the primacy of individual experience by spork

this is an expoundment of a comment I made on KovzielFaust's journal The Fear of Nuance, specifically to the last paragraph of this statement.

all an individual has is their own experience. when this is coming to its end, there will be no support to deal with it. as was so beautifully stated in Donnie Darko, "every living creature dies alone." so, when it's time to go into the dark, whatever that darkness presages be it heaven, hell, purgatory, reincarnation, utter extinction, or something else that a living human being couldn't even conceive of, it will be the most individual of experiences. there will be no one, no dawkins or harris or hitchens or tyson, no dalai lama or socrates or watts, no mother or father or priest or professor of philosophy or egomaniacal furfag, no one, to supply a pat on the back in recognition of stoic skepticism and unswerving adherence to the prevailing attitude of the day (or its opposite), to offer commendation for being intelligent or rational or enlightened, to reinforce the pseudo-security of an adopted identity as a member of the Right Thinkers Club of any given stripe. when it comes down to the ultimate individual experience, with a human life being the ultimate expression of individuality (that i know of, anyway), there is no intercessor or translator between me (or you, I expect) and reality, whatever reality is. no preconceived notions will help to explain or cope - those notions were only applicable to social life, or to the private thoughts that were concerned with social experience. the mind which can consider conceptions of existence decays in the process of dying. i do think though that experiences of dying are as individual as living - many are probably indistinguishable, but there is still perhaps a huge spectrum of possibilities. someone dying of alzheimers must have a very different experience than someone being shot through the pineal gland, versus in a nuclear explosion, etc. but i think that in a lot of cases the brain goes on for some time, perhaps in a dream-like state with dmt and endorphins flooding it and with a very different perception, or no perception, of time, or else in a subconscious way in which no personality is present. I'd expect though that dementia must be a common part of the dying experience as the brain gradually ceases functioning. i think that there is not life apart from the flash-before-the-eyes of dying, and that the boundaries of time, personhood, and everything else, dissolve with the onset of death. whether death means anything, i don't know - but if it doesn't, then what could mean anything?

and that is why I have reservations about anything anyone insists to me about science, nature, reality, god, belief, experience, etc. these things (the foreign beliefs and models, not what those models represent) are not applicable to my internal experience, which is all i have, and the only assurance I trust is that no assurance will withstand the test of reality.

the primacy of individual experience


1 March 2014 at 15:42:41 MST

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    I'm looking forward to dementia, personally. I'm sure that kind of altered, mind-ceasing function is the perfect little device for becoming totally okay with death (if I still had any reservations). Heaven, hell, absolutely nothing, some weird other thing, I won't give a shit. Bring on it, universe.

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      it doesn't seem impossible, though my experience with it was quite terrifying, as i was plunged into a suicidal nightmare. maybe without that factor it would have been enjoyable or enlightening or something.