Life after death is a wonderful dream, until the fantasy ends.
It was an accidental project. My mind was wandering as it often does while trying to get to sleep. I experienced the subtle shift between controlled imaginings and the strange waking dreams that can come before sleep. It’s always a strange realization when I transit from this state back to normal consciousness and wonder why my brain decided to go down these tracks that I would never have considered in my average waking. And this time was no exception.
I found myself unexpectedly in a scenario where I was being shot (Thanks for that American tv… ) And unlike my usual ‘oh but of course I’ll still float around like a ghost if I die’ because lets face it, how would the story continue if that was it? In this case, it kind of was. And I was faced with an idea that I had never really given the credence of thought before. This thought snapped me back to reality very quickly. And I realized I was afraid.
The idea that everything that I believe makes me, me, suddenly being gone completely and irrevocably brought about a deep cold sense of emptiness. It was in this moment, that I truly understood why religion’s like Christianity bring people such great comfort.
While I could never actually subscribe to that sort of thing myself, I have nevertheless always had a kind of spiritualism in my life. A belief that, while not knowing what it is, something larger than myself could still exist and play a part in the universe. Something possibly divine. Maybe that there could be reincarnation or higher planes of existence. I don’t think that this has to be seen as weakness or a lack of rationality, but rather an acknowledgement that there may be many things left that we are still unable to explain. But still, it is accompanied by a certain feeling of childishness, like when you believed in Santa, or that you could trust people never to hurt you. A sense that, to believe in things that you can’t prove, even in a less religious, rigid sense, could still be the kind of self-delusion and soothing balm for the mind as Heaven.
It’s made me wonder, when my time comes. If I know it’s coming at least. How I’ll deal with the empty feeling that soon my mind will be nothing more than a collection of dead neurons and the intellect that types these words will be nothing more than a memory to a few. If that. Will I cling to the hope that there is more to things than what we understand of the universe, and that some part of me will survive mortality? Or am I to accept that I am nothing more than the sum of my biological parts and; like all things that live, I must also die.
It feels a little like I’ve stumbled into an intellectual minefield. But not one I feel the need to linger on at this point.