This blog entry is not about fulfilling one’s potential or about positive expressiveness or about self-acceptance or any other such pop-psychology counseling cliché.
This blog entry could be, I suppose, along the general line of purpose in life but specifically, this blog entry is about DEATH, and consequently, AFTERLIFE.
I’ve entitled this essay DEAD ENERGY: SUFFERING ALONG THE CONTINUUM for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been chatting with my long-time friend, Brent, who is hoping there is more after life than just death (as most all of us hope for). And second, in our chats of course, the topic of energy as defined by physics is certainly the most arguable theme that promotes life after death (more so than religion).
Physics is the science concerned with matter and energy. Our universe is made up of matter and energy. Matter is anything that has mass and takes up space, and energy is the ability to do work.
Energy, being considerably a more abstract concept than mass, has a couple of interesting properties. First, energy is always conserved – it can neither be created nor destroyed. The conservation of energy is an absolute law. Even the dark energy causing the universe expansion to accelerate, obeys this law.
Second, energy can be transferred between objects or systems. For example, the energy in our meat and potatoes and dessert is transferred to us when we eat. This is a simply a case of energy changing form.
So if energy is neither created nor destroyed, what happens to the energy within us, in both our brain and our body, when we die? In terms of physical energy, the difference between the quick and the dead seems simply a question how the energy is being organized. When we are among the quick, we obviously use our energy in our physical movements. When we are dead, we have that same amount of energy but … we ain’t movin'. Instead, much like transferring the energy from our food to our body, whatever comes along to consume our remains gets the energy transfer.
Our common sense egocentric me-thinking is just energy operating in the brain. At death we lose the me- me- me but … we don’t lose the energy, at least not in the non-linear dimensional sense.
Scientists have long theorized that mass and energy are intimately linked. Albert Einstein described this link in his famous equation E = mc2. E (energy) = m (mass)c(speed of light)squared. 'Tis time to forget about Einstein for a split second or two (pun intended). Instead, let’s shine a light on a few world faiths that employ literary devices (mainly allegory, metaphor, and pathetic fallacy) to explain the continued dead energy in the laws of physics.
- HINDUISM: Nine hundred million Hindus believe in reincarnation, the rebirth of a soul in a new body, and the new body could that of a lower life form (an animal other than mammal).
- SIKHISM: Twenty-three million Sikhs believe in reincarnation.
- WICCA: Two million Witches believe in reincarnation.
- RASTAFARIANISM: One million Rastafarians believe in immortality.
- ISLAM: One billion Muslims believe they will either go to Paradise or to Hell.
- CHRISTIANITY: Two billion Christians believe in an external Heaven or Hell, or purgatory, the place in between.
FACTOID: The major monotheistic religions have a common origin -- Abraham (whom, according to scripture, God declared, "the father of many nations.") Judaism (founded in 1st millennium BC), Christianity (founded in 1st Century AD), Islam (founded in 7th Century AD), and some other religions including Rastafarianism, Samaritanism, Druzism, and Bahai Faith, can all be traced back to Abraham.
- BUDDHISM: Three hundred and sixty million Buddhists believe Life is a journey and Death is a return to earth. Buddhism is not a religion. For a Buddhist, humans are like dust passing through a phantom universe. We are the bubbles in a stream, we are the shine of a star.
Speaking of Buddhists, the skinny of Zen is … TO LIVE IS TO SUFFER (a recurring theme in my blog entries).
Being sentient is necessary for the ability to suffer because … being sentient is that ability of any entity to have subjective perceptual experiences.
I’ll explain using some formal (ha ha!) logic:
To live is to suffer.
To suffer is to be sentient.
If I am not suffering,
I am not sentient.
Therefore, I am not suffering.
Therefore, I am dead.
And here is the skinny of this blog entry: The dead energy on the life continuum is not sentient. I know this because I am not aware of any past life experiences. (Dear reader, my hypnotherapy practice is certainly not akin to that past-life regression hypnotherapist, Brian Weiss.)
If our dead energy does continue and there is no life that is either anthropomorphous or Apollonian … then there is no suffering … then who cares.
Being a human (pun intended), I have the capacity to create life (always an enjoyable task), and the capacity to grant everlasting life (continuing the species, so to evolutionary speak).
I’ve three children … so methinks in my button-down world that excludes the transmogrification of vampires and werewolves 'neath gibbous moons, I’ll manage to live on for quite some time.
[*Bibliomancy and bluster aside ... I'd rather be busking!]