- Once Again, A Reminder That We're All Just Passing Through
- February 24th, 2008
It's not my own mortality that worries me. I've had a couple of serious interludes reminding me that I'm not immortal. Although my apparent ability to reboot after a power cut (so to speak) has led me to joke that Heaven doesn't want me and Hell's afraid I'll take over.
In any case, that's not what I'm worried about. Maybe it's just denial because my health is good enough right now to allow me the luxury of believing I'm going to live forever.
What worries me more is the mortality of my loved ones. My husband. My friends. You guys are supposed to live forever, too. Robert LeGault was supposed to live forever.
Occasionally, I indulge in trying to imagine an afterlife. I'm not much for thinking of the afterlife as "a better place"--or maybe that should be A Better PlaceTM. My feeling is, if we're here, we're supposed to have our existence here foremost in mind. We should act not in the hope of going to a possible heaven but with the idea that other people have to share this place with us, so we ought to try to leave it better than we found it, or at the very least, try not to stink up the joint. And once you're dead, your troubles here are over. Or in the words of Robert A. Heinlein, "When the ship lifts, all bills are paid."
But now and then, I theorize about what might come next. I've been thinking that it would be perceptible to us only as something like the smell of Proust's madeleines; the chance resemblance of a stranger; weather conditions; maybe even the momentary conjunction of several of these things would mark our limited perception of something beyond the three dimensions we're limited to. I think of a three-dimensional visitor passing through Flatland and astonishing the inhabitants. They only see a portion of the 3-D lifeform. By contrast, the 3-D lifeform can see everything, including the flatlanders' composition--internal organs and so forth.
That's how I've been imagining the next form of existence--something that is to us as we would be to flatlanders. Seeing inside us, inside the things we own (or think we own), inside the patterns we trace in the process of living. And possibly feeling a little sorry for us because we think they're gone merely because we can't perceive them any more.
This has been one of those sentimental, less intellectual posts. Don't mind me.