We are created without our consent. God created us out of love, or His own desire to express love- but for many people (or most, I may be so bold to say), existence turns out to be a torment, a disappointment, a frustration, or just a plain lemon or a dud. For some people (both good and bad), when they get to the doorway of eternal life, they would prefer to say, “An eternity of existence? I’ve had more than enough already, thank you. A cold grave and will suit me just fine. I don’t care how perfect Heaven is- just let me sleep forever. I am too tired…”
Does justice require that God should give use the opportunity of resigning our existence, in its totality, at some point? Will setting us free from being be the ultimate expression of love for God, and the ultimate rest for man?
I can understand where you are coming from with your question. As a person who suffers from depression , Bi -polar, and general anxiety disorder I just want it to end. But God will heal us of those sufferings and provide us everlasting strength and joy. No more will we be tired and upon seeing His face we will want to spend eternity with Him. It’s tough now for some, maybe even this is their purgatory or hell on earth, but upon entering Heaven all of that dissapears and we experience only joy and happiness.
Nobody in Hell prays to disappear, as far as I know. There it is possible to think that better you should not have been born, but that is as far as one can think. Probably there is the understanding that is impossible to vanish. For God everything is possible but why would He make such an think for someone who doesn’t love Him? And if one loves Him will go to Heavens with Him.
Anything on Earth, no matter how bad, doesn’t go to the level of Hell, not even close.
Your problem isn’t being itself, but the condition of your life at the moment.
Being is synonymous with Love, Beauty and Truth; were you in a state of “pure being”, for want of a better phrase, you would be at peace. That may be what you think or hope death will be like.
This isn’t to diminish your views and feelings, but I have to tell you that it sounds like you are ill in some manner, likely depression. You need healing.
Also, as you are no doubt aware, giving helps too. If you can do nothing for yourself, do for others.
Buddhism holds that being in itself is undesirable, and the emancipation for it is perfect bliss. Surely, a billion Buddhist cannot be suffering from depression?
The soul outgrows its desires- firstly for physical things (food, sex), then for social things (the esteem of others), then for abstract things (like ‘glory’ and truth). But the single desire which remains is perfect rest. Which seems best realised in non-existence…
Is it possible that this is really what Heaven is? Shouldn’t we at least be given the option?
Your choice is in time:
God created somebody and is good. Next that person choice is away and contrary to God. Next that person feels bad. Why would God change the circumstances in such a way that the person should feel good? Doesn’t have any sense, not even to ask Him.
Buddhism holds that all life is suffering. This is the First Noble Truth. In addition to all the physical and mental pain that we are subjected to, we find that in life we don’t get what we want and are stuck with what we hate. We can never be satisfied; having achieved something, we need more - it is never enough. The cause of all this is stated in the Second Noble Truth: craving originating from a profound state of ignorance. That there is a solution is the Third Nobel Truth. We can find Nirvana, which is associated with such concepts as infinite life and light, the unborn, undying mind, a condition of no-thingness, beyond all time and space and beyond definition. So, how does one achieve enlightenment? Through the Nobel Eightfold Path, which constitutes the Fourth Nobel Truth: right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. You will note that the yoke that Jesus offers is a lot easier - love.
All this is making me giddy.
So now, young Gedo-Zen you will hear the truth of Master Alo Ysiu(m) - watch out Deepak Chopra.
What one gives away, one never possessed in the first place. However, in that surrender, one rises above that which drives one to possess.
Our intellect sculpts a golden cage: the appearance of the world. Within, sits the brilliant white bird that is our soul - its yearning to fly free, lost in a dream.
Peace cannot be attain through violence. As long as the ego is attempting to do away with itself, it perpetuates the illusion. Wake up!
Heaven is being in loving union with creation and our Creator.
You are not given an option.
If you were truly interested in attaining Nirvana, you would be concentrating on the squirming that this statement causes.
I surmise that the intense discomfort would be the cause of your problems. Let it go.
Suppose an afterlife is possible. Then we have no grounds for believing the above to be true. Even if people as a whole have overwhelmingly negative attitudes toward their worldly existence, it doesn’t follow that existence as such is a torment, a disappointment, or a frustration. Worldly existence might be bad, but if worldly existence is not all there is, then we would not have grounds to infer that existence is bad.
This may be someone’s attitude, but again, I think it would be based on a misconception about the nature of the afterlife and the impossibility of understanding what the beatific vision is.
For some (accounting for vincible ignorance, mental illness, etc. of course), such a desire may even be a selfish rejection of God’s supremest gift.
It seems, though, that if something is genuine gift, the recipient must be free either to accept or decline it, without prejudice.
