When you were born, did you knew that you are alive? In dreams at night do you know who you are? They are the body’s necessities and the biological clock that makes you wake up. What if they and your surroundings do not interfere and you could go on dreaming like this, forever?
We have explored the physical world but the conscious part of it is still remains overlooked. At some point in life, everyone begins thinking about their life’s purpose and starts fearing death such as:
- What is death all about?
- When we die is that the end?
- Why is death inevitable?
- What is and why does life exist?
But some of us remain curious enough to seek for the answers, here every question is considered and answered in detail with the help of these three topics (What is Death, What is Life and What is God). On the whole, they are one single topic but, divided to make them easier to read and understand. And also specific questions are answered at specific points in sequences to make it easier to understand by avoiding temporary diversions.
Before we begin, we should take a glance at what is the definition of death that we have got:
What is Death Scientifically?
As mentioned in “A Note For The Reader” and also you would realize, if you look at the whole picture of Science that it deals with the process of something, mainly. It gives answers to the questions on mathematical bases in an emotionless way, it excludes questions about our existence and purpose. As you can see by the following definition:
“Death is the permanent cessation of all biological functions that sustain a living, physical organism”
Now we also need to look at the definition of life, as death and life are interconnected, so:
“Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes (such as signaling and self-sustaining processes like reproduction), from those that do not (either because such functions have ceased, or because they never had such functions) and are classified as inanimate”
You can see by these definitions that how Science looks at the matter of life and death. How it just stops here and could not take you any further. It cannot give answers to such questions – What is the purpose of death? Why do we live life?
Because answers to these questions cannot be calculated in mathematical terms and maths is, what science is all about. Answers to such questions can be found by learning the difference between subjective and objective truth and then rationalizing it.
Connection Of Life And Death – Is Death Eternal Nothingness?
To understand what is death exactly, we will first need to understand what is life all about and who we are? And these above definitions are on broad bases indicating to your body, but there is a difference between us and our bodies. It is explained ahead of but for now, try answering these few questions first:
What and Who are “you”, Where are “you” in your body (location) and How “you” exist?
Are we our arms or legs, No! Why? Because we can be alive without them (although we will not be able to live life at its fullest). So, in other words, we can say that we are not our those organs without which we can be alive (this statement gives rise to more answers or say creates few more questions which are considered ahead). At some point, you will come to the “brain” as your answer, but it is also made up of the same matter (atoms & molecules) as the rest of your organs (body). So:
The difference between you and your body is of the “Energy and the Medium”
Consider the analogy below to understand the above statement better:
As Software can only be experienced through a Hardware, the consciousness (energy) can only be experienced through a body (medium).
Software – signals of energy
Hardware – arrangement of matter
A Language to Communicate and Interact
A Medium to Receive (Input), Manipulate (Process) and Transfer (Output)
Mind – signals of energy
Body – arrangement of matter
To Communicate and Interact (Live)
For Communication and Interaction (Life)
Note: Brain is an organ (hardware or medium) whereas Mind is an application.
All organisms have two aspects – Mind (software) and Body (hardware). We are not our body, the body is just a medium that runs our consciousness. And as hardware affects the capability of the software, the body affects the capability of the consciousness (it is considered with details in the next topics).
Now, coming back to the point – is death eternal nothingness? No!
Because everything (or anything) in this world that is possible, will exist at a point in time. In other words, their existences are permanent but their existence’s appearance and disappearance are temporary. Due to the properties of energy through which these existence are created or become possible (it is also considered in the next topics).
Sleeping And Dying – Is Death A Dreamless Sleep?
When sleeping with no dreams, there is not a single thought about anything. What if you could go on forever like this. Does it mean you are dead? Is sleeping a form of death? Answers to these questions can be found and understood by considering our states of consciousness.
Now, there are 3 States of Consciousness that we all are aware of:
- Waking – our conscious is ‘Running’ (ready to perform actions)
- Dreaming – our consciousness is ‘Suspended’ (but running in the background)
- Deep Sleep (slumber or without dreams) – our consciousness is ‘Hibernated’ (Resting)
You can understand this more clearly by correlating yourself with computers for example:
Similar to as there are 3 States of an Operating System or OS (consciousness):
- Running (waking) – ready to perform actions
- Sleeping (dreaming) – suspended (and having dreams (processes) in the background because it’s on)
- Shutdown (deep sleep) – shutdown temporally or it’s off and can be awakened by turning on.
Here you can notice clearly that shutdown (switched off) or deep sleep is a kind of death but temporary death. Because hardware or the body is still connected to an energy source and also is able to run the OS or Consciousness. In other words, OS or the Consciousness is still connected to a medium (hardware) that is able to express or run it to an extent (according to the configuration of the system).
So, when can you say that you are dead and how you die?
Manners Of Death
There are 5 Types of Death or in other words, 5 ways that your body (hardware or system) can get damaged to that extent, where it cannot express or run the consciousness any-more (OS):
- Natural – the system got old i.e. the body got aged to the point that it can no longer function.
- Accident – accidentally one or more than one part of the system got damaged enough so that it is unable to function.
- Suicide – got a virus (disease or disorders either mental or physical such as depression or cancer, etc.) due to which the OS (consciousness) started malfunctioning and eventually shut downed itself (and not allowing to boot itself) or damaged its system.
- Homicide – system got damaged by other than itself on purpose, enough to make it stop functioning.
- Undetermined – or any other way whose cause of death is not known.
These above are the ways in which your hardware or body gets damaged to an extent, that it becomes incapable to run the OS or Consciousness (on the same hardware) with the same Data and Configuration (Identity). So, now –
What is Death Philosophically?
Death is a temporary State of the Consciousness and loss of the Temporary Identity
In other words, as organisms such as humans, don’t have a way to back up their memories (data) or restore their hardware or software configurations, same as before (restore the identity) as it is the case with computers (technology).
So as the hardware goes, the identity (memories, configurations or customizations) created with it, is gone along with it. Here it looks like the OS (Consciousness) had died but technically the identity died with the hardware, from which it was born.
And we are not afraid of death and pain, we are afraid of losing this identity and existence. We temporally lose this identity but the existence is never lost. (How and Why of these statements, are explained ahead in more detail in next topics).
End is The Beginning
As a story unfolds and cannot tell you everything at the same point, answering questions is just like telling a story. And as in a story, information is not given before time, it is needed to be given in a meaningful sequence to understand what it is trying to tell.
This story has just started, questions are started to get answered here such as what is death? Is death a dreamless sleep? And of some questions, answers are yet to be known such as if death is temporary then what happens after death? Why do people die? and if we take death as a process to renew then where do you go when you die? All these will be found in this next topic “What is Life”.