An Afterlife?

An Afterlife? September 12, 2020

One of the worst things that religions do to us is to spread misinformation. Until scientists invent ways to cure it, death is final.

Similarly, until evidence for an afterlife is discovered, it remains just a wishful thought.

Heaven is an idea which only benefits the ‘insurance’ salesmen who want us to pay regular ‘premiums’ on the collection plate or to make a bequest in a will.

Far better to accept the facts and come to terms with them as my guest poster, Jim Haught, has, see below.

 

I’m quite aware that my turn is approaching. The realization hovers in my mind like a frequent companion.

My first wife died a decade ago. Dozens, hundreds, of my longtime friends and colleagues likewise came to the end of their journeys. They number so many that I keep a “Gone” list in my computer to help me remember them all. Before long, it will be my turn to join the list. I remarried an adorable woman in her 70s, and we enjoy our togetherness. But her health is fragile. Her turn is on the horizon too.

I’m 88 and still work. I feel keen and eager for life. My hair’s still dark (mostly). I have a passel of children, grandchildren and rambunctious great-grandchildren. I no longer can ski, ride my motorcycle, hike forest trails or sail my beloved dinghy on our small private lake. My social events dwindled, even before the pandemic shut down everything. 

I have no dread. Why worry about the inescapable, the utterly unavoidable, the sure destiny of today’s seven billion? However, sometimes I feel annoyed because I will have no choice. I’m accustomed to choosing whatever course I want — but I won’t get to decide whether to take my final step. Damn!

I have no supernatural beliefs. I don’t expect to wake up in Paradise or Hades, surrounded by angels or demons. That’s fairy-tale stuff. I think my personality, my identity — me — is created by my brain, and when the brain dies, so does the psyche. Gone forever into oblivion.

I have a Pantheon of my favorite heroes: Einstein, Jefferson, Voltaire, Lincoln, Carl Sagan, Shakespeare, Martin Luther King Jr., Tolstoy, FDR, Beethoven, Epicurus, Gandhi, etc. They fill a different “Gone” list. They uplifted humanity, even transformed humanity, in their day — but their day ended, and life moved on.

My day was the 1960s, and ’70s, and ’80s, even the ’90s. I was a Whirling Dervish in the thick of everything. Life was a fascinating carnival. But it slides into the past so deftly you hardly notice.

While my clock ticks away, I’ll pursue every minute. Carpe diem. Make hay while the sun shines. And then I’m ready for nature’s blackout, with no regrets…

Jim Haught

 


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