Friday, September 08, 2006

Life After Fairhope

September 8

I've got a busy day ahead, culminating in a party here tonight, and I wrenched my knee last week and the doctor can't see me until Tuesday, so I don't have time to spend on the blog. Therefore I'll tackle a simple topic that arose in the comments from yesterday. Is there life after death?

The answer is, I don't know. One of my husbands was trained as a lawyer and arguing with him taught me that there are three answers to every yes-or-no question (John Sweden: "Yes or Know" question). The three answers are: Yes, no, or I don't know.

I am fascinated by the many stories of those who had near-death experiences. My brother had one which he only related to me recently, about the time he had a serious heart attack. He was 34 years old and driving with his wife to Hollywood where he intended to make it in the movies. The paramedics got him to a hospital but he was, for all practical purposes, gone. Flatlining. What happened to him was that a figure appeared to him and led him into a very light place, telling him he was going to be his guide. Well, the passenger wasn't willing. My brother is very engaging, full of wit and stories, and he went into his usual routine with this messenger-type, who clearly found his wit charming and got all the jokes. But the gist of it was, Graham insisted that he wanted to stay -- he had work to do here. Hollywood was waiting. He was tired of waiting on the bench and was just about to get in the game. The messenger-angel was convinced, and said, "You're not ready? You really want to stay?" and Graham said, "Yeah, yeah, I have to stay," or words to that effect. In the meantime, he's floating on the ceiling over the body that was him, and looking at that machine that has a flat line on it, and sees a nurse rush with alarm to the body. Next thing he knew he was back in that body. He is still here to tell the tale, but he almost never does. Now that I've outed him on the Internet he may have to weave this into his one-man show.

Later he told me that he saw a PBS special that describes the condition Robin outlined in her comment yesterday. It seems science has robbed us of that shred of fair hope by saying there are certain brain reactions that occur with the trauma of death that are not unlike dreams. There is a scientific explanation for the white light, for the angels, for the message that your life has not been for naught, even for the sense of hope and love that many experience when in that death aura.

Maybe they're right, like Robin's grandpa. It's all just a big brainfart.

But I just don't like to think of it that way. And I don't think it matters what I think, I look forward to that moment. I've had beautiful dreams that infuse my soul with something like pure happiness, and I want another one. Even if I have to die to get it.

15 comments:

goldennib said...

I have never had a near death experience, but I have been in other realities during meditation and I believe in Astral Projection, especially while dreaming. And I do believe in life after death, or you could call it a switch in realities.

Bert Bananas said...

Yer Nibship, call it what you will, it's still just life. And if 'life' ever does end, I won't need to recycle anymore.

John Sweden said...

Was that you finally passing the Port? Yes or I don’t kNOW or kNOw or at our age kNEW or kNOWn, that is the QUESTion, answer and/or problem.

I was wandering, as I walked Nellie on what is this first cold snap of the season morning here in Sweden, when I stumbled into a thought. Are, “Out of Body” observational near and/or after death experiences, such as Graham’s, peculiar to thespians? The actor, mysteriously thrown out of his body, cast into the role of an audience of one, is forced to watch his final death scene. He comes to the horrifying conclusion, that’s he’s ending his role with a line that falls totally flat, and to add insult to terminal injury, is delivered by a machine. Terrified of the reviews, he rushes back into his body and demands a rewrite. Maybe something caught on film?…with a final line like…. “Oh shit! Cricky! I’ve been stung by a Stingray!”…. mouthed silently underwater for dramatic effect.

“A glass of port for the child”. Robin, that was my granddaddy’s response to annoying children who always seemed to have answers or questions not connected to his life. It induced a dream state called a nap, which was enjoyed by all, including me.

I wonder, what it would like for those “out of consciousness” A and IM-moral philosophers and their scientist dream probing buddies to have a “near life” experience or at least a close encounter? I guess “Pluto” is about as close as they get. How much of a geeky masturbatory fetish is it to name a new planet “Xena” (T.V.’s warrior Princess) and it’s moon “Gabrielle” (Her Sidekick)?

No Nellie! Stop telling me to pick up that 44-caliber pistol and go down to lab to stop them from disturbing our sleep.

I’ll stop stirring coals of the fire in our Library of “nowHERE” in the Blog-De-Ville of Fairhope. I’ll take a sip of that port now! I wonder if the fish of “Black Hole Creek” have near/after death experiences? Do the have visions of by Stephan Hawking at the other end of line? Maybe I’m just Spinozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…ing….zzzzzzz……..

