Things To Do While Dead
by Marco M. Pardi
"On him does death lie heavily, who, but too well known to all, dies to himself unknown." Seneca the Younger. (5?BCE - 65 CE). Thyestes 1. 400.
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I should briefly reiterate some positions I've stated before. 1. I define belief as: Acceptance without proof. I do not believe. 2. I see beyond the conventional dyad of: No "afterlife" versus "afterlife" must therefore include a god. My experience, of which I've written often, supports my conclusion that life is incarnate and discarnate at the same time, "after" being only an illusion arising from materiality and our material structure of time. Hopefully, that obviates the need for further discussion along those lines.
Two more clarifications: Anyone who has Googled Marco M. Pardi has likely seen entries citing my endorsement of a book written by a physician following her son's suicide. In fact, I was asked to provide that endorsement. And if you read it you will see I specifically spoke to the courage of the physician in writing a book which could certainly be harmful to her career. As for the content, were it not for the fact the medium through which the book was written is a decades long friend I would have put the book straight in the recycle bin.
Finally, although I've written some dark stuff lately, please do not feel I've turned toward the Light, in hopes of going through Door Number 4. That will come in due time. As a side note, I want to be fully conscious and aware of the process, the last chance to put everything in perspective; I reject the idea of studying for the Final all my life and then sleeping through it.
So, what to do when I close that door behind me? As a child I firmly determined that if I were condemned to spend eternity floating around strumming a harp all day I would disassemble the harp, fashion the strings into a noose, and hang myself. But the problem of hanging one's self while floating, though it has perhaps contributed to my lifelong interest in physics, has so far proved intractable.
In recent years we've seen a few popular books on the people you meet in "heaven" - heaven being open to interpretation. Perhaps it's my legacy as a loner, but I never thought much about meeting people after death. I always thought more of exploration, especially with my dogs, horses, and cat (yes, I'm entirely confident, based on experience and not belief, that non-human animal companions are as fully vested in discarnate life as I am). Maybe they aren't as curious about the Cosmos as I am, but hopefully I can get them to tag along. Much of the woo-woo and even the serious literature suggests discarnate beings hang around Earth. This is not to be confused with "Earthbound", a condition arising from failure to accept one's self as dead. C'mon, who can be that dumb? No, it just suggests discarnate beings, whether people or otherwise, exist in a kind of halo around the planet. This must be a hassle, what with the satellites whizzing around and the occasional missile leaving the atmosphere. And how about those meteorites? No, I want to explore the Cosmos. Fully. Of course, one might wonder why bother. So much of what we learn is done so we may impart it to others. But when I'm dead, who's listening?
I certainly wouldn't say I've seen all there is on this planet. But traveling since about age 4, including a career which for a long time had me living with a go-pack in the closet, complete with two passports and various identity papers, has dimmed my enthusiasm for the hassles of putting up with zealous border guards and transportation which is more of a free expression of culture than a reliable resource. Thanks, but I'll catch the travel documentary on tv.
Most of the people I've known I really don't want to meet again, especially family. Aside from the obvious figures, like Siddhartha Gautama, the Dalai Lama, and a few others there are a couple I would like to meet up - or down - with. One guy keeps coming to mind. Maybe he's floating nearby.
In 1964 I was doing lone night duty at Hotel Control, the security facility for the "Hotel" ICBM complex. Golf Control and India Control flanked us, somewhere out there. The ten seismographs were scritching quietly, the sensors on the ten dispersed ICBMs were quiet (some bright star had rigged the skin temp. sensors with a come hither female voice which said, "My skin temperature is rising"), the inside lights were dim, and I was listening to a really moving radio speech by Martin Luther King. Just then Sgt (I'll call him Sgt P.) stepped into the control room from where he had been eavesdropping. Sgt P was in charge of the housekeeping at the facility; we spent 10 days and nights on site and two off. I referred to him as the Maitre d'Hotel, apropos our site designation. A formidable looking man, he was what we now call African-American. The scars on his face gave him something of a Picasso figure look. I never asked, but I assumed he had brought a squirt gun to a knife fight, more than once.
Seeing my involvement in Dr. King's speech, he sat down and waited for it to end. We then had a real mind to mind conversation which, given the normal 12 - 14 hour duty shift, seemed timeless. I think things like that were unusual in 1964, especially in the military and between two men in completely different career fields.
He talked about how his life would have been so different if slavery had not occurred. He mused about being brought up in an African village, illiterate and picking the most obese girl to marry. And more. Having recently transferred in from postings in Africa I saw things differently. And looking back later I could see how he had internalized American myths about African village life. He was, after all, an American.
So I wonder about the much vaunted meetings with intellects who have preceded me. Have they developed away from the cultural milieu which produced them? Were I to so develop, free of the cultural themes through which I have come to know myself, would I still be me? Who is my EGO once my time/space/cultural boundaries dissolve? Once I realize and come to accept those boundaries, and all they contain, as no longer relevant? And how does this development happen?
While the physics community and the medical community are quickly coming to accept the reality of separation of mind and brain and the continuation of mind long after brain death, there is little serious material on what to do with that mind. True, as scientists and other intellectuals are coming to feel their freedom in this foolishly materialistic culture we hear more about how their work has been inspired ("in-spire" coming from the sense of the intrusion of another mind into one's own) by what they fully accept - not believe - as discarnate predecessors. But these notes are still sung only in the closed opera houses of the scientific/academic community. The "common man" does not even bother to try entering.
So the broad field is left open. If Nature abhors a vacuum, possibly stupidity does too. In rush the purveyors of "eternal bliss", "love beyond anything ever known", and on and on. Unnoticed in all this orgasmic rapture is a simple fact. Something is what it is by contrast with what it is not. And, where there is no contrast what IS quickly becomes the routine, the "same old same old". There are no week-ends in the afterlife if there are no Mondays.
As children we slogged through the school year, visions of summer vacation bliss making life worthwhile. It arrived and was blissful........until it wasn't. As young adults we feel deeply in love, visions of marital bliss making life worthwhile. It arrived and was blissful....until it wasn't. As workers we sold our lives for a paycheck, visions of retirement bliss making it all worthwhile. Retirement arrived and was blissful......until we started looking for something to do.
Your once new car no longer a dream boat? You can buy a spray can of "new car smell" at an auto parts store. Your life no longer a joy? You can buy and endless assortment of New Age woo-woo books, attend a variety of classes from storefront gurus, hire a spiritual counselor. Then die.
For those who accept (not merely believe) the greatly increasing apparent reality of non-corporeal existence - the mind functioning independently of the body, here's a thought: As far as you are concerned you are as dead now as you are ever going to be. Not seeing that means you have bought into other people's definitions as the ultimate reality. They look at and listen to your body and pronounce you not dead. But the bag of meat you're sitting in while reading this will one day fall over and not get up. So?
When one sees the self as more than its wrapper, when one sees the self as the expression of every other being that has ever been, is now, and is coming the opportunities for exploration and understanding are in fact endless. A simple change in perspective opens Door Number 4. And we realize it was never there to begin with.
p.s. I still want to ride my horses through the Cosmos.