The Things You Can Know

I like to know things and I like statistics. It is a bad combination. One of the issues with statistics is it averages everything. It can give you a good idea of what a general population or a large enough sample size will do but on an individual level statistics offer little help.

Statistically speaking I have 1,976 weeks to live. If I live as long as the average male human that has reached the age of 40. I have an estimated 38 years left on this planet. Both my parents are 80 years old and haven’t lived the healthiest lifestyle and I believe both my father’s parents made it into their 80’s. We have no idea what medical advances await us in the future and we also have no idea what tragic accident could await me in mine, but statistically speaking I will live until I am 78 years old.

This fact doesn’t scare me in any way, shape, or form. Death is the ultimate end of life. I don’t like thinking about death. I find it a difficult thing to think about because I am a person that likes knowing things and knowing what death is like is an impossible thing to know. It is the opposite of knowing. It is nothingness.

We think of death as the cousin of sleep but in sleep you sometimes dream and always wake up. When death comes there is only an end. It isn’t infinite blackness or nothingness it is an end. There will be no more brain activity and the end. It isn’t an absence of sensation it is the end of sensation.

See what I mean? It is hard to think about because it is nothing we can ever know. How do we know what it is like to be turned off? One minute all the electric synapsis and nerves are firing and then the next they’re not. We’re off and have reached the end.

I barely even know how to write about it. It is much easier to think about it as the big sleep. To imagine death as an endless nothingness that our conscience floats through. It isn’t, though. It isn’t nothingness and there is no conscience. We become not, and for me that is most likely to happen in 1,976 weeks.

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