Conversation<br/><br/>God and I in space alone . . .<br/>and nobody else in view . . .<br/>And where are all the people,<br/>Oh Lord I said,<br/> the earth below<br/> and the sky overhead<br/>and the dead that I once knew?<br/>That was a dream, God smiled<br/>and said: The dream that seemed to<br/>be true; there were no people<br/>living or dead; there was no earth,<br/> and no sky overhead,<br/>there was only myself in you.<br/>Why do I feel no fear? I asked,<br/>meeting you here in this way?<br/>For I have sinned, I know full well<br/>and is there heaven and is there hell,<br/>and is this Judgement Day?<br/>Nay, those were but dreams<br/> the Great God said, dreams that have ceased to<br/> be.<br/>There are no such things as fear and sin;<br/>there is no you . . . you never have been.<br/>There is nothing at all but me.
I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But as much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking.
It's an insidious idea, this notion that there is life after death. The promise of a reward in the afterlife has been used as an excuse to deny help to the poor, helpless and oppressed; to explain away human misery rather than deal with it. It is an idea that is used to encourage young men and women to kill themselves, and others, so that they can become martyrs. It allows victims of injustice to be told not to worry because justice will be done in the afterlife. It depresses me to think that so many people on the planet live their lives with this notion. Can we truly fulfill our potential as a species as long as we hold on to, and encourage, the perpetuation of the lie of life after death?
Of all the miracles Po had seen in the time and space of its death, Po thought this--the absorption of another, the carrying of it--was the most bewildering and remarkable of all. Whenever Bundle separated again, Po was left with an ache of sadness that reminded the ghost of the body it had left behind.