Tonight at a local restaurant/bar, a friend and I got caught up talking about the afterlife. He’s interested in Buddhism and pre-death thoughts now. A dual Environmental Biology/Philosophy major, I grin slightly when he mentions what he’s been thinking.
“I know I don’t want to be confused right before I die. I don’t care if it’s something like ‘this is my favorite type of cookie!’, I want to die KNOWING something. I don’t want to be confused about shit.'”
“So … what do you think happens after you die?”
“I don’t know, my friends think I’m crazy when I say it, but I think you watch your life happen again.”
“Like a videotape?”
“Exactly! And it’s like a big theatre and you just watch it again.”
“Hah! I used to think about the same thing!”
It’s true. I used to think that when I died, there would be a movie of my life shown repeatedly. I had a really wild time back then, so I suppose I wouldn’t mind watching it over and over. I think Lucas might be in a similar place; he’s had some pretty wild nights, some witnessed first hand, others I’ve heard about. He’s just trying to make it something worth watching. In a way, I suppose I am, too.
Now, it’s different. I don’t really talk much about the afterlife, mostly because I know a lot of Christians and it just typically never comes up. I don’t believe in a god, I don’t think I have for a very long time. When I was about 9 years old, I told a priest that I was God during an assembly with everybody in the CCD classes present. The nuns, children, and my mother were silent.
“Come … uh, come up here son.”
I stood up and went on stage.
“Did you create the earth?”
I was shy, I got very quiet.
“And can you perform miracles?”
“Then are you God?”
“Ok then. Sit back down.”
And that was that. I sat back in my seat. I don’t remember anything after. I’m sure my mother had some things to say about it to me on the car ride home. I wouldn’t blame her for it.
I think that death ultimately means a release from a body. I think what is released is a form of energy, ourselves, that moves as it wants through time and space. This is essentially what most religions and spiritual thought refer to as a soul. I believe that my soul carries with it important decisions, actions, and behaviors from this life into chaos.
I believe my soul can choose to take human form again, but once entered into the atmosphere, sexual identity becomes random. No option for life is premeditated or known. My soul is given a new body, and with it I learn deeper about who I am as a soul while carrying out its intent on earth.
“Whoa, that sounds awesome dude. So it’s almost reincarnation?”
“It is, if you want it to be. I guess you wouldn’t have to ever take a human form again if you didn’t want to. Just explore … everything.”
It didn’t sound weird coming out. It sounded like a firm belief. I usually feel some odd tinge of guilt when I say something i don’t believe. It happened when I told people I was Christian, or when I was momentarily Buddhist, or Atheist. It wasn’t there when I said it to Lucas. My words sounded fluid, like I genuinely liked the thought I had, it was something that made sense to me.
We talked a little more about it, and I had mentioned the Japanese movie After Life, though I forgot the title at the time. The bouncer joined the conversation,
“I hate to interrupt, but I can’t help but listen to what you guys are talking about. Have you ever seen The Philadelphia Experiment?”
“Philadelphia Experiment? Like with the nuclear bombs?” I only knew some details: Albert Einstein, building nuclear capabilities, that stuff.
The movie was about Einstein. He likened it to the afterlife, or his interpretation of the afterlife. I’ve never seen it and I probably should, it’s a part of history I should be more educated on. We spoke a bit more then left for the night. I thought about my belief on the ride home, as I usually do most days and nights.