Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Afterlife

I had a weird thought while sitting on the verandah last evening, enjoying a couple o' few fingers o' Bulleit Rye, a Partagas Spanish Rosado, the rain falling in the vertical (as opposed to the normal slashing, horizontal sort we usually get) and the coolness that came with said rain.  Altogether a rather marvelous experience, heightened by our soundtrack, which was the Glenn Miller station on Pandora.  My thoughts turned to my parents, Mom in particular, and my thoughts ALWAYS turn to my parents when I hear Big Band music.  So then it occurred to me that I might not be too far removed from seein' them again, assuming there's an afterlife.  Our mind began to wander on that topic... the afterlife... and we wondered about Heaven, Paradise, and other possible destinations, not the least of which was "how do we get there?"  And what's there, there?  Is Heaven one big place where all souls congregate?  Consider this, from The Wiki:
The CIA's World Factbook gives the world population as 7,021,836,029 (July 2012 est.) and the distribution of religions as Christian 33.39% (of which Roman Catholic 18.85%, Protestant 8.15%, Orthodox 4.96%, Anglican 1.26%), Muslim 22.74%, Hindu 10.8%, Buddhist 6.77%, Sikh 0.35%, Jewish 0.22%, Baha'i 0.11%, other religions 10.95%, non-religious 9.66%, atheists 2.01%. (2010 est.)
I KNOW some of those religions have a theology that excludes non-believers (we won't name names), so one kinda has to think there are several different neighborhoods in Heaven, including gated communities and a ghetto or two.  There's also the problem of atheists, and I assume those sorts simply go to ground and stay there.  We Buddhists, OTOH, know we have to come back and do it over until we get it right.  While we're on that subject, I'm thinking Nirvana is prolly a VERY small space, inhabited by the Buddha and a few of his minions; that's coz most of us will NEVER get it right.  I'm hoping that I got enough of it right this time around to come back as a woman, specifically as that "hooker with a heart o' gold."  (We've gone on about that before, but I can't find the link)


Devotions at El Casa Inm├│vil de Pennington
I had more thoughts on this subject, particularly about the trip's beginning, wherein The Deity At  Hand (or one of her staff) announces... 
"Welcome to The Celestial Paradise Port.  Christians report to Concourse A, where you'll find your gate listed by denomination on the monitors.  Muslims report to Concourse B... Sunnis to the left and Shi'as to the right, please.  Hindus go to Concourse C.  You Buddhists aren't going anywhere just yet, and a few of you will become bugs running around Concourse B.  All other Buddhists should check in at the Wheel of Life for gate assignments.  Thank you for your attention and have a nice afterlife."
Or sumthin' like that.

In other theological news...  I had a conversation with SN1 the other night and he mentioned he forgot to tell me he picked up some pretty good incense, which he burns in his office.  He also mentioned DIL Erma stuck her head in the office while he was burnin' some of that stuff and said sumthin' to the effect of "It smells like your father's house in here."

Well.  I suppose that's preferable to a house that smells like stale beer and cigar smoke, eh?  Erma's right, though.  We do burn a bit o' incense, which is a part o' our daily devotions.  We have to keep the protocols if we hope not to come back as a bug in Concourse B.

Update, 1430 hrs:  Great Good Friend Lin sends this along with the suggestion that I update this post with same.



Heh.  Oh, that's GOOD.

21 comments:

  1. A most interesting post. Can't imagine you coming back as an insect or that hooker with the heart of gold.

    More likely you'd come back as a sailor. Just sayin'...

    Heh.

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    1. I see what you did right there... As a Ginuwine Sailor; I have to agree. The EiP lifestyle would fit right in with the mobile hedonism of the 60's-80's Sailor.

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    2. Heh. You both are pretty close.

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  2. The what comes next question is pondered often, in my limited space noggin. It would seem like many of us may think we are treading water until the 'big one' happens.

