I recently spent some time in hospital. It was a defensive move in case my combination of symptoms amounted to something scary. It didn’t and I’m fine.
While I was in there, I pondered life and death. While I felt terrible, I still felt so alive. I have felt less alive due to somnolence or depression, yet I had no fear then of death. During this visit, I did not seriously consider death, even though potentially preventing that was the purpose of my stay in hospital. It seemed to me that I was alive and it was hard to conceive of that suddenly stopping.
Yet in hospital that happens all of the time. The truth of that was something quite interesting to contemplate. I look at people in other cars as I drive down the roads, or wait at lights and I wonder – are there lives as real and full as mine? What happens to this feeling, wonder, curiosity, understanding, emotions, memories and on when they pass away? Are there lives as real as mine? Is mine as real as theirs? What happens to my universe when the day comes that I die? What happens to this universe when I am no longer a part of it?
Perhaps there is another place my conscience goes to once I have left this life. I doubt it for a number of reasons. They go a little like this:
* Some people really don’t like themselves – why would they wish to preserve that in another life?
* If the next life is just like this life, then what is the point of leaving this one? If the next life is different to this one, then it would have to be significantly different to make living it worth while, in which case this life is insignificant in preparation for that one – in which case, to what point?
* I entered this life with no pre-knowledge beyond genetics, will I enter the next with the same – and if that is the case, it will seem like a fresh start just like this life did, in which case this life will have the same meaning in the next as the last life had in this.
Either way, my contemplation did not seriously consider a next life. It considered this life. Was I proud of who I had become? Was I content with what I would leave behind? If I’m not ready to leave now, would I ever be ready?
So dear reader. What thoughts have you thought in similar situations?