Hello all! ^^
Sorry if there's lots of ranting, but I've been struggling with this for a while.
So this was something that hit me a bit again last night, and I thought I'd ask around about it.
Over the past year I've had a few (what I would term) "existential crises," in that I've become acutely aware of my mortality to the point where I cannot sleep or think about anything else.
I remember once about this time last year where I stayed up until 5 am, thinking about death (mine, my family's), how we won't be here, and how the entire world will cease to exist and there's nothing to be done about it.
It goes a lot farther than just my death - its the inherent cessation of existence of everything
, how not just I will come to an end but the entire universe, this entire existence will come to an end, and it can't be stopped.
The thought of the world continuing on without me I feel is so unfair; that we are born against our will and, just as we come to desire life, we will die against our will; that even this world that will continue on without me will cease to be one day.
And things I should find solace in, I can't: that when we sleep every night, in a way we cease to exist; that we did not "exist" or were not conscious of our existence before we were born (more like before we reached an age where we can conceptualize existence and its cessation); so in a way, having already experienced some form of non-existence, shouldn't it not be so frightening?
Perhaps it is the knowledge that this time, there's no coming back from it. Unlike sleep, you can't just wake up.
But anyway, just thinking about all this... my mind just continues to spiral downwards, and I get caught in this grip of anxiety and usually I start crying
it's quite upsetting ^^;
I feel like it was these episodes that lead me to Buddhism in the first place... I don't remember exactly how, but I'm sure the two were related. So recently I've just been trying to tie what I've been feeling to some of the concepts I've been reading about:
- Is this a form of realizing the emptiness of inherent existence? Or is this more the impermanence of existence?
- Is the fear and anxiety I've been feeling what I've heard of as "clinging to samsara"? That, upon realizing impermanence, instead of accepting it the fear becomes more acute and we cling even more strongly to the desire for life?
- If so, how can I go about decreasing my anxiety/accepting impermanence without fear? I suspect meditation on it might help, though I can only imagine thinking myself into a panic attack - but perhaps this is a necessary step I must take to overcome it?
Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for any help! I'm reading other articles etc. about this, but I just wanted to see what you guys had to say :3