Cast your mind back for me. To before you were born. Any memories?
What? None? Oh well.
It's not a trick question. Just my way of pointing out that non existence isn't really such a big deal. You weren't uncomfortable, or lonely, or hungry, or sad.
In fact, you weren't anything. And then the lights came on; bright and brash and dazzling, and our eyes open upon a universe that defies all scale and beauty.
Being alive is quite something. I don't think we grasp this fully. Fact is, I think many of us take it for granted.
Bad idea. Very bad. And a real shame, too. For me a wasted life is an ungrateful life, a poor life, an affront to this incredible thing we call consciousness. As an aside, consciousness is something we know very little about. It eludes our efforts to understand it and leads only to further questions. All the same, we're conscious, and we have a finite time in this body and on this planet. I don't know how your journey is working out although I expect it's a mix of highs, lows, and meandering? Whatever the preceding chapters I think we owe it to ourselves to make our road as interesting as we can.
I have no proof as to what happens when the lights go out. I strongly suspect it's like how it was before, which is to say not anything. Whatever views we hold surely there has to be some appreciation that this life needs living with passion and drive and a thirst to figure a few things out? I see people waste their lives terribly, just as I've seen others flourish and grow into incredible human beings. I have no magic recipe to ensure or avoid either outcome, but I think an open mind is crucial. That and a sense of wonder, a questioning spirit and a desire for new experience.
Life is a passionate adventure to be lived and cherished and valued. It's a raging river, a breaking wave, the flash of sunlight over the horizon. It's touch, it's scent, it's vision. It's every neural stimuli sucked in from the world around us. It's a dance, a leap, a dive and an embrace. It is to each of us something precious, a continuum of experience upon a conveyor belt propelled by time itself. Only time is a thief and the clock ticks ever downward, converging upon an hour when the lights may dim and the dance may cease. In fact there is no greater thief, for what it takes can never be regained. So faced with this certainty, armed with this knowledge, what are you going to do?