What it’s Like to Die

What it’s like to die is the same as surviving

Our flight finally neared the runway as 80 mph side-winds battered the plane. Just before decent, the drink cart came off the floor and nearly hit the ceiling. Suddenly the wings break upward, blocking my view of the horizon, then quickly downward to view the ocean. The plane was nervously quiet on the inside as it was battered outside—a white knuckle approach to San Francisco; landing speed 158 MPH.

Some I could see praying, silently mouthing, whispering to their god—certain some deals were being made that day. I was sitting window seat over the left wing as we lowered within crashing range, watching the wing flexing up and down just missing the runway. Suddenly in a flash I pictured the plane cartwheeling down the runway in a fiery crash, but at that moment the pilot performed his magic and touched the plane down like a foot stomp.

Sighs of relief exhaled from front to back, then a post adrenal crash into applause and chatter—and in an instant we all realize we made it—Alive! Now back to business and the boredom as usual…

Is this how we feel when we die, returning to the mundane existence of eternal life? What a rush it must be to break back through to the other side. For at that moment the game would get us every time.

We know what it’s like to die—the same as it is to survive. All the anxieties of not knowing released in an instant. Yet here, we shackle ourselves to another day, living to escape death—while in our normal existence we would line up for the chance to risk it.

Just a flash of time outside our normal state of being—is life


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

57 thoughts on “What it’s Like to Die”

    1. Thanks Nan. What a rush and relief it is to take all that pent up anxiety and fear, wind it up as tight as it can go and just survive—or not. When I was a medic I was fascinated time and again at people surviving and recalling in detail what happened in a flash. People recollecting several minutes worth of details in a crash that took 3 seconds. Recalling the color of clothing and facial expressions of people in other vehicles, how many passengers were in them, how many children, and so on. Almost like in that instance time stands still. I know that’s probably another post, but it’s not uncommon at all.
      I think those recollections, gathering all those details of horrific, near death events is maybe all part of the process, to take that entire event and anxiety with you. No one is controlling whether you live or die that moment. Either way the memory stays forever.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Any superlative used to describe heaven and hell can be found, in essence, here on good ol’ planet Earth. But we know this isn’t all there is. It’s a big universe out there (or is it a giant scientific conspiracy?).

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Death is always just an instant away. We either learn to live with it, or just plain old ignore it. I prefer to live with it. I want to be there when it happens, lol.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Some interesting thoughts as usual Jim. I have always wondered what dying would be like, not that I have any interest doing that anytime soon. But do we really know? I do know that NDE’s are a thing, but it seems more like the body hallucinating when under extreme stress, whether or not the person is actually ‘dead’. Well that’s my thoughts anyways. I guess the only people who know are those who can’t tell us?

    If eternal life in Heaven were a thing, then dying would be Hell though 😉

    Liked by 2 people

      1. there can’t be boredom, because there is ‘no-one’ to get bored. you need both subject and object for any reaction to occur. when subject has merged with object… Who is there to be aware of anything?
        as in deep sleep, ‘jim’ is not there anymore to know that ‘i’ am in deep sleep. consciousness has merged back into itself.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. absolutely everything arises within awareness (or being). nothing can be outside it. it is like the blank canvas behind the painting. how could color be seen, if not for the canvas behind it? how can anything exist, be seen, or heard, or experienced in any way, if not for the awareness that allow it.
            buddhists call this ‘nothingness’ or emptiness. science is catching up to the importance of emptiness.

            awareness doesn’t ‘need’ anything. it simply allows all things to be. don’t confuse someone not ‘being aware’ of something, with awareness itself. awareness is not a quality we own, like cleverness, or a sense, like seeing.
            awareness isn’t situated in the body. it is everywhere. it has no dimension, it is like empty space. so there is no such thing as ‘unawareness’. who would be there to recognize ‘unawareness’? there would just be a space where nothing arises.

            purpose is completely a human concept. awareness (or being) doesn’t know purpose. it simply is. now the game… that is the trick of the mind reflecting as a ‘me’ and the ‘other’, ‘i’ and ‘the world’. when in fact, they both arise within the same space of awareness. this delusion ends when one ‘awakens’ or…awareness become aware of itself.

            it is not like we are being played by some magical god outside of ourself. no. you are playing with yourself. you are the whole thing, but forgot your true nature, and imagine there is a world, with people in it, and that you were born and will die, and so on. when you awaken, it is exactly like waking up from a dream, and realizing it was just a dream concocted by your mind.
            will you suffer the dream then? of course not. you will laugh.

            sorry for the verbose😬🌞

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Behind human has become merely retracing belief, reliving the familiar and enjoying an occasional vista. Maybe then the reason we die because we’ve been told so? When we are born we cannot remember because there is nothing yet to recall? Let me think in this a bit. Or am I rambling?

