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As i approach the fact that my statistical life expectancy is less than ten years, i consider what is called "death."  There are many possibilities of what can happen next, only a few of which i am competent to consider.

1) I will return to ashes and dust, to molecules and atoms, to whatever my origins were -- to pure consciousness, to pure energy, to nothingness or No thing ness.

2) If i am among the blessed Muslims,  Christians, or Parsis. i will inherit a garden, a kingdom,  or a paradise, where i will praise Allah, or God, or Ahuru Mazda for eternity.  On the other hand, if i am damned -- well, i'll be damned!

3)  My own background has no place for the "transmigration of souls."  But in India and Tibet, some people show evidence of having been reincarnated, and many, many others believe in reincarnation.  tt is part of the belief system of Tibetan Buddhism, a religion i find generally admirable.  Preliterate people's who live in small settled villages often discover or invent this belief.  According to Hinduism, a person may return as some sort of "lower" creature, maybe a cow or a slime mold.  I suppose this is intended as a punishment; but if each creature is simply a part of the cosmos, then it will just be a different experience, a different way way of being "part of it."

4) The mystics say that reality is a mystery and that when we leave "this veil of illusion" we will enter into that mystery which no living person can comprehent and from which no traveler has returned to make a report.  It may not be the end of the journey. but another leg of it.

I have not been told anything about the next life that i can credit.  I do not know anything important about this life either, except how i am supposed to behave in it.  I look at the wisdom of the animists, the shamanists, the agnostics, the polytheists, the pantheists, the monotheists, the atheists.  I see what they have in common.  I put aside their special beliefs, the ones that set them apart.  I figure these are cultural, historical, accidental.  They are all  fine  for anyone who wants to believe; but with few exceptions*, i will go with what "everybody" knows.

I try to show mercy, forgiveness, compssion, and loving-kindness.
I try to put the needs of others before my own.
I try to be humble.
I try to be restrained and moderate in  my aspirations, possessions, action and imagination

That is the best i can do now to prepare myself for whatever comes next.

* Among the nearly universal beliefs of "mankind" are "masculinity" and "hierarchy."  I regard these as accidents of culture which became so rewarding to certain members that those members reinforced them in every way possible.  They were advantageous in killing or subduing other cultures which did not accept them.  Most societies under attack by male dominated hierarchs were not creative enough to make alternative means of resistance and became subordinated or adopted the tools of their enemies to defend themselves.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 7th, 2015 11:41 pm (UTC)
What would you like to happen? Do you have a preference?
Oct. 8th, 2015 02:35 am (UTC)
:) good question.

My preferences are inconsequential, which is probably a good thing.

I don't much like the idea of heaven because the idea of hell always seems to go along with it. Eternal well-being and happiness for everybody would be nice.

Its selfish, but i would like to retain some sense of personal identity, a consciousness that can disconnect from and rejoin the cosmic consciousness. I'd like to know my wife and kids and friends as individuals and not only as absorbed into the Great Void.

But death as final does not disturb me. After all, i will not be around to complain or even to know i am dead.

(edit. There is a line from a poem by Rumi that stays with me.
"When i die i will fly with the angels. And when i die to the angels?
What wonders will i encounter then?"

You can see i haven't given this much thought.

Edited at 2015-10-08 02:47 am (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC)
I had thought this way too. This way of exeption of differences and trying tu plus the common things gave nothing to me out of nothing but it is the result too...
The interesting thing is the miracles which every religion has, what seems says about the truethness of it but it is again a controversy. Anyway it is interesting theme for me...
Oct. 8th, 2015 12:44 am (UTC)
Btw, I am certain that there is life after death. My wife see her dead relatives in the dreams and they tell her sometimes what will be next - it works. So, I don't have reasons not to believe in an afterlife and the punishment for sins, I will not be an exeption.
But I wonder and think about reincarnation anyway cause I am a human being and don't see much in myself what I can see as a thing which will survive in eternity... all is an ash and dust...
Oct. 8th, 2015 02:43 am (UTC)
My wife has such experiences as well. She is a sane and truthful person so i do not doubt them. But there is a difference between hearing about creditable experiences and having such experiences oneself. I have had experiences of beauty and wellness and delight. but never one that told me specifically what to expect on "the other side" or even if there is another side.
Oct. 8th, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
I read your post a few times. Do you really think you can prepare in this life for whatever comes next? Should you just enjoy where you are in this life? Behavior control what religion seem to be all about. Interesting read though.
Oct. 8th, 2015 03:28 am (UTC)
I agree that religion is about social control (which means behavior control at the individual level). I make a distinction between religion and spirituality. I claim no religion in the traditional sense of that word. I would like to consider myself as trying to be a more spiritual person -- more in tune with what is real.
Oct. 8th, 2015 05:26 am (UTC)
I guess i didn't answer your question.
It would be sort of a "no."
But i don't think enjoyment would be a sufficient goal for my life. I would rather enjoy it by being kind, etc.
Oct. 8th, 2015 03:28 pm (UTC)
I so embrace the way you contemplate the great mystery of what lies beyond. Perhaps to simply be with God is more than enough for me.
Oct. 8th, 2015 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thank you, Jeff,
I do tend to over complicate things.
Especially when those things are mysteries
that have no proper response save wonder.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )



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