• TiredThinker
    314
    We all have to sleep, and we generally feel better afterwards. But we don't yet know all it does for us. I imagine as kids many of us feared bedtime because it removes consciousness for an uncertain amount of time. And much older people fear dying in their sleep which consciousness in their case can help prevent. Is going to sleep routinely kind of like an acceptance of death? Of the unknown?
  • The Opposite
    1.1k
    equating sleep and death is clichéd.

    Sleeping is part of life; it's something that can't physically be done when dead.
  • MAYAEL
    154
    My theory is that there are many different realms and when we sleep we experience them
  • 180 Proof
    7k
    "There is no god but Death and Sleep is her prophet." :death: :flower:
    Is going to sleep routinely kind of like an acceptance of death? Of the unknown?TiredThinker
    I'd say sleep, among its other functions, involuntarily habituates one to prolonged loss of one's self-awareness and thereby diminishes with age the anxiety of the inevitability of one's own death. Regardless, btw, the fear of dying (suffering) and the death of others remains – sleepwalking dreams of counterfactuals (e.g. "electric sheep"). :yawn:
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    When someone goes to bed, he expects to wake up. A far cry from death from which no recoveries have been documented (pace Christianity, Christ's resurrection). I doubt if being able to sleep implies that one accepts death. Hypnos and Thanatos are brothers, yes, but the former is finite and the other infinite; exact opposites when you look at it like that.
  • 180 Proof
    7k
    Hypnos and Thanatos are brothers, yes, but the former is finite and the other infinite; exact opposites when you look at it like that.Agent Smith
    Mirror images.
  • TiredThinker
    314


    We expect to wake up yes, but it is never promised, and we know we will succumb eventually so non-acceptance is pointless. But certainly we'd prefer to be aware of our environment and self. If we tried to stay awake to the extent that it kills us that would certainly be dedication to extending awareness and sense of self that we hope to keep.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Mirror images.180 Proof

    :up: :ok:

    We expect to wake up yes, but it is never promised, and we know we will succumb eventually so non-acceptance is pointless. But certainly we'd prefer to be aware of our environment and self. If we tried to stay awake to the extent that it kills us that would certainly be dedication to extending awareness and sense of self that we hope to keep.TiredThinker

    How about if I put it this way: From sleep, it's possible to wake up but from death, there's no such thing as life.
  • InvoluntaryDecorum
    5
    But it doesn't remove consciousness
  • Varde
    152
    Oddly, more.

    It is acceptance of death and it's further form decrepit; you're not there, mirrored, thus you are not there twice.

    It is a precondition of ugliness; you tire out.

    It is a prerequisite of afterlife and sacrelige; you dream and recover.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    It's rather obvious why the brain switches off at night although that's no longer true with artificial lighting and all. There's nothing for the brain to be about in the pitch dark of night - might as well turn it (the brain) off, why waste energy?

    However, it's only consciousness (the brain) that's got a diurnal cycle; the kidneys, the liver, presumably other organs too, continue functioning as if the earth doesn't rotate around its axis or, for our forbears, as if the sun never went around the earth.

    Consciousness and light are connected in some way. I've mentioned the obvious link above, but there could be more if only we look for them. What about the blind? Genetic inheritance explains their nightly shuteye; the question is are the blind really conscious? What about eyeless organisms, are they conscious?
  • pfirefry
    36
    There's nothing for the brain to be about in the pitch dark of night - might as well turn it (the brain) off, why waste energy?Agent Smith

    If you're curious about the nature of sleep or wish to improve your sleep, there is a good book "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker. In this book, Matthew claims that all animal species sleep, including those who can see in the dark:

    Without exception, every animal species studied to date sleeps, or engages in something remarkably like it. This includes insects, such as flies, bees, cockroaches, and scorpions; fish, from small perch to the largest sharks; amphibians, such as frogs; and reptiles, such as turtles, Komodo dragons, and chameleons. All have bona fide sleep. Ascend the evolutionary ladder further and we find that all types of birds and mammals sleep: from shrews to parrots, kangaroos, polar bears, bats, and, of course, we humans. Sleep is universal.

    He also argues that sleep is so important for living organisms, that even evolution, as creative as it is, couldn't find a way to eliminate it despite all of the survival benefits that would come from it.
  • dimosthenis9
    567


    More like a rehearsal of Death, if you remove dreams. We practice it every day till our final premiere.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    :ok: Darkness and sleep, something's going on between the two. Neurons may have begun their evolutionary journey as simple light sensors (eyes). The eyes dominate our consciousness.
  • Leghorn
    575
    Sleep is death-in-life. Babies do so much of it because they have only recently emerged from nonexistence; old ppl do it so much because they are rehearsing for the final sleep from which they will not awaken.

    Sleeping is part of lifeThe Opposite

    So is death. Nothing that lives doesn’t also die.

    From sleep, it's possible to wake up; but from death, there's no such thing as life.Agent Smith

    This is true in one sense; false in another:

    It is true that once you die your consciousness of yourself as a living breathing being is gone...but is that all there is to your being? Cannot a being survive his own death in a different way: ie, through his own writings or books written about him? Given that we all must die, wouldn’t we wish for the next best thing to immortality: to be remembered in our own or others writings?
  • Bitter Crank
    10.3k
    It's past your bedtime. Go to sleep.

    Shakespeare said, "To sleep, perchance to dream."

    I'm old; I don't fear dying while I'm asleep. Seems like that would be the most convenient time to die. Children have all sorts of ideas about death, dying, the here after, the before here, up there, down there, etc. My fears about death were shaped by horror films. Maybe they still are?
  • Bitter Crank
    10.3k
    is that all there is to your beingLeghorn

    Yes. That's all, folks! According to The Church Without Christ, the dead stay dead, the lame don't walk, and the the blind don't see.

