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Here I will periodically post random thoughts and stories about what's going on in my life and the world around me. As if anyone cared. But seriously, you've found your way here, so hopefully you will enjoy at least some of what I have to say, even if you aren't entirely interested in it. At the least, it should be a good way to waste time.

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Friday, September 20, 2019

Cosmological Constants

So I had a discussion last night with one of my oldest and closest friends, which among other things dealt heavily in religion and afterlife and things of that nature. I don't often talk about religious things; it is after all one of those "taboo" subjects that one is not to discuss at fancy dinner parties. Along with politics. But as this was no fancy dinner party, I suppose I should be given some leeway here.

I am not a particularly religious person, really; I have not been for many years. To be technically accurate, I consider myself an agnostic these days. I believe in possibilities, or at least I do not discount anything that cannot be disproved. I don't think we, as meekly little humans, are really meant to understand or are even capable of understanding the nature of the universe. Or of life. Or of death. I actually grew up in the Baptist faith, largely due to the influence of my maternal grandmother. After her passing and after going to high school in a new town, we drifted somewhat away from religious influence. I suppose it wasn't until much later, really, in late college or early adulthood perhaps, that I really started to define my perspective on the matter.

There are many different religions of course throughout the world (over 4000 by some estimates), many of which believe in some sort of creator. And most, it seems, follow the idea of a union or marriage of two people. One of the common attributes of marriage ceremonies in many Christian faiths is the idea of marriage till "death do us part". The idea has permeated society so much that you see this promise thrown around often in TV and film. Some, however, believe that this is not the end; that marriage transcends death and exists in perpetuity throughout all eternity. Of course that begs the question, "What happens to us after we die?". It is practically impossible for us mere humans to imagine a state of being where we simply do not exist, neither to think nor feel anything. Ever again. I've tried to imagine this. I cannot. This alone should support for the idea that there MUST be SOMETHING after death. But what is the answer? (Fans of Douglas Adams would be screaming here, "42! The answer is 42!"). Well it's difficult to know the answer when the question itself is difficult to fathom.

So, I like to think there IS something after all of this lovely mess we call life. But what? Another lifetime to explore? Another world? Another plane of existence? Who knows. Will we be able to be with all of those loved ones we've lost through time, with those we now call our "soulmate"? Who knows, who knows. Some believe that if you're bonded in this life you will be bonded in the next. And the next. And the next. But what if the two of you don't share the same beliefs? Do those with different beliefs end up being screwed in the afterlife because they did not choose the "correct" path, the "correct" religion? Or do they get pleasantly surprised when they find out that they were wrong? Does God say, at the end, "Sorry, you didn't follow the right religion, so you're done...just kidding! I still love you anyway! Here's your eternity." He must have a sense of humor like that. Wouldn't that be neat? So many questions. So few answers. That's why I think we're not meant to truly know. Agnostic.

There was a movie awhile back that dealt with some of these issues - What Dreams May Come, starring Robin Williams (RIP) and Cuba Gooding Jr. It was a delightfully profound movie about life and death and love, that critics seemed to hate for being too obtuse. But I find I relate to its thinking, in a deep and meaningful way. Some notable quotes from the film:

"It's not about understanding, it's about not giving up".
And: "You didn't (disappear), you only died".
And: "What some folks call impossible, is just stuff they haven't seen before".
And this little gem: "I realized I'm part of the problem. Not because I remind you. But because I couldn't join you. So I left you alone. Don't give up, okay?"

If things like this don't cause you to stop and think - you may be dead already. Check your pulse. Do it now. I'll wait.

So what is the answer? Is there one? I find the more I think about it, the more questions there are. It's a never-ending cycle, it seems, which prevents us from truly understanding. But I'd like to think that there's some great cosmological constant, that is somehow, somewhere, looking out for us. That we will be okay, in this life and the next. In any case, I'd like to think that it's safe to keep taking steps forward on our journey. That we can enjoy life and each other without worrying too much about the ending destination. That's hard, sometimes. We let our worries and fears run our life, and it prevents us from feeling ready to move on, to move forward, to experience happiness and joy. We are true masters at talking ourselves out of things. I said this in closing to my friend last night, and I think it rings true here: "The first step in being ready for anything is to stop convincing yourself that you're not". Read that again. And again. Yes, you.

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Indeed. LOL. I hope it inspired you, so I can cross that off my list ;)

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