Open Thread - 12-02-22 - To Whence We Came
"Swear there ain't no heaven and pray there ain't no hell."
What happens when we die. That's the big question that's plagued mankind since, probably, when the first synapse fired. Religion answers that question for the true believers and that, in my humble opinion, explains the various religions' popularity.
I'm not much of a spiritual person, never have been. But I do find solace in my simple belief. My simple belief answers that age old question as well, but my conclusion wont sit well with religion. Although, I guess, it could be considered a religion unto itself, a belief derived from science, mostly cosmology. It works for me.
We are star stuff. Every atom in my body was forged billions of years ago from the cauldron of stars. When I die, those atoms will break up and become other forms, gases mostly. Those atoms wont be destroyed, they'll change form, but they'll still exist. In essence all that comprises my self will be existent, sans consciousness, sans spirit, sans soul if you will.
That's where my belief diverges from religion. Consciousness. I believe that when I die that will be it, consciousness dies with me. That flies in the face of religion. It's that part, losing the soul or spirit, that is unfathomable by most. My answer? What do you remember before birth? I remember nothing. That's the state I'll return to, in my very humble opinion.
Some day, billions of years from now, when the sun blows out and engulfs the solar system, we'll all be returned to whence we came. The stars.
Now let me add this. As I said, I'm not much of a religious or spiritual person. But. In light of the current world events of the last couple of years, if one is honest, one must wonder about the Book of Revelations and End Times prophecies. I reject it, but it has crossed my mind. I think that religion is man made and current events are made to fit those prophecies. But who really knows? For to find out one must die.
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.