This link from Aeon magazine:
We have this powerful sense that death is a transition, not an end. Why can’t we imagine a world without us?
As long as science cannot find proper evidence for pre- or afterlife, I will stick by my assumption that these beliefs are largely based on the fact that we simply have a hard time going beyond our own ego.
Ego. I. Me. This is who I am. I think, I do, I live, I exist. I am important, at least to myself. I make a difference in this world. Without me, my world seizes to exist.
To let go of that ego, and realize that also without you the world will continue to turn and that everything will be just fine, is terrifying to some. I think that this is why we have created an afterlife; because we simply cannot fathom the idea that we stop to exist and that we will become nothing. That goes against everything our ego wants us to believe; our survival instinct.
I don’t want to believe in life after death. I don’t want to believe that our souls live on forever. Because we simply do not know. I want to be happy with the knowledge that I don’t matter. And that whatever I do may touch lives of other people, but in 100 years from now I will be forgotten. There is freedom is understanding that nothing you will ever do will be remembered a century from now. It gives you freedom to be -who you are- and do what makes you happy.
Ego only holds us back. Not only does it create barriers between people (my ego is offended by your ego, my ego isn’t hearing your ego, my ego cannot deal with your ego, my ego wants your piece of land because I deserve it, my ego is more important than yours because it is mine), it also obstructs our personal growth. For how will you accept your own insecurities and imperfections if your ego tells you that you are you and you are allowed to be? This is the basis to all who have a hard time dealing with criticism; we feel touched in our core and we instinctively feel as if we are being made less worthy. Touched in our ego.
Step 1. Do not expect afterlife.
Step 2. Do not expect to leave a lasting memory.
Step 3. Be okay with this and live your life as if you were to lose it tomorrow.
Step 4. Strive to be happy, and just be.