              Liked by 1 person

            2. some people do remember past lives. keep in mind, the feeling of death is there because we identify with the body. from that perspective, yes of course, the body dies. but we are not the body. the body exists within awareness, and we are that awareness. so, for someone who has realized this fully, there is no death. he experiences birth and death as phases within himself. for him, nothing ever changes. he is an ever present witness to whatever arises and ceases to be in the physical universe.

              i have a friend (he is fully realized) who has decided he will live to 150yrs old. he has set his own clock, and will accept nothing less. and because consciousness is much more subtle that thought (and he knows himself to be consciousness beyond any doubt) he can create this reality for himself.
              in my case, on the other hand, my mind still carries ingrained beliefs about my limitations…could not live till 150yrs no matter how much i wanted! mind is an extremely powerful instrument, and the only thing that hold us back from ‘godhood state’. we all have the power to create whatever reality we wanted… but the slightest doubt in mind will keep that away.

              i don’t know that we’ll ever have immortality in one body only. everything that is material cannot be eternal. that’s the nature of matter, and of the physical universe. only ego could wish for something like that. when you know your true nature, it is irrelevant what body you carry. it’s very much like changing shirts.

              i want to add, jim, this is not the only way or path. i’m explaining things from a non-dualistic way, but i don’t propose this is the only or best way. you must follow what resonates with you, and not accept anything as truth until you experience it for yourself. that’s the only way to know beyond doubt, and to go beyond just ‘belief’.

              Liked by 2 people

            3. “This is not the only way or path” That would have to go without saying, since most just die unawares if anything. Too much time listening to the experts who got is off track so long ago. Thank you Monica. This is very interesting.

              Liked by 1 person

            4. sometimes i wonder if it’s worth awakening. the same friend says once “it (meaning the universe) has more vested interest in you awakening than you even could.” still not quite sure what that means. but then, when you start being hungry for truth… there is no going back to staying ignorant.

              Liked by 2 people

            5. Well, it isn’t so important to stay there at this point as it is comforting to experience reality, even to just keep it in your back pocket. So much has happened to me these part few years to be able to express myself, but it all happened in a day. The slate was cleaned. This is very interesting to find other thoughts and experiences similar to mine. And thank you for your assistance. You’re close to a hat-trick now, I think.
              Trying to say what can’t be said is pretty good exercise anyway.

              Liked by 2 people

  3. I have died and come back. Someday, if you’d like to hear it, I’d be more than happy to tell you. Or I can share a post I did about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What you said about time standing still is true. I had a close call in a car accident when I was a teenager. I didn’t even think about if I would die or not, I reacted in that split second without thinking. It really felt like time slowed to a crawl. I got really lucky that day. When I was seven years old, I almost drowned. Similar time effect happened. Got lucky then too. Every detail of both of those incidents stayed with me. I had a phobia of any large amount of water for years after that.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. that slowing down that you experienced is pure awareness. many people who are in car accidents experience that. reaction comes from another ‘space’, rather than reason/logic, and it is therefore much more accurate.
      truth is, time exists in mind only, and in moments like those, you get a glimpse of the real you, beyond the physical body, time or space.
      you must have also felt a peace and calmness like no other, did you not?

      Liked by 2 people

  5. My plan is to live forever without aging. I seem to failing at the latter, giving me concern about my likely success with the former.
    Indeed, the act of moving from life to death, that lonely gap of final existence for which we are all born to pass through.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hah. Right! Hey I finally got to that video part 1. Very cool, very familiar to me again. I’m going to watch it again and then part two. Thanks.
      Hey, when I die I want to go peacefully, like my grandfather did, in his sleep. Not yelling and screaming like the passengers in his car…

      Liked by 3 people

  6. I’ve been on one of those flights where the food trolley hits the ceiling and the coffee goes airborne. I was still religious though… so me and the almighty had some words post event.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. When the flight crew is scared you know it’s bad! Ha. Don’t you think those who believe in mythologies have an easier time after stuff like that? That someone is looking out for them? I miss that… that sense that there was some sort of divine intervention potentially happening. It was all in my head obviously… but it’s nice to be deluded

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Sure, if your conviction is there it should be reassuring. If you live (deals) you live into the lord. If you die, you die into the lord. I don’t worry about death per se, but my family and how they would endure living on without me. We’re all at different levels of understanding too, so we look both ways even if it’s for the sake of the clan and not yourself.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. Tell me, how was the flight back home. Did it all come back in slow motion? I hope when it’s my time to go I’m not scared and am calm enough to look at it as the next adventure. A chance to see what comes next…if there is a next.


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Adrenaline amplifies the memory of stressful events. The flight home…no idea. Did you know every time you argue a belief where your ideas or faith are challenged that norepinephrine is released in the brain as well, essentially soldering the neurons? Fight or flight, you never forget when the hormones are helping.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. My diving career gave more NDE’s than I can remember. It would take all of my fingers and toes to count them. Might have to borrow a couple more fingers from somebody….

    That’s not even counting all of the many moments of “oh shit that might have been bad if I hadn’t caught it” scenarios.
    There were a lot days I didn’t tell the wife/kids what my day was like. I knew quite a few guys out there that didn’t make it home… I also saw a lot of guys get out of it within a week of starting. The dangers were many, and it was often working in a complete absence of light situations. You had a lot of time to sort out your fears in 50 feet of black water…

    That commercial diving career gave me a unique perspective. I don’t fear dying, and I fear no man. I’m about as cool and collected as anyone could be in a bad situation. I know that I can and will do what it takes to get through it. Because I have when I needed to and am here to tell you about it. Don’t take me as a braggart, cause that aint my game. It just is what it is and I loved that job like nothing else I’ve done.

