I’d like to try a thought experiment.
This might be weird; but just bear with me. You’ll need to pay very close attention to the things you’re about to read. More importantly, you’ll need to truly, truly, visualize and imagine what I’m going to say.
I want you to imagine yourself plugging your ears. Sound strange? Well it shouldn’t, because if you did it right you wouldn’t be able to hear it. Your ears are plugged, remember? Step one, imagine all the sound around you is gone.
Step two. Think of the smells you’re experiencing. Then, imagine them going away. Close your nostrils if it helps. You can no longer smell.
Three. Cut your tongue out. Not literally! But imagine it disappearing into the same realm your other senses have traveled to. You can taste no more.
Four. You no longer feel anything. Your sense of touch is gone. Poof. Out the door. No more feel.
And last. Five. If you did it right, the only thing you have left….is this. You can see. You can read the words you’re reading right this very moment.
Now – close your eyes. Nothing. You should see, hear, smell, taste, feel….nothing. You should be nothing.
Okay, experiment over! If I had to guess, you’re probably thinking I’m a freaking nutcase right now. I, however, would say no; this is a thought process that has plagued me from the first time I considered it. I really, really want to know if there’s life after death. And no, I don’t want a feelgood story to make myself sleep better at night. I want to actually consider what really happens when we die.
The above exercise is what I think about. Why don’t I remember anything before I was born? Seriously. Doesn’t this seem sort of obvious? When I was created, I gained the ability, through biological synapses and impulses that I won’t ever understand, to perceive reality. I was given hands, eyes, a nose, tongue, and so on to then be able to process the stimuli that is the universe.
And you know what? When I’m dead, I bet I lose that ability to sense things. I bet I go right back to the blackness that was before I was born.
Now. Please. If there exists an individual who can tell me, in any logical manner why I should think otherwise, I’m begging you to do so. Because I’m going to be one hundred percent, completely real here: that scares the shit out of me. Wanna know why I quit insurance and write now? Well, here’s why folks. It doesn’t get any more real than this. I honestly believe that when I’m dead, that’s it. I don’t get another go around. So each and every second of my life, I want to make meaningful. And the worst part about this, believe me – the part that hurts the most, is thinking about Mom. That she may not be out there anymore. And that’s why I’m so torn, because the easy thing would be to say yeah of course she’s still there and so on. I really, really, can’t stand thinking this way.
So. In summation. If someone can give me a rational, real explanation other than “faith” or “you just have to believe” or anything, please for the love of the ironic god I’m trying to find, tell me.
That is all.