Social Question

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Upon your death, what do you believe happens to your SELF?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30864points) February 12th, 2014

Not your body, but your SELF as defined by the dictionary.

a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, esp. considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.

We know what happens to the body. But what happens to the self?

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37 Answers

hominid's avatar

From what I can tell, my brain stops functioning, so I cease to be.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I just go away.

talljasperman's avatar

I go back to any ware from 1981 – 2007. sometimes I go to October 21 2012. Other times I go to august 25 1999. Rarely I go to summer of 1981.

PhiNotPi's avatar

I will most likely stop existing, but I can always keep my hopes up.

josie's avatar

It disappears into the infinite

janbb's avatar

I’m hoping it “lives” on in the memories of my children and friends.

Pachy's avatar

I believe my SELF will live on in the hearts and memories of those who knew me.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I hope my “self” will be reborn.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

When I die, my self will float about aimlessly until arriving in an Italian family’s kitchen, where it will come to rest atop a fresh tomato, ensuring it will become part of a delicious pasta dish and will be enormously enjoyed one final time before degrading to non-existence.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers If I gotta go that’s a pretty funky way to go. I like that. Food for the living.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Jonesn4burgers You enjoy being eaten that much?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Women always say we don’t give them enough oral. That would be the ultimate.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I’m not positive there is such a thing as the self beyond some sort of cognitive illusion. That said, I believe that whatever “self” we might have ceases to exist at the moment of death.

“Therefore death, the most dreaded of all evils, is nothing to us. For when we exist death is not present, and when death is present we do not exist.”

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe In that case, I think I need to have a boyfriend to find out myself…

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Thank you for being a good sport. :)

Blondesjon's avatar

It becomes a part of the infinite black out.

Cruiser's avatar

My “energy” as in the energy that was used as the glue to bind my atoms that made my physical being…a big portion will be immediately assimilated into the Universe as my heart and brain cease to function….and as the atoms that comprise my physical being begin to deteriorate…those also will be recycled into the food chain as ash tossed onto turf of left field in Wrigley Field. My atoms will all then be available to be re-incarnated within the person, animal or deodorant soap my atoms regenerate with.

ibstubro's avatar

When I die, I’m ashes to ashes.

I will not cease to exist until the last person that knew/remembers me dies. So be it.

My impact is based on the impact my influence had on other people.

kritiper's avatar

It ceases to exist. It was nothing of material means, anyhow.

rojo's avatar

As a Frisbeetarian I believe that when you die your soul goes up on the roof and you can’t get it down.

filmfann's avatar

I go to be with the Lord.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Wow! I didn’t expect to raise such a stir. I only thought to bring delight to someone one last time. What better place to be enjoyed than a fresh pasta dinner? Still, after seiing it twisted THAT way, sure, I’ll float off to a salad bar, and you can all EAT ME! HAHAHAHAHAH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

ucme's avatar

I don’t know or care much either.

Stinley's avatar

The self ceases to exist. It is dependent on your body for its existence

Berserker's avatar

It will cease to exist along with the rest of me.

Paradox25's avatar

I don’t believe our ‘self’ ever ceases to exist, but just gets transported to another vehicle to live on in another dimension.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

When I shed this janky tent they call a body, I will be in the presence of the King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Mighty I Am.

Berserker's avatar

For Odin!

SecondHandStoke's avatar

It begins to be consumed by the bacteria that once assisted it.

reijinni's avatar

It simply goes away.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

It would be nice if this was a classroom and, depending on how well we do here—how much we learn—we either move on to another life and possibly another orb and learn more until after many interesting lifetimes we finally become one with the universe, The Universal Soul, or stay for another tour until we get this one right. Or, if we behave ourselves here, we can decide what we can be when we return, try a different species, or something other than an Earthling. I’d like to be an Osprey, or maybe a dolphin next time around. And if we continue to be good and become more sage, we can come back wherever we like into any period of history we like—choose our parents, enter whatever strata of society we might find interesting at that juncture, etc. And as we become even wiser we begin to develop a clear memory of our past lives and know the others we knew before. That would be cool. New bodies, aeons of wisdom, old, old, old friends who will never leave you not even in death, and no more “If I only knew then what I know now,” bullshit.

But, there’s no evidence that any of that will happen any more than there is the likelyhood of a God waiting for us in Heaven (I think my version is better) with the threat of Hell’s roaring inferno below Him, awaiting those who are not nimble enough to leap the gap between Good and Evil.

All we really know is what we have here and now, and therefore it behooves us to make the best of it— to live full, exciting lives, to try to do the least harm while contributing to the greatest good for the sake of those who follow us—and leave all the magical thinking to our afternoon reveries. And there’s nothing wrong with that scenario either.

ibstubro's avatar

Excellent post, @Espiritus_Corvus.
I like your version best. I should make it a practice to read ”Illusions” every year on my birthday.

NanoNano's avatar


I’m not sure.

I’ve read many NDE accounts. I am familiar with many types of religious beliefs. I am also familiar with the latest scientific theories on the nature of consciousness.

When you add it all up, the simple fact is, no one really knows.

The bottom line for me is free will, and the ability to maintain or recreate the physical reality I left behind, along with the ability to commune with those I have lost.

If those elements are absent from any afterlife, I don’t see it as a life in any sense, but only as a perpetual prison.

Bill1939's avatar

@NanoNano anyone who thinks they know the answers does not understand the question. I doubt that an afterlife anything analogous to this life exists. However, considering that every element existing within one’s body was first hydrogen converted by collapsing stars, consciousness may continue through a comparable process.

Iron, the core of our planet necessary to produce the magnetic field that shields life from the sun’s radiation, is unlike hydrogen. Likewise individual consciousness, having the ability after death for “free will, and the ability to maintain or recreate the physical reality I left behind, along with the ability to commune with those I have lost,” may not exist yet still be a significant part in the creation of a greater significance.

NanoNano's avatar


Well, then, I don’t want to go there.


Have you ever heard of a book by Randy Alcorn called “Heaven”? He talks about, from a scholarly perspective, what the Bible really says about the afterlife. I really like the vision he paints in the book and its in line with some of my religious beliefs from my past.

That is, according to what he has researched, the “Kingdom of God” – per Reveleations and other passages such as from the book of Daniel I believe, is due to be a physical kingdom on Earth itself, at some future time, where God comes to earth to “dwell with men” and establish a “kingdom that shall never be destroyed”...

That’s what I’m hoping for. See my Mom again. Get to enjoy a good slice of cheescake and sit out on the veranda and watch the sunset. Occasionally hop in my little spaceship and go explore the galaxy.

Who knows?

I have no desire to float in some sort of ethereal quantum foam of consciousness.

But, that’s the point of view from down here. I admit I don’t know what I don’t know.

Bill1939's avatar

Save a seat on your spaceship for me, please.

NanoNano's avatar

LOL. You got it. Its a two seater, so full up now!

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