Some quiet afternoon or evening, sit on a comfortable chair and stare into the flames dancing inside the fireplace. If you choose to, pour yourself a drink. Then, please ponder the following.
What is it that gives you that sense of self? What is it that makes you unique to yourself? What is it that makes you, YOU? Is there a part of you that is separate from all of your senses? Why does each person from a pair of identical twins have a unique personality? Each has a unique sense of self. Each sees the world from the window of his or her own eyes.
Billions of people in the world exist outside of you. You exist inside of you. When you drive a car, you look outside at the other cars on the highway. When you are walking down the sidewalk, you look outside of your body at the other people walking by. You can see your hand, but you need a mirror to see your face.
How is it that you are inside of that body of yours? What freaky trick of nature or God plopped you in there instead of somewhere else? Go blind; you are still in that body of yours. Go deaf, same thing, you are still in there. Suffer damage to certain portions of the brain and you will not remember yesterday, but you still exist in that hunk of meat called the human body. When your brain dies and your body still functions are you here or are you gone? Today most seem to agree that YOU are gone when your brain is gone. Do you exist in that living brain? Are you a “virtual self” in that strange looking loaf between your ears? Again, how did identical twins each wind up with a unique “self?”
How did you wind up in there? Is there a reason why you are there and not inside some other body? Why here? Why now? Is there a spiritual side of you that is not reliant on the body? If so, which of your actions is spiritual? Are GOOD and EVIL spiritual functions or strictly brain chemistry gone good or bad? Is sex biological and love spiritual? Does your soul want to get laid?
Eventually that hunk of meat and bone you ride around in will die. Will you die with it? Cultures throughout the history of humans have tried to answer that. Take your pick of the many answers. Some say there is a part of you that goes on forever. Some say you are like a light bulb, once you blow the filament you are finished.
I am not very concerned about going somewhere after I drop dead. More so, as many others do, I question what the hell I am doing here in the first place. Nothing in my life has ever caused me to wish I could do it all over again. If I had to, a rerun would be just fine with me. If there were such a thing as reincarnation into some new person or animal, I would just as soon skip that feature unless I can come back as a crab louse.
Hunter S. Thompson may have had it right. "Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a Ride!'
One last question, if you could see your soul, would you like what you saw?
Wishing you a long and fulfilling life, and whatever eternity you may dream of,
James A. Zachary Jr.
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