Dark Matters

ADAPT      FLOW              EVOLVE

“dow • osso • fee”

Equip yourself against the trappings

of the ego and align with the way.



facing and accepting the universal law of the impermanence of all things; alignment with and acceptance of the immutable laws of nature

Removing attachment to material items by unwrapping yourself, your identity, and your survival from around anything or anyone.

“I’m Still Around” - Jörn Kuxhttps://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jorn-kux/id598295999shapeimage_15_link_0

In this mini-book collection of essays, prominent atheist author Greta Christina offers secular ways to handle your own mortality and the death of those you love.

by Greta Christina

How the awareness of our own mortality triggers counterproductive defense mechanisms. A panel discussion on the positive effect of facing our own mortality.

Death: Terror Management Theory

Oxygen: Killing You Slowly

Oxygen - the element that makes it possible for most animals to live is simultaneously responsible for a lot of bad things going on in our bodies.

What would happen if all humans suddenly vanished from the face of the planet? That freaky thought experiment is explored in a new video from YouTube's AsapSCIENCE

What Would Happen if Humans Disappeared?

“The way I look at it--it’s just material things that can be replaced--we’ll just pick up what we need for now...then take it one day at a time.”

Life After People: Episode 1 (A&E)

Experts speculate about what might become of Earth should humanity instantly disappear. The featured experts also talk about the impact of human absence on the environment and the vestiges of civilization thus left behind.

Trauma: The Mechanics of Loss

“Trauma is our special legacy as sentient beings, creatures burdened with the knowledge of our own impermanence.” -David Morris (embedded journalist)

How should we deal with the tragic side of life--and how philosophers  have responded to the tragic fragility of life and happiness, especially in modern times.

The Tragedy of Life:

Philosopher Stephen Cave calls the urge to keep the soul and body perpetually alive a universal obsession, the driving force behind our greatest scientific advancements, and world religions.

Outrunning The Reaper

On Self-pity

Philosophers' Mail.com

The defensive posture of self-pity isn’t inherently contemptible. It is grounded in something rather touching and useful.

Beyond Happiness: The Upside of Feeling Down

How negative emotions can help us change our lives.

The salmon dying in their stream tell me I am not alone.
The evidence is everywhere... These things tell me death is true, right, graceful; not tragic, not failure, not defeat.
For this you were born.

Amanda Bennett

Judy MacDonald Johnston

Karen Thompson Walker

Matthew O'Reilly

Kelli Swazey


When you’re a new martial artist, you have the tendency to feel slightly (maybe greatly) fearful at the prospect of someone kicking you or throwing you. You might fear, not unrealistically, “This is going to hurt.”

But as you gain experience and you get popped in the ribs a couple of times, you realize that you don’t have to be fearful. You can block the strike. Even if you miss, and you do get kicked in the ribs, you’ll survive and live to kick your partner in the ribs.

When you see the blow coming without fear, you can defend yourself in a rational, reasonable way. Your best defense might be to run away. Your best defense might be to stand and fight. But covering your face with your hands as you quiver with fear is not a good option.

When you see a blow coming without fear, you can make and implement a reasonable plan of action. If it seems obvious that your job will be eliminated during the next round of layoffs, don’t just feel sick to your stomach and think, “What will I do?” Instead, rationally and logically update your résumé, register with an employment agency, network with friends and colleagues, rein in your spending in case it takes a while to find that next job. Then when your co-workers are panicking about their pink slips, you’ll be comfortable in the knowledge that you’ve already responded to the blow.


   by Jennifer Lawler

See The Blow Coming Without Fear

Articles & Essays

After Life (The Thinking Atheist)

Can you have a meaningful life without an afterlife? Seth Andrews asked several friends to join him in exploring the merits of human existence and the concepts of posthumous reward and punishment. It is my hope that this video will answer religious claims that a secular life is meaningless and void and remind us all to cherish our precious and temporary tenure on planet earth.

Why we mourn the death of someone in our tribe, but find it hard to muster the same feelings for thousands of suffering people halfway across the world?  Why our brains are wired to care most about the people in our own "tribe"--our home, our town, our country --some tricks for how to expand our circle of who counts as a fellow tribe member.

Death: Us vs. Them - Moral Reason

It is only when you confront the mortal nature of your existence that the longing to know the basic nature of life arises in a human being

“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.”

~Steve Jobs

Reckoning with the grim reaper. And, in the end, we confront the question at the heart of it all — when the time comes to finally leave, how do we want to go?

