Monday, August 25, 2008


I believe in an afterlife. You could call it heaven if you want. I don't always call it Heaven because a literal, like, biblical Heaven implies a literal biblical Hell…and I don't believe in Hell at all. I just don't believe there's a fiery place lorded over by an actual red-cloaked figure accessorized with Halloween-y horns, tail, pitch-fork, etc. where people spend every minute being torturously punished. That is so impractical. I also don't believe there's a literal Heaven that's all puffy cloud soft and marshmallow sweet with L.A. weather where people sit around and bask in their supreme goodness for ever and ever. Also…retardedly impractical. (And marshmallows make my gag-reflex kick in)

I mean, what the fuck good does it do to just hang out and do nothing else but feel superior or defeated for ALL of time? None. No good whatsoever. It would be like someone finding the cure for cancer and keeping it a fucking secret. (I have to admit...while I find the irony of that possibility darkly hilarious...other sensibilities find it horrifying.)

Getting back to the afterlife. This is completely a muffin of my own design. I have come up with this after a very scientific process which has taken up 30 plus years of reading books, watching movies, talking with people, life experience and paying attention to general gut-check feelings after all of this stuff about what I think is really true.

I'm still fine-tuning it. Just like one of my kids asked me the other day, "Why do I still have to learn English?" I told him (in a Very Virginia Beach kind of way), "Dude, I'm still learning English. You are 8; you're way not done yet."

My somewhat-done version of what happens after you die feels that you are greeted by your family or people who were otherwise important in your life who kicked off before you did. I'm sure there's a whole White Light transitional garden party of some kind where you are welcomed to the next phase. Then you go through a period of assessment where the achievements and failures (oooh, she said failures) of your lifetime are addressed. This judgment includes experiencing all the good and bad you did for and to other people…as in you literally feel the all joy and pain you caused during your whole life. And you get to realize how significant that good and bad actually was on the grand scale.

For example: You made millions of dollars? Good for you. What did you do with it? Really? Hmmm.

Or: People felt honestly loved in your presence? Yay. (There's actually no downside to that. Really, from what I understand Love is just a big fat Yay all day long in heaven).

And then they basically grade you on your progress during the life you just had and you either get to move up to the next level or you have to repeat the lessons you were supposed to have learned before. This is where it gets kind of fuzzy for me.

I think you choose your parents and the family situation into which you are born and people travel in groups together. And you are all supposed to learn something from each other in the process. You are replaying or reworking relationships so everybody sees everybody else's side eventually and ultimately gets it. This is why you are just drawn to some people and not others, because they have something you didn't get the last time that you're supposed to get now. Once you do that…Yahtzee! You win.

I think that both a Master Plan and Free Will are involved. Maybe life is less like a Choose Your Own Adventure book and more like a board game. Maybe you aren't always the one rolling the dice or moving the pieces…but sometimes you are. Those autopilot times…maybe there's something bigger at work there.

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