Our Irrational Fear of Nothingness

We have this idea that ‘nothingness’ is somehow a bad thing. By ‘nothingness’, I am referring to the state of non-being – the state of nonexistence, of nothing. For example, right now you exist. Look around, notice all the material objects surrounding you; the furniture, the people, etc. You, and everything around you, is not ‘nothing’ – it is something. Nothingness then is when you and everything around you no longer exists. What is like to be a part of nothingness – what is like to be nothing? Well, the best way to imagine this is to try and think about what your life was like before you born. Impossible correct? – because you did not exist. Well, that’s essentially what ‘nothingness’ is – a state of nonexistence. If you do not believe in an afterlife (like me), then you believe that once you die, you fade into ‘nothingness’.

Now, for some reason, many people hate the idea of ‘nothingness’. The thought that they will no longer exist, the thought that they will no longer be able to feel, or perceive, or sense anything anymore – this scares many people. The term ‘nothingness’ for many people seems synonymous with the word ‘hell’. But that is not true – indeed, nothingness is perhaps the best thing we can wish for!

We have this idea that nothingness is somehow a bad thing. But think of all the pain, all the torment, and all the suffering that you’ve been through. Was it nothingness that caused this? No – it was not nothing that caused this – it was something! Nothingness has never harmed anybody, and yet people still feel uncomfortable or uneasy at the idea of ‘fading into nothingness’.

I have come across many people who, when thinking about their being fading away into ‘nothingness’, they begin to feel discomforted – but why? Nothingness has never harmed you – its life that has harmed you! One should not be afraid of nothingness – because in nothingness there is no pain, no sorrow, no suffering and no harm. Did you suffer before you were born? Were you anxious, or heartbroken, or depressed before you were born? No? Then why do you fear nothingness? When one enters the state of nothingness – that is perhaps the truest form of ‘peace’.

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