Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Maybe Abu is Right After All

My kids love The Simpsons, which makes fairly consistent references to the Hindu concept of reincarnation, and House, in which Dr. Gregory House insists that there is no afterlife at all - that life on earth is all there is. DH and I are raising the kids Lutheran, with the classic concept of heaven as a reward for a life well lived. Of course, I hope it will be decades until they find out what really happens after you die, but meanwhile, David Eagleman raises some interesting idea about what the afterlife might hold in his book Sum: Forty Tales From the Afterlives. He suggests that perhaps we'll be able to look back on scenes from our lives, watching the maple tree you planted as it grows, and your loved ones as they age. Another possibility, is that we'll be able to live our lives over again, except this time life is scrambled so that all time brushing teeth is done consecutively, all time looking for keys is done together, etc. The ultimate message is, of course, that if you live in the present, and enjoy and appreciate the gift of each moment, it doesn't really matter as much what the afterlife holds for us.

Note: A version of this post is included in the anthology Songs of Ourselves, published by Blue Heron Book Works.

No comments: