Since my navel is currently free of lint, and I refuse to worry about anything more threatening than killer bees, I’ve been thinking about the afterlife. Keep in mind I don’t actually believe in one that includes clouds, angels and harps. In fact, too much harp music would drive me batty so that depiction of an afterlife strikes me as more hellacious than heavenly.
My idea of the afterlife has to do with Hobbes-Boson particles and universal oneness past our galaxy into the next and the next. And, no, I don’t understand it but am attracted to it regardless (which sums up an awful lot of peoples’ relationship to their religion). This means that any concept of a God-figure that I could imagine would be enormous. I would be no bigger than an atom in its structure. A building block with no expectations of specialized treatment. Who speaks to a brick?
Since I don’t expect to be singled out after I close my eyes that final time, I have developed my own sort of afterlife. It involves how often you are remembered. This is sort of a rest stop on the road from life to death. When the last relative, friend, coworker, student or enemy utters your name, you are well and truly gone. You move on and take your place with all the other bricks that cannot see their structure but hold together nonetheless.
PS. Just a reminder that Bear in Mind is now available at Amazon. Nobody in it frets about the afterlife. Promise.
Back in my day, it was called the Minnesota Multiphasic. You’ve had one, too, maybe by another name, at the time you entered college or the military or the penitentiary. You know what I mean … one of those tests that assesses just how far off the balance beam you actually are. They had questions like the following.
Would you rather:
A. Take a dump in your desk drawer.
B. Tease animals.
C. Help your neighbor for the betterment of mankind.
Assuming you aren’t among the Truly Lost Souls, you know the answer that is going to inventory your personality to be among the more socially acceptable. So you go to fill in the little box next to that C with the Number Two pencil provided for the purpose.
But. Something in you knows it’s a lie. You DO enjoy teasing animals. Oh, maybe not withholding their food bowls for days on end. But dangling a toy just out of kitty’s reach? Balancing a bone on Fido’s nose? Well, sure. In fact, maybe you consider that more entertaining than helping your neighbor whom you’ve never really liked anyway.
So now you’ve created an ISSUE. You’ve lied just to look better on the test. Somewhere some Supreme Grader knows that and starts weighting your answers. Hell, maybe that supreme being believes that you, liar-liar-pants-on-fire that you’ve proven yourself to be, might even enjoy pooping in your workspace after all.
I gotta tell you. I think my issues with stress started way back then with that personality inventory. And it’s taken all these decades to come to the realization that my personality is my business, and you Supreme Graders can kiss my independent ass.