This question entertains the hypothesis that we are the product of one intelligence/consciousness and that our life purpose is to refine our souls to the degree that are once again one with this source. The expected answer is hypothetical and therefore within the parameters of the provided hypothesis.

On numerous occasions, I've read that our spiritual apex is for our souls to be refined, through incarnations and experiences thereof, to the point that we become one with the supposed creator of all souls. This is also described as "returning to the source" in New Age esotericism. The book "Conversations with God" also outlines this precept in detail and I'm pretty sure Hermetic Alchemy touches on this.

To me, this is the ultimate form of death, not a mere mortal death but an esoteric death. What if I wish to retain my individuality? What if I don't want to be assimilated? I want to be more than a mere experiential conduit for my creator.

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    First, please demonstrate the existence of a creator who cares what you want.... – Nelson Alexander Oct 16 '15 at 22:24
  • @NelsonAlexander I can't nor am I postulating that such a creator exists. It's a hypothesis. I was hoping the word "supposed" in my question would infer this. Nonetheless, I've added a preceding paragraph to my question for clarification. – Clarus Dignus Oct 16 '15 at 22:46
  • @ClarusDignus who says that you'd lose your consciousness? You might be part of a greater whole, but you would still retain your consciousness. The best way to understand this is to try to experience unity through deep meditation. If you're able to reach that state, you'll get a taste of what these faiths promise. – R. Barzell Oct 16 '15 at 22:58
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    @ClarusDignus, I am not sure what sort of criterion you are using when you "compare" different categories of "death." Or what you mean by "esoteric" death. And the phrase "What if I want..." is not conducive to reasoned answers. But if you are "nihilphobic," to coin a term, you are better off with a "divine creator" than with science, where your fate within the laws of entropy has a more thoroughly annihilating "oneness" than most concepts of any afterlife. In heaven there is presumably some conservation law pertaining to "you." Frankly, I think there are better ways to spend our "worries." – Nelson Alexander Oct 17 '15 at 1:53
  • @NelsonAlexander I'm not sure of what comparison criterion might exist considering I'm addressing this as an isolated hypothesis. Esoteric death = death of that which exists beyond our mortal flesh (soul, intelligence etc.).Why is "what if I want" not conducive to reason? Does "nihilphobic" suggest that I'm fearful of the potential meaningless of life? What better thing is there to spend our "worries" on than immortality? Transhumanism or the cultivation of the soul/consciousness are our only two tickets. I'll hedge my bets. I don't want to end. – Clarus Dignus Oct 17 '15 at 16:39

Short Answer: These philosophies claim we all want this, we just don't know it.

Long Answer:

Religions and philosophies that espouse this say that this is the greatest bliss of all and those who say they don't want unity only say that because they don't realize what unity is like; if they did, they'd want it. In fact, part of the path of purification is realizing that what we normally pursue for our fulfillment is but a shallow imitation of this true fulfillment.

This argument is similar to those of some ancient Greek philosophers, who claimed that people did not seek the good because of ignorance and if they recognized the true good, they would seek it.

Becoming one with God doesn't mean losing your consciousness. You can maintain consciousness without a sense of self or individuality, although it's a hard state to imagine. You can experience a reduced version of this state if you practice meditation or contemplation. It may take you some time, and you may not consistently achieve this, but if you do, you'll get a taste of what this unity is like (but far more blissful because more complete).

Spinoza's philosophy also included unity with God (defined as all that is), but his seemed to preclude the survival of one's consciousness. As such, some have criticized it, claiming that this "immortality" was nothing like how most people defined immortality, and thus was nothing more than equivocation (much like his definition of "God").

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    @JoWehler I don't know what the OP wants. I'm explaining what those philosophies claim. They claim that this is what we all want, but this is not my claim. I'll edit the answer to make it clearer – R. Barzell Oct 17 '15 at 13:50
  • Thank you for intuiting what I was asking and for introducing me to Spinoza. His viewpoints sound similar to animism. Unity isn't as undesirable to me as merging irrevocably. It's abstract for me to conceive the merging of the consciousness of two minds let alone every mind that ever has/will existed. – Clarus Dignus Oct 17 '15 at 16:22

What happens if I wish not to grow older, or if wish to have the power of flight at the mere expression of my will, so that I can fly above mountains or indeed above clouds?

Tough I would say to myself; the world is not constituted like that as I might have imagined it when I was a child or when I watch a movie whose power of suggestion is such that I can forget how the world is and suppose it to be as malleable as a moment in the minds eye; or like the rose of a rose-petal rolled between finger and thumb.

But if not like such a petal, then perhaps like a flower, like a bloom: constituted as Spinoza described it, where nature as we see it is an aspect of God - or also as in his description neccessary being; one modality being extension - things, another modality being thought.

In this emanationist cosmology a man has his individual consciousness, has the power of will and intention; yet is at the same time already also a part of a whole.

But perhaps this man is a pure materialist, claiming all things are purely matter and force that there is nothing else; and death is a pure death being a dissolution into the mere matter from which he was originally constituted from; and he claims this because he is, and he emphasises this, an empiricist - he observes and takes note.

As an empiricist he notes the existence of people who, oddly enough, do not go along with this thesis, who insist on something else and they too offer proofs and demonstrations and others do not: claiming without demonstrating and others demonstrate without the actual wit or pith of demonstration; and others wish not, wishing silence or solitude.

And he notes with a degree of desperation and a note of melancholy that people are various, and do not conform to his will and vision, even when laid out with great rhetorical skill and panache: some will miss the obvious, and others will not; some will go to great lengths, and others do not; some shall will the all, and others being contraries will turn and twist with times tempo...

And then his mind drifts off to a piece of music he was listening to yesterday evening, Coplands Fanfare for the Common Man, where each note individual unto itself and powerfully so was yet also in harmony with the one preceding it, and the one succeeding it; and sounding it seemed, or so he thought, into the void, yet being buoyed up by the whole as he felt himself bouyed up listening to the whole awashed, and washed up in the static of his times ...

Forests of mourning pine - and the morning sound sounding bright in the dusk folded into his night; all quiet too, as the Don flows when the sky murdered falls flapping.

O Cloudwalker, walking on clouds: Daedalus his hands laughing like a tyrant amongst the shapes that move towards the snake

Pitchblack pony, Luna grande (+) A sack of olives at my saddle Though I know the roads I travel I shall never get to Cordoba

(+) From Lorcas Cancion del Jinete

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  • First two paragraphs: I'm not content accepting limitation especially so when told "It's just the way things are.". Was it not but a few decades ago that physiologists believed the human body would explode if it ran under a five minute mile? Your commentary on Spinoza: If Spinoza was so convinced that we end as and with our flesh, why then did he not commit his life to seeking biological immortality rather than self-indulgently and redundantly musing about it? Why was he so accepting of his end? It's illogical for a life form to want to end (with the exception of a merciful death). – Clarus Dignus Oct 18 '15 at 15:12
  • Glad to hear it; let us and the world know when you've developed an anti-gravity device ... – Mozibur Ullah Oct 18 '15 at 18:35
  • Never say never though I'm rather content not spontaneously meandering into orbit. :-) Jokes aside, what other imperative is there other than immortality? It can only be achieved biologically (nanotechnology, transhumanism et al.) or esoterically. Any other commitment, concern, priority, focus or action is as redundant as it is irrational. Our misguided acceptance is a form of mass social insanity. Thank you for your clearly educated and beautifully written answer no less. – Clarus Dignus Oct 18 '15 at 19:46

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