The subject of whether or not we have an afterlife keeps coming up in various Q & A blogs. I generally answer that I don’t really believe there is such a thing, but I certainly would not object if it turned out to be true.
I would like it to be true. To put it another way, I really want it to be true. I want to meet all my friends, real and virtual as well as all my dogs, cats, and birds, too. My current collection of friends contains more ghosts than living people these days. It’s the function of age.
Everything and everyone dies. If you don’t die young, you will get old. Then, eventually, you die. To all the kids who think that age won’t ever happen to them, enjoy your sojourn through youth. Believe, if you like, that you are immortal.
That’s the wonder of belief, that you can believe anything you want. Reality, though, has an odd way of interfering with the fake stuff we believe and eternal life is one of those beliefs. There’s no getting that final door. You can’t dodge it, avoid it, or thwart it. You will walk through it and then, you’ll know what’s on the other other side. Please, if you can, come back and tell me.
The other night, Garry said “I was wondering how come I never see the performers I remember and love until I realized they are dead, many of them for years. But I see them in movies, so they feel alive somehow.” That might be one kind of life after death. Be a popular film presence. As long as those films are shown, you are alive. I don’t think consciousness comes as part of the package, though, but at least you are remembered.
I have spent a lot of time over the years trying to figure out what I believe. I conclude that I don’t anything, but I don’t not believe either. I want to believe. I yearn for it. I’ve never found it and it isn’t for want of trying.
For a non-believer, I’ve have spent more time than anyone else I know studying religions. Specifically, I want to know what make people believe. What is it that enables them to take that “leap of faith” that I seem unable to take?
In college I had enough credits for religion to be my major, but there was no religion major available at my college (I don’t think there is one even now). The heads of the Philosophy and Sociology Departments tried to invent one for me, but it was the 1960s. Schools were more rigid than now. Both the sociology and philosophy departments wanted me as a graduate student but the school wouldn’t allow it. It wasn’t in their “book” and they couldn’t make that minor leap of faith.
I studied in a yeshiva in Israel and at our local church. I spent time with Bernard Cardinal Law and any number of pastors, reverends, and rabbis. I always end up with more questions than answers. My last pastor said it was obvious I was waiting for Jesus to show up with a picture ID. I’m not even sure that would help.
This is why I need time travel. I need to go back (or forward) in time to really see what happened. I want to become a time travel historian.
Then I can really write about it!