you would normally mean something very different than you would upon taking your wife or husband to an anesthesiologist with the same words.
I felt the question of the afterlife was the black hole of the personal universe: something for which substantial proof of existence had been offered but which had not yet been explored in the proper way by scientists and philosophers.
No doubt many people have the feeling that to talk about death at all is, in effect, to conjure it up mentally, to bring it closer in such a way that one has to face up to the inevitability of one’s own eventual demise. So, to spare ourselves this psychological trauma, we decide just to try to avoid the topic as much as possible.
I was reading Plato’s ‘The Republic’ at age 18, and I can’t account fully the electricity that had for me.
I’m not afraid of death at all.
The subject of death is taboo. We feel, perhaps only subconsciously, that to be in contact with death in any way, even indirectly, somehow confronts us with the prospect of our own deaths, draws our own deaths closer and makes them more real and thinkable.
Dying, we tell ourselves, is like going to sleep. This figure of speech occurs very commonly in everyday thought and language, as well as in the literature of many cultures and many ages. It was apparently quite common even in the time of the ancient Greeks.
I have never been religious. I talk to God every day, but He’s never said a word to me about religion! I think the most powerful prayer is surrender.
People into hard sciences, neurophysiology, often ignore a core philosophical question: ‘What is the relationship between our unique, inner experience of conscious awareness and material substance?’ The answer is: We don’t know, and some people are so terrified to say, ‘I don’t know.’