    So... make the most of being alive.
  • Manuel
    2.1k


    We don't really understand why most animals (if not all) need to sleep. There are guesses having to do with repairing or optimizing neuronal activity, to save on energy use, etc. It certainly feels quite normal, and is rather great when waking up feeling well rested.

    I think it may have been @180 Proof who pointed this out, but, Thanatos and Hypnos in Ancient Greek Mythology are brothers, suggesting that at least one culture suspected them to be similar.

    One could hypothesize that being in a state of dreamless sleep "feels" - if this word can be used in this occasion - not unlike it "felt" prior to be born: nothing, so far as I can tell.

    Of course, I betray everything when analyzing "nothing" using (human) experience. But, there's no way around this problem.

    If sleep were "acceptance" of death, one would think people would not be afraid of death at all. That's not the case, as far as I can see.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    This is true in one sense; false in another:

    It is true that once you die your consciousness of yourself as a living breathing being is gone...but is that all there is to your being? Cannot a being survive his own death in a different way: ie, through his own writings or books written about him? Given that we all must die, wouldn’t we wish for the next best thing to immortality: to be remembered in our own or others writings?
    Leghorn

    Yep, but that's not the kind of survival, post-death, that people have in mind. :up:
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    @180 Proof

    dreamless sleepManuel

    I think it may have been 180 Proof who pointed this out, but, Thanatos and Hypnos in Ancient Greek Mythology are brothers, suggesting that at least one culture suspected them to be similar.Manuel

    :up: We define an unknown (death) in terms of a known (dreamless sleep).
  • The Opposite
    1.1k
    We define an unknown (death) in terms of a known (dreamless sleep).Agent Smith

    I blame Shakespeare. (Although he was only making a metaphor)
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    I blame Shakespeare. (Although he was only making a metaphor)The Opposite

    Shakespeare? I didn't know the phrase "dreamless sleep" was the English bard's handiwork. Good to know.
  • sime
    690
    You never lose awareness during sleep, for you cannot meaningful assert that you are unconscious in the present. Rather, when awake you have no memories about being previously asleep, which you call "being previously unconscious". And when we say that a subject is 'presently unconscious' "because" he isn't responding, the word "because" isn't being used in the sense of the justification of a hypothesis , but in the sense of defining what is meant by the word "unconscious" from the perspective of external observers.

    So to answer your question, sleep is a useful 'private' model of death in that both concepts pertain to the concept of amnesia and nothing else.
  • Leghorn
    575
    Yes. That's all, folks! According to The Church Without Christ, the dead stay dead, the lame don't walk, and the the blind don't see.Bitter Crank

    Men who died centuries ago still live for me; and, though lame, I can walk and run and gambol in the Elysian Fields with many a “dead” immortal soul: All I have to do is pick up his book and read it. In order to read it I require eyes and light, but those eyes and that light are not the ones in my head or above it: they’re the ones in my soul...

    ...for, as Christ taught us, you can have ears and not hear; eyes, and not see.
  • Leghorn
    575
    Socrates is dead. He died in 399 BC. No doubt there is nothing left of him, not even his bones, which must have turned to powdery dust a long time ago. Yes, he is certainly dead...

    ...yet I just read an article in the Times that mentioned his name. It was a quote from Madison, who said that, even if every Athenian citizen had been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would have been a mob. It is clear to me from this that Socrates lived for Madison as the representative of a reasonable man...

    ...And here’s the funny thing: Socrates has been more alive after his death than he ever was while he lived. Had he never lived and died the way he did, the Republic and Apology and all the other dialogues, and the Memorabilia, would never have been written; the Enlighteners would have never had the foil of Socrates to contend with that was the core of their disagreement with the ancient thinkers.

    Finally, it is not even the living breathing Socrates that we encounter in Plato, but the condensed and purified one—ie, the “real” one. For Socrates was more than his flesh. The rest of us will go to our graves as forgetful mortals, for we were never anything true; Socrates will die only when civilization herself perishes.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    I'm old; I don't fear dying while I'm asleep. Seems like that would be the most convenient time to dieBitter Crank

    Old in body, young at heart!

    In for a penny, in for a pound, eh?

    Did you know...

    Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of dearh but once. — Julius Caesar

    We need to put thanatologists and the pusillanimous in the same room...maybe then we can expect to make some headway into this rather difficult subject.
  • universeness
    120
    You do not physically disassemble in sleep, you will start to the moment you die.
    Imagine if we could quantum tag every quanta which came from a dead human during disassembly and trace its 'fate'.

    Matter cannot be destroyed it only changes form.

    How much 'raw material' from dead humans become part of new humans?
    In this sense, we are all part of a commonality of the nature and properties of the raw materials that we are made from. All of those raw materials remain available after death.
    I like the idea that an atom/quark or the like that was once part of Socrates or maybe Newton is now part of me. Not so attracted to having a quark from Hitler et al or even a Maggie Thatcher.
    At least some of me may have been once part of other humans who died/disassembled before I was born/assembled. Same for animals, insects, trees etc. (don't want to upset any panpsychists or cosmopsychists but always happy to argue with theists)
    I don't refer to people in stories that never existed such as Jesus Christ, Mohamed, et al or constructs that don't exist such as the poorly defined 'soul' concept.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    Is acceptance the sleep of death?
  • universeness
    120

    Acceptance implies choice. Try to say awake, how long will you last.
    'Sleep of death' makes no sense. Death is the beginning of disassembly, sleep is an evolved method of physical maintenance. Dead and asleep have very little common ground in my opinion.
  • Agent Smith
    1.2k
    'Sleep of death' makes no senseuniverseness

    Why? Thanatos (death personified) can sleep, no?
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