    I like to think that we would go someplace nice, but with billions of us having passed, wouldn't God be quite bored with meeting each and every one of us? Is it not arrogant to imagine He gives a frap about us individually? Twain covered this subject thoroughly in his last eight years of writing.

    Ponder this link; http://imaginingthetenthdimension.blogspot.com/2008/09/were-already-dead-but-thats-okay.html

    A major point made is, "When you finally pass, ...whatever you believe actually happens."

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    1. That was an interesting read/video. But as the man said: we lose interest as the possibilities multiply (or a variation on that thought). I do agree with him on the existence of multiple dimensions, though, and there's a significant body of science exploring those possibilities as we speak.

      As for your question about God... I think the concept of "being chosen" (or "the one true religion") is rather arrogant.

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  3. The video was pretty funny.

    If heaven is suppose to be in the presence of God and hell the absence of God, I would think it that heaven and hell is here and now.

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    1. Parallel realities, Lou. Go watch that video Darryl linked.

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  4. I've been reading on the subject lately... Try this book. I'm not done yet, but I cannot deny that I find it interesting thus far.

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-world-of-the-end-ofir-touche-gafla/1113106711?ean=9780765333568

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    1. Wow. That concept hits a lil too close to home for me!

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  5. Buck, I highly recommend a great piece of literature that will give you food for thought and quite a few serious belly laughs to boot. Have you ever read Mark Twain's "Extract From Captain Stormfield's Visit To Heaven"? If not, do it and enjoy. You'll love it.

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    1. I haven't but I will. Thanks!

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  6. I suppose I will count myself a Catholic (as long as we outnumber the other Christians).
    Though I really consider myself a recovering Catholic, in that I seldom attend mass, choosing to practice spirituality in a way that avoids judgment before it is due.
    Too many folks think they know everything and believe they can decide for everyone else.
    Me, I don't know anything, so you decide what's best for you.
    Just don't expect me to come along for the ride.

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    1. Your comment showed up, after two or three days of vanishing in the ether.

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  7. Here's me, echoing Skip:

    I suppose I will count myself a Catholic (as long as we outnumber the other Christians).
    Though I really consider myself a recovering Catholic, in that I seldom attend mass, choosing to practice spirituality in a way that avoids judgment before it is due.
    Too many folks think they know everything and believe they can decide for everyone else.
    Me, I don't know anything, so you decide what's best for you.
    Just don't expect me to come along for the ride.


    I got this comment in e-mail but it didn't make it on to the blog for some strange reason. So, OK. Fix'd.

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  8. Buck, I could have gone ALL YEAR without having an image of you returned as the happy hooker imprinted on my brain. The thought of you dying before me and coming back as a hooker and potential object of my desire is enough to make me give up hookers, lol!

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    1. Heh. Keep me in mind the next time yer dominatrix beats yer tired ol' ass. ;-)

      HEY! Drop me a line... buckpennington01 (at) gmail... I have an offer for ya.

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  9. Yeah! What virgil said!

    I like the video.

    The philosophy is settled and I'm reasonably happy with it. That said, I don't think about it much anymore.

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    1. I don't think about it much, either. But there ARE times...

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  10. I think about this every so often as well; I believe we all must ponder such deep subjects throughout our lives and I would imagine wherever we are in our life at that moment - family, job, health, etc... - would lend a certain view that may not have existed the last time we thought about it.

    Me? I've been Christian all my life and used to belong to one of those arrogant faiths that believed it was all for THEM and THEM alone. This faith amounts to less than one thousandth of a percent of overall Christians which makes their arrogance even more profound. Now? I'm Catholic. And I can tell you that Catholics don't believe or teach that it's all for them. It's a much more catholic (small c, meaning universal) view these days. In fact I no longer worry about what comes next. It will be what it will be. I have to focus on my life today, now - how I treat people, how I behave. Those are the things that matter, the things we can influence.

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    1. I like the way ya think, Kris.

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