Imagine someone gives you something you don’t want, or need. Moreover, it turns out you don’t like it. If you then refuse it, is it right for the giver to punish you?
You might express gratitude for the offer, but you shouldn’t have to accept (or make use of) the gift. If someone gives, you, unasked, the complete works of Dickens, are you bound to read them? If someone gives you a puppy, and you live in an apartment, or are allergic to dogs, do you have to accept.
There are some people who are constitutionally unsuited to existence.
Their continued existence is His will, how they exist is their decision.
He won’t do anything contrary to their nature nor against His.
The irony of something like hell is that His love is their torment. To understand this you have to look beyond the modernist view of positive law.
Loving God is no less essential to be a genuine human than breathing or eating. Just as over-eating or starving yourself is its own punishment, and just as refusing to breath will kill you, so will refusing to love God kill you.
IOW the crime is the punishment, the punishment is intrinsic to crime; not extrinsic, like running a red light or speeding.
Perhaps in some cases one is free to accept or decline gifts. But if the intuition here is to be generalized, as you have done, then I think it is eminently contestable. People are often offended when others receive their gifts ungratefully. If your principle quoted here is true, then such offense is never justified, but I don’t think that’s the case.
Again, I don’t think this principle is generally true. (Nor would a couple examples establish it.)
I would argue that whatever other exceptions there might be to the principle (and I think there are some), life is an exception as well. Life is that by which we possess and enjoy whatever goods we have. We might be permitted to decline another gift because it is extraneous or worse to the other goods we are pursuing. But to decline life would be to forego all other goods and obtain nothing. Since all other goods depend on our being alive to enjoy them, life cannot be extraneous or worse to any other goods. So to decline the gift of life is to avoid the good, which is immoral (the moral axiom being “Do good; avoid evil.”).
Such an argument is purely framed in terms of what sort of desires one might have for accepting or declining life. It is framed in terms of “negative rights,” ie. what one is entitled to. As such it does not even consider duty. The most obvious duty one has in a Christian understanding is to serve God, which one cannot do be decided that one would prefer not to live. A more theologically neutral duty would be the exercise of the “virtue of acknowledged dependence”; humans have duties to their parents and communities which are in general impossible to satisfy. So one thereby has duties to fulfill for future generations and a role to play in the common life of the community (as when one grows old and becomes dependent again). To decline life in this case is to neglect the duties one must satisfy by virtue of being human; it is to choose oneself rather than one’s community.
I interpret you as saying here (correct me if I am wrong) that some people would be better not existing. But how? By existing I can achieve goods. I would actually argue that my existing (in the right way) is “convertible” with my goodness; I am good insofar that I manage to exist as I ought to. Naturally by going out of existence, I cannot be improved. There is no subject of improvement.
The most obvious case are those in Hell. But, being in Purgatory for a long period would also qualify- I think, there are many, if told, “You can do 10,000 years in of pain purgatory, to get into Heaven, or can cease to exist,” would choose to cease to exist. But then there are those- like Buddha and Schopenhauer, who would feel that non-existence was preferable to existence in any form at all, even the best.
I believe there is also an ‘existential fatigue’- which is not simply being physically or mentally tired, or fed up with particular conditions of existence (like earthly life)- but something deeper.
Now, is it possible that the ‘real Heaven’ is actually ‘beyond existence’- in the same way that God is also held to be ‘beyond existence’, by certain Christian mystics, as well certain forms of Hinduism?
But this is a separate case. The punishment of Hell is, on the Catholic understanding, just. Given what someone in Hell did in life, it is a good that they are in Hell in the same sense that it is a good for someone who has committed a crime to be in prison. God wills what is good; God antecedently wills that all are saved but, given that some commit grave sins, God consequently wills that justice is dealt.
The Catholic retort here is that such a person simply does not understand what Heaven is like. If Catholics are correct about Heaven and the beatific vision, then it would be objectively irrational to forgo it to avoid 10,000 years in purgatory.
Quite, but I’ve argued against such views that life is not a good that one can permissibly reject.
Well, I do know that one can be tired with particular conditions of existence. I don’t doubt that there is some sort of existential fatigue, but whether it exists does not decide the question of whether it would ever override the absolute primacy of life in the ordering of natural human goods.
I am not sure which mystics you have in mind. I would take a philosophical rather than mystical approach. Existence is an analogical concept; God is “beyond worldly existence” if by ‘worldly existence’ we mean the sort of existence we enjoy. To be in Heaven is also to be possessed of a different mode of existence. One might say ‘beyond’ here if one fixes a particular sense of ‘existence,’ but one is only “beyond existence” in the sense that one is possessed of another (higher and more perfect–because in the presence of God) mode of existence.