Absolutely! Matter cannot be destroyed......it can only change forms. So you see I will have an afterlife.....will I beaware of it? NOT! As for me it is a beautiful feeling that I may have some part in a tree or plants growth through decomposition  or whatever.......to help give back mother earth something as beautiful as a flower......to have my children to look at the flowers and trees and know that in someway I am there and not in some place of mythological reward or punishment.......

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Comment by Ted Foureagles on January 28, 2014 at 10:07am

What I enjoy thinking of as 'me' is no more connected or disconnected from everything else than it has ever been  -- probably some 14 billion years at least.  It seems to me that the hope for some sort of personal afterlife is a desire to perpetuate an illusion of disconnection where this 'me' thing (and I grant that it is a thing) somehow coheres sans biological bond.  I don't see any reason to think that this happens other than a wish for it to be so.  That which makes us individual conscious entities is the same as what makes a pine needle different from a rock -- arrangement of matter/energy in a particular way at a particular time.  'I' am neither pine needle nor rock, right now anyway, but I have been and will be.

The obsession with embalming and entombment looks like a denial of our unity with everything 'else' -- a passively arrogant position that we have somehow superseded the real and exists as something supernatural.  Hey, it's a Lake Woebegone universe, where all of the children are above average!

I've told those likely to be affected after I croak that I don't give a shit what they do with my remains, other than the dictates of my organ donor document.  What I'd like to see done with dead humans is an unhindered return to the soil or otherwise to the bowels of things still living, since I think that life is slightly more interesting than rock or gas heat.  But the disposal of my body bothers me not at all, since the biological phenomenon that I think of as 'me' -- that strange coherence of energy/matter -- will no longer exist except as brief reflections in synapse firing of those who knew me, or maybe the slight coloration of local soil or the health of a coyote or the amount of smog over a city.  Something like cremation seems a waste in local perspective (I'm imagining a sad hungry coyote who can't eat smoke), but it of course makes no difference in a universe where matter/energy are merely perceptions of the same thing.  Pumping a bunch of chemicals into a dead body and encasing it in an expensive steel vault with a granite headstone seems particularly goofy and unsustainable, but it serves the desires of some of the survivors, and that's not nothing.


Comment by Michael Penn on January 28, 2014 at 7:50am
Wrong place for it here, but this site is not acting right this morning and I'm not able to send a message to anyone to report it. Could not message Richard Haynes or send a reply to kent I thompson. I'm barely able to post with personal messages not working and the normal reply box looks yellow. Maybe the right person will read this and know what to do.
Comment by Loren Miller on January 28, 2014 at 7:38am

Sorry, gang, but the afterlife will NOT be televised!

Oh, and Michael?  "Just add water?"  Sorta like that Bugs Bunny cartoon with Marvin the Martian and those green Martians he just poured water on to create? [sorry, tried to find 'em on YouTube; came up empty!]

Comment by Michael Penn on January 28, 2014 at 7:03am
Yeah, if our ashes ever get outside of that coffin to be added back into everything. This is why I'm looking strongly at creamation. Of course, if they burn me up they can also keep my ashes on the mantle. That way (if they ever need me) just add water.
Some people want to be so important that they have a vast mythological afterlife. What will it be like after I am dead and gone? Pretty much like it was during those millions of years before I was born. Mark Twain had it right. He said it didn't hurt him a bit.



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