    With that, I can say I’m pretty sure when we do go, it’s lights out Irene. But I wistfully keep the hope that death is as interesting as life has been.

    And I hope it waits a little longer.

    I gotta say though being on that plane would have been a trying experience. When your life is in someone else’s hands, not much you can do but wait and hope. I at least had the comfort of my life being in my hands. And that makes a helluva difference.

    Also tornados, I have been too close to a couple of those bad boys. If there’s anything that scares the shit out of me it’s an F3 on the ground tearing shit up a few hundred yards down the road at 3:00 AM.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. SD, your comment — I don’t fear dying, and I fear no man. — prompted a question. Not to you especially — more of a general one that others can/might answer.

      Many who have served in the Armed Forces seem to have this same confidence about themselves. Is it the training that “removes” this fear … or does it go deeper?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Took me a while to get back, sorry Nan.

        First I can only speak for myself… All I can say is my hands on experience at not dying in many bad situations, and to some degree developing a bit of cockyness due to constanly facing those threatening situations for 30 years, and just living that life, brings about a self assured confidence, that come what may, it will be dealt with…

        That doesn’t mean I’d be so cocky to tempt fate. I’ve walked up to deaths door and spit in its eye too many times to start pushing my luck.

        What I find intriguing is that I can’t generally have a conversation about my diving days with anyone unaccustomed to that life. They can’t comprehend what I’m trying to tell them. Now another diver that did what I did for a long time, we understand each other quite well. Unless you have hit the 20 foot wave that stood your 16 foot boat nearly perpendicular, and took a good 3 feet of water over the bow, you are going to have a hard time visualizing that. This is one simple example. A lot of people have no idea that waves can get that big on Ky. Lake. Ive been there. I’ve had lightning bolts dropping all around me as big around as a 55 gallon barrel, and me running wide open throttle with my head as low down as I could get it, and still see to drive. I’ve been caught up in fishermens nets and trot lines, tangled up in stumps, been caught up in storms as black as coal and mean as hell. And on and on. It was just another day at work for the guys that were out there doing that job.

        I’ve had 2 boats sink while I was down. Once in 8′ of water, the other time I was down around 42′. The first one wasn’t even a big deal. The other one was a damn close call.

        Hell of it is, if my body would let me I’d be back out there working tomorrow. Every day was an adventure. I have a boat in the driveway rigged up to go diving right now. Just because I love being out there. I will go every so often just because I miss it. I don’t pick up shells anymore, but there’s always something to explore.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. So am I to understand that your love of what you were doing overcame any fear of dying?

          In other words, those who live/work under “extreme” conditions really don’t think about dying. They’re more centered on what they’re doing than what might happen. In this what you’re saying?


          1. Yes. In a way. I mean there were kids to feed, a mortgage to pay, bills bills bills. Thats a good bit of motivation for some guys. Then theres the other side. Yes it was/still is a dangerous job. I was always of the attitude that it was a calculated risk. Just the same as rolling out of bed every morning. We know not what the day will bring. Every trip down the stairs or to town in the car is a calculated risk. Or flying for that matter.

            The thing is you develop a good sense of what can go wrong, and how to deal with it when it does. And it will. There are more bad scenarios that can happen out there than you can shake a stick at, and I saw many of them. Sometimed Id learn through someone elses mistake, as we divers were prone to talk amongst ourselves and share experiences, and how we survived them. That information can come in handy if/when you get in a similar predicament.

            30 years of that sort of work does something to you. It builds confidence, and it simultaneously builds an eye towards trouble coming. You would think who the hell could love a job like that? It takes a certain soul to love a job like that. And Except for the parts where I was fighting to survive, I loved every minute of it. Every day an adventure, and up and eager to go tomorrow. You might see a bumper sticker saying something like “A bad day diving is still better than a good day at work” Well for me every day was diving. It’s like having your cake and eating it too, as long as you live to tell about it 🙂

            To try to answer the question, you dont generally think about dying, if you are its probably time to get out of it. I was thinking about making $$ and providing for my family. And dying would be counterproductive to that.

            Liked by 2 people

  9. You Stated — ” Yet here, we shackle ourselves to another day, living to escape death—while in our normal existence we would line up for the chance to risk it.”

    My Response — There are some exceptions to this rule:

    Smokers — They don’t care either way and it doesn’t matter if they are Theist or Atheist. If they were given an option for one last drag or a moment of fear or prayer…… they’re going to take a smoke Oo

    Another would be death by sex, rare, but I suspect many are not going to avoid it. Case in point Kill Bill Oo

    Just saying

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sure exceptions. But we spend a good portion of our lives looking both ways, and evidenced by all the safety officers and legislation to protect us from ourselves. That has something to do with money too. See, read your mind…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: