Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Don't take life too seriously. No one gets out alive.

Where do we go when we die? Is there only a here, a hereafter, or heresy?

In my religion of raising, I was taught an elaborate outline of eternity. Don’t worry; I won’t go into the details and bring out all the flip-charts and what-not. It sufficeth me to say that I was taught of a continued existence, one of retained Earthly knowledge and experiences that will lead to rewards based on behavior -and potential for eventual godhood.

It’s a pretty awesome concept.

Problem is, you know… stuff like no evidence. I am a very logic-driven person where hormones are not involved. I agree with non-religious peoples that nothing after death makes a lot of sense. I agree that tests, wherein people die in order to tell a waiting group about life after death, are unsuccessful. I agree that bodies decompose and Egyptian pharaohs never took their gold with them to the afterlife and that most humans do not see dead people.

I’m just a little hung up on those who have had visions, on stories of people coming back from Death’s door, and on personal spiritual experiences.

Not all of those who exhibit faith are crazy. Many of my neighbors are level-headed and intelligent. They pray, and speak about knowing that life after death is true.

For me, my most major of quandaries is how special human beings are. We are inventive, able to learn, intelligent (overall), social, observant, dynamic, versatile, etc. Most of all, we are self-aware. am self-aware.

I just can’t get around the idea of absolute non-existence after dying because of my logical sentience.

Wishful thinking? I hope not. I hope this life is not all there is because that is a very limited time, indeed.

What about someone whose life really sucks? What about a guy born into ignorance and poverty, who lives as a slave his whole life and dies from tapeworm at age 15? What kind of existence was that?

Are we but dust in the wind? Or, do we contain the essence of eternity?

 

Whilst we ponder on this lightweight topic, I’ll post what I did for the past week:
Wednesday, November 28: Oh My Flippin’ Heck, thoughts and a query into how acceptable cussing in literature can be.
Thursday, November 29: Skinwalkers, XLIII
Friday, November 30: Winner of The Third Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest announced. Congratulations at last, Bruce.
Saturday, December 1: Beginning of The Fourth Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest (Post a poem!).
Also, The Festival of Trees, with Children, a boring account of a neat event (with pictures).
Sunday, December 2: The Black Hole Beyond, a flash fiction entry for Carrot Ranch Literary Community.
Monday, December 3: Wilhelmina Winters, Seventy-Four,
and The Children’s New Clothes over at my motherhood site. I had a lot of fun writing this one, though not as much fun sorting laundry.
Tuesday, December 4: Inspirational Quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wednesday, December 5: This post.

27 thoughts on “Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  1. Logically, I don’t think we should worry. If it’s true, we’ll live on somewhere else. If not, we won’t be aware of it.
    I favour the second because, as it says in the bible, there is a time for everything, and, besides, sequels tend to diminish the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting thing to me about an afterlife is a continuation of your other post about bad things happening to good people. Maybe here, in this life/world, we see a God who is all loving but not necessarily all powerful which is why bad things happen to good people, but in the next world (which I hope none of us are in a hurry to visit!) we’ll see a God who is all loving and where bad things really don’t happen to anyone? Who knows… I don’t like to think about it too much because it just loops me around in circles and I always come back to the thought of how can I make this world I’m living in right now more like what everyone believes heaven will/should be?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Loops among loops among loops, indeed.

      I’m with you. Today I had the clarity of thought that, wherever or whatever or whoever God is, we are created from the intelligences of his power -thereby making US God’s hands.

      …I’m still hung up on what purpose the variable known as prayer can have, but (as you said) this gives us a helpful starting point.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think maybe the purpose of prayer is that by thought or will we can change things if enough of us direct our thoughts toward making those changes. Not magically change things like change a failing grade to a passing grade or pray away a head cold or things like that, but more like we can direct the course of our world by bringing more love and compassion into the word and making the other living beings with whom we share this planet feel more loved and cared for. Although who can really say because who knows how the universe really works? Maybe nothing matters and it’s all a big joke and the person who dies with the most toys really does win? 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        • I actually DO think one can pray for healing and have seen and experienced it. I know those who are less religiously-minded attribute this phenomena to a subconscious positive effect upon our own body’s healing mechanisms (happy thoughts from knowing people are praying heal more than people praying to suffering people ignorant of that action).

          😀 The winners in life are those who affect the most lives for the better. The only immortality I perceive is in the memories of the living.

          Like

  3. I love wonderings and questions like these, Chelsea. I was very certain of a lot of things when I was younger. And as I’ve aged, I’ve become more and more aware of how little I truly know about anything, especially the unprovable grand scheme of existence. Over time, “being certain” gave way to “being uncertain,” and from there, it seemed to follow that if I know nothing, then anything is possible. And there I rest, open to all the options – life after death, nothing after death, alternate planes of reality, a spirit world, etc. One thing you said, struck me as the key takeaway. Since it is possible that THIS IS IT, it’s extraordinarily important to live each day as gloriously as we can, to be mindful of our values and choices, and to be present to all the wonderful moments that come our ways. Laugh and love and don’t sweat the small stuff. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love this. Your observations have been my own. I wish I’d had this perspective when I was younger and more agitated about …everything, but the truth of the matter is that age, experience, hormone changes, etc. settle the anxiety down and open the mind up.

      I am in a different mindset than I was five years ago, ten before that, ten before that. It happens to everyone; problem is, many forget that in trying to convince younger or older generations. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My idea of an after life is, drinking lots of alcohol and not getting drunk, eats lots of cakes and cookies/biscuits and not getting sick, writing the most wonderful poetry and the greatest novels, painting beautiful artwork, designing great architecture, all while seating in the shade of a giant oak tree under a blue sky with birds singing and butterflies floating in a warm breeze……and…….and……and

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I think I might know what church you were raised in…. 😏 My mom hates my blog. It makes her so anxious. She is sure I’m going to “leave the church.” I asked her what was so important to her about me “staying in the church”? That took her aback a little. I told her I would be where I needed to be to walk my faith journey. What I really want from her is for her to have a little more faith in me and a little less fear. For now I’ve just told her not to read my blog anymore!

    I’m finding that a lot of people who claim to have have faith actually live in fear. We go through the motions of ritualistic religion in order to stave off overwhelming feelings of inadequacy. We fear stepping out of the boxes that religions build around us, when God actually didn’t build the box and doesn’t live inside it.

    Anyway, I don’t know if any of this resonated with you at all. I just know that God loves you and he’ll give you what you need when you need it. The doubts never go away, nothing is ever certain. Faith is a choice to keep trying whatever that looks like for you. Thanks for giving me some food for thought today!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you. I appreciate your encouragement. 🙂

      I am surprised what you’re willing to write on yours simply because the world wide web is world wide …but I also told the same world I’ve been an atheist. 😀

      I really like what you said about fear-based ‘faith.’ I stayed in the past because of fear of a divine lightning bolt. I prayed out of fear of bad things happening to my family.
      I can’t say the superstition has disappeared entirely; more, I see that thoughts or prayers will not change the outcome because of God’s will and stepped away from the anxiety of the behavior by stepping away from frenzied attendance and devoutness. -that’s a very simplistic explanation for my current mindset but will do for now.

      One thing I do know: stepping away from religion and God for a supposed peace of mind does not help my mind find better activities, and it screws up my proceeding generations.
      …We’ll leave that there for now, too. 😀

      May you retain faith as well on this short long journey of life.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I glanced over your blog when it first came out because i was in the middle of many things, one of which was Chanukah, and decided to return to it later. I think that as irrational as it sounds there is indeed much more to what happens to us after death. I waited, Mainly because my answer to you would be very long, and sound bizarre to you and crazy to most other people. And after reading this you will either think I am crazy or delete me from your blog.LOL. I don’t usually talk about this…. But here goes..

