There it was, the burning question since time immemorial, answered in a single photograph this morning.
Question: Is there life after death?
Answer: yes. Just not our own.
I was passing by a little graveyard by the interstate and the sun was about to break across the horizon to get yet another day under way.
So, I pulled in, got the shot, and answered mankind’s biggest question all in the space of three minutes! How impressive is that?
It’s an interesting quirk we humans have … assigning such importance to ourselves that our ever-so-important lives couldn’t possibly end with death.
So we create our gods and heavens, filled with virgins for some of us, and they await our arrival with baited breath.
But the true notion of everlasting life plays out all around us, every day. As people die, the sun rises, and life goes on.
As jokey as I am trying to make this point, there is a very serious underbelly to the concept of another life beyond this. It serves as a distinct distraction to believers to where their focus shifts onto the hereafter, rather than the here and now.
As I was waiting yesterday evening for my friend Vel, I watched a fly end his little life and be carried off by ants into a crack in the pavement. There is a circle of life at play all around us and death plays an important role in that circle.
By imagining a life above in the clouds somewhere, we reduce the importance of our death in the life down here on earth. Yet, our death brings closure to our living existence and allows our conversion into memory of those who love us so that our essence becomes embodied within them.
Narcissists strive for fame beyond their lives, trying to elevate themselves beyond their existence. So they build walls, start wars, amass fortunes. But the big laugh at their expense is that nothing residual captures their essence like the love that they leave in loved one’s hearts. Anything else is a mere caricature of who they pretended to be.
The Pharaohs created huge monuments in order to feed their cravings for immortality, but beyond the name of one or two, are they even remotely remembered? Of course not.
It is a fool’s errand to spend your life focusing on the next one.
Our focus needs to be with us here, the ones we love, the loves we impact … this is the important purpose behind our life.
We need to cherish our time here as being a valuable commodity, not just to us, but to those around us. The people. The creatures. The environment. These are the only things with which we have any real effect. Use it wisely!