Racing through my mind are a jumble of thoughts about death, family, alcoholism, responsibility, enabling, detachment, etc. I had better write about before it becomes polluting. It feels like more than one post will be required here. So i will start with death.
My phone woke me this morning; it was my son calling to tell me that his friend and companion died yesterday. My son (a non-recovering alcoholic) was almost drunk and his speech was more slurred than i have heard in several years. Since his was given the right to live in the house of a relative, the shelter of my son and four(?) other people is now at risk.
The friend (i knew only his first name which was the same as mine) had become someone i knew, loved, and liked over the past seven or eight years. We had a lively discussion about things philosophical, spiritual, and religious where we had a common interest and a few shared beliefs. Then he had a stroke from which he was recovering slowly if at all. Our conversations became much slower and less detail with him writing comments on a large pad of paper. My son, i think, had become his caretaker. So he has lost his friend and also, possibly, his shelter.
I want to write more, but i can't right now. So thanks for readding.
Just a little more ,,, during our conversation which jumped (surprisingly adeptly) back and forth across several themes, he made oblique references to death and the after(or not)life. He said we are just stardust. I am pretty sure this came from a Catholic high school science class, so it doesn't say anything about our future state. He thinks we return to dust, or compost, or atomic and suh atomic particles, I have no words to argue, or even discuss this with him. I only know that heavens which can be talked about are not the Eternal Heaven and that what we encounter (if anything) will be a surprise.
My heart (nobody ever thought his way into heaven) tells me it will be a pleasant surprise. I do not know why or how there is something rather than nothing. I do not know how or why something became inorganic and then organic. I do not know why or how organic life attained consciouisness. I do not know how or why consciousness became "self consciousness.* And i certainly do not and cannot know what happens to self consciousness after death.
Love, happiness, peace, acceptance.
* My thanks to Parker Palmer (To Know as We are Known) for reminding me of these four mysteries.
It just occurred to me that the story of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is a story about the rise of self consciousness. "Who told you you were naked,' asked God. The woman and the man had no answer worth recording. They might have said, "We told ourselves" or "We just knew."