My favorite cousin and one of my closest friends a few years younger than me was killed last week in a head on crash with a tanker truck filled with apple juice. So I’m grieving, and I have death on my mind. I’m not that far from it myself, even if I live out my full sentence, as it were. I don’t get it, death, that is. We’re here for a hot minute.
One thing to consider is the power of the imagination. What we know of “reality” is really just a figment of our imagination, a construct of our consciousness. Our reality, our universe inhabits a certain frequency of time. There are infinite other universes, each with a different frequency.
Which seems to mean that we have a lot of control over how we construct our reality, our universe.
Here are a couple of things I like to imagine might be true: one is that the last nanosecond of our life just may be experimentally as long as our life has been so far. We need to wrap our minds around this relativity thing. I don’t think most of us fully grok it yet. In that last nanosecond is all your heaven and hell and every purgatory in between.
Another comforting imagining is that time moves forward as long as our universe is expanding. But sooner or later, in a trillion years or so, its expansion will run out of gas and it will slowly begin to collapse on itself. During this contraction, time of course would move backward. This means that in just another trillion years or so, we will come back to life, live our exact same lives as we’re living now, only backwards, ending up in the delightful warmth of our mother’s womb. The cool thing about this is that since we’ll be dead, those two trillion lives will pass in the blink of an eye. To us, it will seem as if we are coming back to life immediately.
Another thought about death I have is that our fear of it, our loneliness surrounding it, is bound up with our individualism, the foundational ideology of capitalism.
My sense is that before capitalism atomized humanity into individuals, consciousness in general, human consciousness, was more collective. Family, village, tribe, those were the basic units and individual humans were cells in the organism.
But you can’t just leave your individualism at the front door. It’s part of the way you were shaped by the society. Maybe you can work to minimize it.
Back in the day you could expect your family, your tribe, your collective to be there waiting for you on the other side, welcoming you. That notion of the last nanosecond makes this happy thought more plausible.