IN OUR LIVES, we have all experienced invaluable friendships, enjoyed some great foods, perhaps fell in love, been hurt, and even sad… yet, we often barely scratch the surface of our humanity, or delve into the meanings we give to existence.
I do know, I don’t want life to end, not after 80-years, not after 103, not ever…though that’s idealistic at this point in our development as a species; maybe someday, but I will long be gone, likely, in 80-years, we all will be gone.
Nevertheless, having thought about life, I was confronted with the notion, that at some point my life here–this will end: that is reality. Pondering mortality, I felt sad, though only momentarily.
Sadness gave way to smiling, as a peculiar, yet interesting thought crossed my mind… After living, there is death, but I was stuck pondering what I have enjoyed most being alive!
I thought of specific people’s’ companionship, places that meant the most, and I contrasted those memories with a foreign place called, the afterlife; a mysterious place without these many things I valued here, things I wanted to have for all-eternity…many I have taken for granted.
My thoughts began to disorganize because myself, nor anyone I had ever known had any concrete preconceptions of what any afterlife may look, our feel like, if any!?
What would I know of existence without all I’ve come to know? Could I go on forever without a family, or a stupid joke from a close friend?
Inadvertently, I went through the first 3-stages of the Bereavement Process (google them, under psychology).
Is there an afterlife?
Of what does it consist?
To satisfy my naive curiosity, I needed to conduct an ad hoc experiment.
Immediately, I tapped my inner- Freud and set out demanding responses from people, as simply as I could, I said:
“Without thinking about it too long, tell me 5-things you would take into the after life if you could…”
Everyone I asked gave variation to the following responses:
• Most said they couldn’t answer that question, as they had never thought about it, or were speechless at the depth of the implications;
• some stated we wont have needs in heaven;
• only a few stated their sibling or a parent;
• one stated he wouldn’t even want a physical body.
WHAT WAS INTERESTING? These people are like me in every way, they have families, friends, aspirations, and like me, none had really thought about loss in such a way, whether taking the family pet or a sibling into the afterlife violated their freedom to choose, what love meant, or the values at play in such a choice. I guess, one could agree to go with another, and ones conception of after life would influence ones luggage, but this was just a simple thought experiment that turned into a bunch of insightful conversations about our beliefs: our unrefined theology.
So, in fairness, here are MY 5-things I would take with me:
1) My consciousness, as I want to be ME, I like who I am and if there’s an experience left after death, I want to experience that with all that I am;
2) Cheddar/Sour Cream Ruffles! (If you have to ask, then you haven’t eaten them);
3) A Purple Lightsaber–you never know what’s out there to defend against, plus, it’s just plain coooool;
4) Digital Wallet, only to show beings who my loved ones were, share my life with whomever I meet, and also to have those photos to show and revisit;
5) My Soulmate. . .but of course, she would have to agree with traveling. She is an amazing mind, and a great human being. Without her, all is dark.
An afterlife can be conceived of! Of what it consists will be based, strangely enough, on terrestrial learning. One thing is for sure, we needed to be cared for on Earth (to exchange emotion with others) so a bit of love will likely help me, my cheddar chips, and my plasma-sword as I venture to a galaxy far-far-away…
Think about your own list, however ridiculous, and consider your choice of five things carefully, as your items will be based on what you’ve known and loved during YOUR life, and YOUR life, this one life…is a beautiful one.🕕
♒ photos, personal and public domain, courtesy of shutterstock.com
♒ list subject to change the closer I get to death.
♒ it was really a toss-up between tightie-whities and the chips, but I was hungry so…