What If You Died Right Now and Went To...?
"Tethered with an unbroken thread rooted in timeless space, our souls merge with into physical selves to complete a human being. Traditional belief in a unity in which mind, body and soul that can be separated confirms intuition. Whatever we decide rationally, conceiving the end of our selves demands a leap beyond most imaginations. That makes it tempting to think of eternal souls as (that dreadful cliche) 'who we really are,' but it’s also misleading."
- from Illusions of Life and Death, What If You Died Right Now and Went To...?
The blithe New Age dismissal of death and with it, by consequence, life bothered me every time I thought about it. I wasn't as objective as I wanted to be. After all, it was just an idea, wasn't it? But it got under my skin.
I grew to realize that it bothered me for some of the same reasons that cults, religious and otherwise, did. Nobody's forced to join them, so who cares what fantasies bind them to their groups? That's how most people would let it pass, but it occurred to me that the beliefs were masked escape hatches that let followers evade responsibility.
Our communities need more adults, don't they? The more trickling off into evasions, the harder it becomes for the rest of us to hold things together.
But the emerging beliefs about death and life seemed more potent, more dangerous because they were bing promoted as "cutting edge," as whole new ideas on the theme of life and death.
To me, they just seemed like a paint job, a rehash of the same old story, told with less earthbound bluntness, wafted with an airy disregard to objective consideration.
My concerns got me started at writing What If You Died and Went To...? But I was surprised that, getting into it, I was writing a kind of spiritual autobiography, feeling around for how I got to where I was, believing that life - the one where you get your picture ID on your driver's license - that life is the core experience of them all, not the one you spent before, will launch later or the one where you linger, refreshing and learning, between.
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