Question for the Internet – The Afterlife

Here we are, round-tripping back to another robust and joyous Wednesday. Mine has been just dandy so far, apart from dropping my darling wife off at the airport. The children wept, my wife wept, I wept…it was a salty, eye-juice-tainted, horrible mess in the Astro as we drove away from the runways.

My mind immediately went to ‘please let her flight go safely.’

INSTANTLY. Without hesitation, without entertaining any other possibilities, my mind went straight to a hellish inferno of fuselage and jet fuel spread across the Rocky Mountains.

I didn’t share any of this with the children, needless to say. I got them cookies at the first opportunity. Am I raising a generation of emotional eaters? You bet.

I often go down the dark and horrible path, seeing the worst case scenarios play out in the hellish trap that is the cinema of my mind. I put on the brave face, say all the right things, and smile along so the children don’t see the outward manifestation of my all-encompassing fear.

There was one thing I was so sure of, not too long ago, that I’ve been questioning recently. I knew it without a doubt, one hundred percent, and if you asked me what I thought, I’d say ‘that is the way things are.’

Is there an afterlife?

I’ve never been religious, and have never subscribed to any church or doctrine that set me on any path. I’ve always called myself a spiritual person. Our bodies – the meat, nerves, internal organs, spinal cord…that could all be explained away with basic knowledge of biology.

But why I like the things I like, why I love my children with my every moment, why my wife fills my heart with wondrous joy every morning – even long after our initial courtship, seven-year-itch, and all that other ‘science’ – I’ve never had that explained away with science in a satisfying way.

How can all of that just be a series of chemical reactions and electrical impulses? How can the overwhelming grief I feel every November 28th, even 18 years after the fact, still be called ‘just science?’

I don’t know if my doubts are a result of so much cynicism, so much negativity, so much desire of humanity to do what it wants without fear of consequence…but right now, the doubts are there. So I hate letting my children do anything more than play in the front yard. I hate dropping my kids off at school, I hate driving to get my wife, and I hate thinking about the future because the worst case scenario starts up like the red band trailer to the next Saw movie.

Maybe someone out there can shed some perspective on this for me. I’m still leaning towards there being an afterlife, but I just don’t know anymore.

So, Internet, I’m asking you…is there an afterlife?

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6 thoughts on “Question for the Internet – The Afterlife”

  1. Great post. I too often times play out the worst case scenarios in my mind. I too often times express wonder at the world, and my joys and sorrows and how strange it is that we exist. How can it just be science? For me, science is enough. I don’t personally need a higher meaning. It doesn’t make my short stint on this planet any more or less worthwhile. It doesn’t diminish the pain and joy I feel on a regular basis. I think there is beauty in randomness. I think there is beauty in what to me is accidental awesomeness.

    I love physics. I understand it very little. Most of it is beyond me. However, when I listen to a podcast or read an article by someone who can articulate it in a manner that I can comprehend…it’s my idea of joy. Why do I randomly bring this up? When faced with the question, “Is there something more?” or “Is there an afterlife?” I often times think about the notion that time isn’t linear. I will probably totally botch this but here it goes. Time appears linear to us but that is simply how we register it. Time doesn’t move like a river. Einstein stated after the death of his best friend, “Now Besso has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Basically, moments in time exist. You were born for example. That moment exists. It didn’t cease to exist simply because we perceive time as linear. It happened, it always happened and it will always happen. In this manner, you are always being born, you are always passing away, you always had that happy moment and you always have that sad moment. Every aspect of your life exists, has always existed and will always exist. It makes the notion of free will a very interesting debate. Sorry, I ramble. But this idea is the only one I have heard that sounds both reasonable and comforting. In this manner of thinking, we are all immortal. The notion of an afterlife, for me, is far too fantastical for me be to accept. Sometimes I wish I could. But wanting to believe something isn’t enough for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That’s an interesting theory. I’ve often wondered about time and how it is a human construct, much like so much of what we’ve come up with to organize and compartmentalize our lives.
    I know we’re not supposed to know everything, and I don’t feel like there’s some extra ‘purpose’ to this life, but if we were randomly slapped together by chance, luck and chaos to just exist and procreate, why did we develop love, care and altruism (at least some of us?)
    Like I said, I’m just posing questions. I truly don’t believe there is one answer for all of us. I’m just asking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There isn’t one answer. Theoretically there is I guess. Maybe the Christian faith has it right for example and when you die you either enter eternal bliss or eternal torture. The living will never know however so in that regard, there isn’t one answer because nobody can be positive they are correct.

      For me, aspects such as why do we love, care and show altruism is simple. You see it throughout the animal kingdom. It helps us survive. It’s a trait developed through evolution because this trait has proven to allow a species to be more successful. It might not be a very magical or inspiring answer, but it is the answer that makes the most sense to me. The reason I brought up Einstein’s theory on death is for two reasons. 1. I find it super fascinating and intriguing and 2. Just because something seems so real to us and so obvious doesn’t actually make it a reality. Time traveling like a river seems obvious. At least to our senses it does. However, some of the most brilliant minds amongst us would say it is just an illusion. Are they right? It’s just a theory so who know. But I think, for me anyway, that not being able to explain something such as why do we feel the way we do or why do we perceive the world as we do is not evidence for a god or an afterlife. Humans are smart compared to the rest of the animals on this earth. In the grand scheme of the cosmos, we probably are quite simple minded and as such, not being able to explain something could be as simple as us not being smart enough to figure it out.

      That being said, I respect all views on this subject. I would find this world to be quite boring if we all agreed and viewed it in the same manner.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, me too. I wouldn’t want us to all see things exactly the same way, either. Understanding that we don’t understand is one of the harder concepts for us to grasp, isn’t it?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I always get bogged down in logistics when this subject comes up. How would it work? What age would I be? Would I still have to have this big old shnozz on my face? Or would we all just be like shivers on the breeze, tickling the soles of little kids’ feet? My wife very wisely tells me to stfu and don’t sweat the details, but just think “now wouldn’t that be nice”.

    Liked by 2 people

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