    For as long as I can remember I have had very vivid dreams. Dreams so real that when people in my dreams came to me I could feel them, touch them, smell the scent of their perfume and feel their energy. So much so that it lingered long after I awoke. I didn’t really think anything about it until I grew up and just assumed everyone had dreams like I did. But as I started losing family members my dreams became more precise. I remember having an extremely realistic dream about my grandmother who was at the time about 103 and quite sick. In my dream she came to me and sat by my bedside and once again told me some of the lovely stories she had shared with me as a child. I was awakened abruptly from that dream by a call from my mother who was crying and telling me that my grandmother had passed away that morning. Somehow I knew she had visited me before moving on. After my mother passed away my mother came to me frequently in my dreams. I didn’t talk about it cuz it sounded too strange but my youngest son, who was only 8 when my mom died would come into my room and tell me he saw “Bubba” in his dreams that night. So evidently she would come visit us both. One time she kept coming into my dreams for a full week telling me to make my sister go to the gynecologist. I finally called my sister and told her to make an appointment because Mom was haunting me. My sister did so and they found a lump in her breast. I could go on and on.
    But, when I finally just accepted that people who have passed on sometimes visit me in dreams was just a couple years ago. I had a dream about a young man who used to live down the street from me when I was growing up. We went to school together and the last time I saw him was the summer before I went off to college and he went to join the army. He was a beautiful young man and we were very close friends. I had heard that he was MIA while in Viet Nam and for decades nobody knew what happened to him. And then a couple years ago I had this dream. It was like I relived our last night together. It was as vivid as could be. I could see his smile, taste his kiss and hear the music playing in the background. When I woke Up I immediately went to the computer and googled him to see if any new information would come up on him. A memorial had been set up for him and I wrote a little note to him. I didn’t realize that my comment was linked to two of his army buddies should anyone respond. One was on the radio when my friend, Henry’s plane was shot down in November of 1968. He was on a secret mission and therefore the government kept his records classified for decades. Even his family didn’t know what happened. The other soldier who contacted me was the pilot ho was supposed to have gone up in the plane but my friend Henry took his place. Both these men emailed me and then called me. The army had the wrong info on him and so they could never reach his family. The army wouldn’t tell them the truth but they tried to. Both guys were named David. David number one called me and I gave him the correct address to Henry’s siblings. He said he had tried for 40 years to contact them but to no avail. My dream made it possible for his family to finally know on the 40th anniversary of death (which I had no idea of that date) that their dear brother had been a hero on a secret mission. The other David was writing a book on Viet Nam and after talking to me had the courage to develop 40 year old film of Henry right before he left on his mission. So because of my dream, I was put in touch with two men, let a family know about their brother (Henry’s parents had passed). Henry in my dream was insistent that his family know. After that I finally just stopped hiding that people from the other side sometimes come to me. What I didn’t know was that in the Kaballah it says our loved ones come to us in our dreams. That they often seek a loved one before they cross over. You can believe or disbelieve this. But, I am convinced now. I don’t ask to have these dreams. In fact most nights I dread going to sleep. I don’t want any visits.

    Not too long ago I dreamt about another friend of mine who moved away and we were young moms playing with our sons together. Her son was beautiful blonde child engulfed in light and was laughing and holding her tightly. I found her email address and told her about my dream. She was very grateful and told me her son had been killed in a car accident the year before and my email came to her on the anniversary of his passing. She said my dream let her know that he was happy and okay. So there ya go. Believe it or not. It is what it is….
    When I did my DNA and uncover my ancestry I come from a long line of Rabbi’s and holy people (The Levite Tribe) and my lineage goes back to Moses and all the way back to Jacob. (Jews on old tombstones put the tribe or house they came from. I knew I was a Levite because my father told me and his father before him etc.)
    Anyhow, Here is something I read about dreams in the Jewish faith that I didn’t know about. I guess I was afraid to even look into this because I was afraid that my ability might be true…. Interesting…. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/282508/jewish/What-Happens-After-Death.htm

    Liked by 1 person

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