(Dojo Wisdom)

“From an evolutionary perspective, each and every one of us is extremely fortunate to be here at all. The percentage of organisms that now exists is infinitesimal compared with the zillions of potential alternative organisms that never passed the screen of natural selection and, thus, never made it here. Your life is the product of eons of natural selection and lots of random luck. That is a beautiful thing. Make the most of it.”





Christina discusses the tendencies we have to avoid and deny death and how it affects our abilities to cope. Christina explains how the concept of an afterlife may actually be failing to prepare people for the end of their lives, and how we can use our humanism and skepticism to find comfort in the midst of mortality and grief.

e  v  o  l  u  t  i  o  n

NPR’s Snap Judgement: ‘Rites of Passage’ Ten-year-old Julia DeWitt struggles with her own mortality and finds comfort in some unexpected places.

New Ways Of Treating Trauma: Try Some Yoga

When a person experiences traumatic events, the aftermath can be extremely debilitating. Trauma not only affects the mind, but can have lifelong effects on the body.

-Eva Saulitis

The Salmon


Salmon, which have migrated from the ocean, swim to the upper reaches of rivers where they spawn on gravel beds. After spawning, all Pacific salmon and most Atlantic salmon die, and the salmon life cycle starts over again.

Learning How to Die

By Eva Saulitis

A woman with terminal cancer offers a beautiful and inspiring perspective on facing death.


Point of Inquiry’s Josh Zepps talks to Julien Musolino, psychology professor and author of

‘The Soul Fallacy: What Science shows We Gain From Letting Go of Our Soul Beliefs.’

Musolino discusses why there isn’t room for belief in the soul in modern science, and how moving past that belief might make the world a better place.

What can be achieved in the face of death is not to prevent our life from being joyful by fearing it. The fear of death should be translated into life energy. It appears both in long and short lives... Why should we imprison ourselves to anxieties? Why is that instead of rendering every instant of their lives meaningful and valuable, many choose to darken their lives with the depressive thoughts of death?

Older entries

David Rönnegard asks how a committed atheist confronted with death might find consolation.

“The awareness of death highlights such enduring sentiments and shows us what we value deeply. By implication, faith in an afterlife, which amounts to a denial of death, may hinder such insight.”

Issue 105

November/December 2014

If the faithful truly and fully believe in a protective deity, why would they dive into a foxhole to protect themselves from the bullets whizzing by? A part of their brain knows damn well that if they do not protect themselves, the bullets will hardly discriminate between those who claim faith and those who reject it.”

J. Anderson Thomson, Jr., MD

why we believe in god(s) – 2011

“Maybe there are ONLY atheists in foxholes...

March 15, 2015

Horror of Philosophy, Vol. 1

It’s an academic treatise about the horror humanity feels as we realize that we are nothing but a speck in the universe. For a few years nobody read it.

But then...

Brooke follows up on her conversation with Radiolab, and explores our longstanding fascination with nihilism: why it's popular today, and whether that's always been the case.

Bored vampire

March 27, 2015

Human Life spans have not begun to approach the line where we surpass our innate desire for survival, our fear of death and our ability to feel satisfaction with  the things that give us pleasure in life.

Is there any difference between open disbelief

and situationally diminishable belief?

In a heavily-discussed paper from the early 1970s, the British philosopher Bernard Williams offers a (very loose)re-telling of Leoš Janáček’s opera The Makropulos Affair. In Williams’ version of the story, 42-year-old Elena Makropulos takes an elixir which suspends her aging and allows her to live for another three hundred years. At the end of that time, she has the option of taking the elixir again; she decides not to. She has, quite simply, become so bored of life that she would rather accept death. And that, according to Williams, is what would happen to any of us who found ourselves in her shoes.

Lucky To Be Here At All

Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi says we can achieve one of the most elusive needs — self-actualization — by finding a state of "flow" in our work or our hobbies.

Part 6 of the TED Radio Hour episode Maslow's Human Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs

April 19, 2015

Buddha: On The Question of Life After Death

“In  this moment, what made you ask the question is suffering.”

April 19, 2015


We often walk around pretending death doesn’t exist, but I think it’s healthy to face it every once in awhile.  Life becomes so much more rich when we know we don’t get to live forever.

                -Bri Barton

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”

         ~Thich Nhat Hanh

A poignant, positive, uplifting song about coping with the death of a loved one from the 2005 Academy Award Nominated Short Film "Ausreisser

(The Runaway)".

The period before the inception of life, as best we can tell thus far, is just as black and nothingness-filled a void as the one that likely follows after we die. But is this necessarily an indication of the absence of a soul during our lives?

Why is transcendence of the body the litmus proof of a soul?