The most perplexing and terrifying aspect of our life is the profound realization that there would be an ultimate end. A permanent cessation of consciousness and self awareness. Every religion is predicated on this terror. It wouldn’t be even dreamlike as there is some self awareness in a dream. That moment when the molecules winked into “being”, this is the total reversal of that. Molecules shut permanently into “non-being”. The vitality is lost. Our consciousness was in deep slumber before we became conscious. We return to that same slumber of non-consciousness. Once conscious, it is difficult to imagine that the construct that gave rise to the phenomenon of consciousness is just newly formed. Consciousness induces a feeling of the existence of the consciousness hardware apriori to the emergence of consciousness.
Eternal oblivion entails that we fall into a deep sleep never ever to be woken up again. Maybe The Almighty may wake you up at some point. That eternity of being shutdown out of consciousness is hard to grasp. The term eternity is a contradiction in itself. Humans have never come across anything eternal . Even the fundamental particles has a time frame of being in existence. The word Eternity acquires its meaning when bounded at both ends, though the time frame would be unimaginably huge. When one cannot escape the eternal oblivion, what purpose does it serves to have a miniscule timeframe of being sentient? Infinity plus a speck is still infinity. Somewhere something doesn’t add up. Maybe there is a glitch in the system.
Maybe it is this realization that, man is doomed, imparts meaning to his life here. That scarcity of the timeframe might endow every second we have here with more value. Maybe the purpose of our existence is momentary happiness as opposed to some divine salvation. Maybe once we dissolve back in the universe, our consciousness acquires a much more broader perspective about the universe. In any case it is unimaginable to think of a permanent cessation. Lives where justice is not meted out in this worldly existence cannot find refugee in the permanent cessation. He has to wake up sometime somewhere. what was the purpose of the earthly existence of the child in the above picture? Food for vulture? If there is a permanent cessation of consciousness when and where will be justice served to this child? This Pulitzer price winning picture of a child crawling to a UN food camp while the vulture waiting for the child to die, played the singular role in making me less of a believer.