Skip to main content

ON LIFE AFTER DEATH

Scientists are currently grappling with a question that has haunted humanity for eons. It is this: Is consciousness annihilated immediately after death, or does it continue to exist? In other words, is there an afterlife?

One of my favorite books, What Dreams May Come, says there most definitely is. If I remember, the author, Richard Matheson, posits a spirit realm in which we exist with infinite capabilities before and after bodily incarnation, and earth is where we come to test our strengths within the confines that limitations (like the human body, and a finite lifespan) impose.


But who really knows what comes after death? Science has for a long time studied near death experiences, or NDEs, but they only give a glimpse as to what happens when the brain is temporarily offline, not when it has gone completely caput. As some experts argue, when the brain is dead, irrevocably so, as in passed resuscitation, it flatlines, and since nobody has come back from such a state, no one can accurately describe what if anything lies on the other side.

Enter faith, which many of a religious persuasion assiduously cling to, when they justify belief in a hereafter. The mind generally enjoy existing, and so it likes to fathom a realm after earthly life has ended, but presumably the mind dies with the body, so how can it construct a realistic futuristic scenario in which it does not exist?

Physician and philosopher Raymond Moody, a leader in the field of "life on the other side" has this to say on the matter: "I am convinced that at death, personal consciousness is taken up into a more inclusive state of existence."

What precisely does that mean? Once you give up individual life, what is the nature of this total reality that you hypothetically achieve? A question worth considering.

But if as one sage has said, "Sleep is short death, and death is long sleep," and if while unconscious during deep sleep you can be said not to exist since you are not aware of your existence, then an awareness unaware of itself, or the long sleep that death is purported to be, is akin to not existing at all.

But since your mind is not around to raise the question, it is as good as unasked. Like so many other of life's grand mysteries.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SOUL CYCLE

This is not a commentary on the latest fitness fad. Because if it were, the little I'd have to say on the subject would be largely derogatory. I simply cannot see see how crouching in a stuffy, dark, cramped room surrounded by sweat-drenched strangers while expending a lot of energy and going nowhere deserves to be called fun, though aficionados tell me it is (fun). I tell these aficionados that if no pain no gain is your thing, discomfort can be had for a lot cheaper than $50 an hour. Try plucking your nose hairs. What we don't do for the sake of beauty. This endurance heir to the Stairmaster and elliptical is all hype. There's a name for the type who likes to run (or otherwise move) in place. It's called a hamster. 

This reminds me of a joke my father likes to tell, about what living with a woman turns a guy into. You go from a wolf to a sheep to a hamster. After nearly 40 years of married life, my dad has added cockroach to the zoological lineage. Which I'm sure …

EVERYTHING'S INTENTIONAL

There is no such thing as screw-ups.

Case in point. My excellent friend Deej comes over to help me beautify the garden. He immediately dives in, crouching down on his knees and weed whacking with his bare hands. Before I can say yay or nay, he proceeds to remove a huge clump of daisy greens from the oblong patch of Earth adjacent to the driveway. The area instantly looks bare. Like the back of Woody Allen's head. Smoothing out the soil and shaking his head Deej mutters to himself "I fucked it up!" over and over again. We try everything. Planting succulents in the daisy's place. Covering it with rocks. But still the area looks barren. And every time you water it the water trickles down onto the sidewalk in the absence of roots to hold it in place. It's getting dark so we go back inside. The next day I return to the spot with a clear perspective and remove all the other daisies, leaving only rose bushes and the succulents that DJ planted, and depositing 10 bags of m…

GRAY MATTERS

I was watching the TV show Naked and Afraid last night as I sometimes do. The show teams together two strangers, a man and a woman, who attempt to survive on their own for a period of 21 days in some remote and isolated region. Some of the locales featured include the Australian Outback, the Amazonian rainforest and the African Savanna. The man may have a military background, or be an adventurist or deep sea fisherman. Sometimes he's an ordinary dude who lives with mom. The woman is a park ranger or extreme fitness enthusiast or "just a mom" herself. Sometimes the couple quarrel, sometimes one or both "tap out" (quit) in a fit of anger or illness. It is satisfying to see them actually make it through the challenge and reach their extraction point. The victors are usually exhausted, emaciated, begrimed and bare ass naked. 

Even more satisfying, at least for me, is the occasional ass shot, snuck in at strategic intervals to boost viewership, of course. It's co…