Saturday, October 31, 2009

What Happens When We Die

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My friend Rain up in Oregon has been thinking about her mortality and has led me to do the same. None of us knows just when we will stop living. There may be a hint or two, but the exact time remains hidden. Religions often teach that there is life after death. I've always wondered about that. My reasoning tells me that when a person passes from life to death everything stops. But then perhaps not? Perhaps the phrase life after death refers to something a person has done that lingers in someone else's memory forever. People that so believe, carry this to infinity. In other words, if a strong memory remains for a generation, a less strong memory will pass to a descendant, and then to another, forever.

Science tells us that infinity is endless, and that the smallest particle can be further divided. For me it is a stretch to accept either, but in a way both infinity and endless divisibility are related to death for as long as time goes on there will be an immeasurably tiny memory somewhere - of every human that has ever been alive. It's an interesting thought isn't it.

The matter of a soul or spiritual component of life is a separate issue. Religions tend to teach that (at death) a persons physical remains and spiritual essence are separated. (1) The physical remains return to dust. (2) The spiritual essence returns to God. (3)The memory of the person lingers from generation to generation becoming ever less but never completely gone. I find it easy to accept this notion but there is no real logic involved. It is just an explanation that I can accept with the same comfort level as my acceptance of a supreme intelligence, (God), as the architect of the universe?

1 comment:

Rain said...

I have had some experiences with regressions and the possibility of reincarnation that leave me even more unsure what happens. It will be interesting to find out-- that is if we do find out after we die.

Last night we watched Cave of the Yellow Dog, subtitled, story of Mongolian nomadic culture by the same ones who made Weeping Camel. Their culture not only believes in reincarnation but transmigration. Naturally no answers although some do think they know.