Benedict S. said...

John (S): Yes, I see, John, but how often do these spellzzzzzzz occur...?

"Nellie," huh. A little platform for a tale from the heart of Conrad's darkness.

Geez. I just remembered. I had an out-of-life experience this morning after I went back to sleep. A Chesapeake Bay Retriever puppy from my cross-the-river neighbor's kennel was in my house. Then another and another. Before I was done I had a trunk and a back seat full of dogs. As best I can figure, I never got them back to their owner. Now comes you with another shaggy dog story.

Man, ain't it a sin what they're selling for placenta these days.

John Sweden said...

Frank, I’ll stop using zzzzzz’s when you stop using “Benedict S” as a “vain” attempt to give yourself and “your” ideas an air of his legitimacy. And, for the sake of literary honesty and dignity stop using the soul, may it rest in peace, of Mark Twain.

Benedict S. said...

But, John, I tell nothing but the truth. I am the dual reincarnation of Spinoza and Twain. I thought you knew that.

No, John. You use your Z's as a way of hiding the fact that you know nothing of Spinoza's philosophy and are not interested in learning. I have no problem with either of your decisions. You're a bright young man with his own soap opera. I have mine, too, and when you come to accept that we're both entitled, you can give up the Z's.

Robin said...

Frank, You are being mendacious now.John S. Spinoza's concept is certainly not mundane. It is quite
the opposite; not ordinary or down-to-Earth it is a rational
human reaction to the infinite cosmos where no anthropomorphic god can exist. As products of Nature humans are intimately and
forever bound to the cosmos. The chief good of life
according to Spinoza is this relationship. It is, he says,
"the knowledge of the union existing between the mind and the
whole of Nature."

Robin said...

John S. You can please also give up the children analogies, it's apparent you know nothing of youth or how to relate to the ages.

John Sweden said...

“Well, Well, If ain’t mouseman and Robin. Come to save your long dead to the world Spinozzzza, have you”. Kazammm!!! The dynamic duo leap into action in a desperate but futile attempt to resuscitate from irrelevancy the long-dead codger, once known as Spinoza. POW!!!First Frank, Mouseman’s secret identity, tries a Vulcan Mind Melt, “If I can become one with Spinozzzza....he shall find relevancy through me... ARRGHHH! Brain...To...Small” A massive brain drain occurs a Frank becomes trapped in a mental time warp that keeps returning him over and over to his philosophy 101 course, where he once impressed a 16 year old high school girl with his big book.

With the corpse of Spinozzza now missing its soul, Robin, her real identity, confuses Frank “Holy metamorphosis Mouseman!” for Mark Twain and tries to save them both from irrelevancy by mouthing the mortal words of Spinozzza! "The knowledge of the union existing between the mind and the whole of Nature." Pow!!! Wham!!! Shebam!!!! More irrelevancy, she’s stuck in the tar baby Buddha!!! by his words spoken over eight hundred earlier and by countless Indian and nature religions since the dawn of time and now repeated daily as a mantra for every new age naturalist religion and soon a soon to be produced Nike commercial.

Can anyone or anything become or be made more irrelevant???? Will Frank give up a ghost???? Will Robin just be Robin and stop working so hard to impress Frank???? Will Mark Twain kill his host just to save his soul???? Only A Shadow Knows!!!

Finding Fair Hope said...

A little honest anger never hurt anybody...liked the mouseman-and-Robin metaphor, John, but you can be pretty sure neither of them will. A bit harsh! A bit of in-fighting by the loyal readers of the blog! What can you do, where there are human beings, there will be conflict. Wonder who said that first -- Adam or Eve?

Relax, readers, it's only a blog.

Benedict S. said...

It's OK, Miss Finding. John knows I'm neither Spinoza nor Twain. He's just being John. I too rather enjoyed his riff. CUTe. I think he one-upped the Banana man with that one.

Robin said...

Johnn S. this is the real and true Robin, Bite Me! I use to think you was a fairly decent person but you hate me cause I am young and beautiful, get over yourself man, this is a public blog unless miss ff wants to make it private by invitation only.Your ugliness is showing itself..

John Sweden said...

Bite Me!…mmm? I’ll have to think or maybe fantasize about that. After all, you are a beautiful young woman. Ah! Sorry to disappoint you. I’ll just have to settle for thinking, as the only real fantasies generated by this site involve Salomé’s lips.

jon said...

I have had several of these near death experiences at diffrefent ages in life. Some say I'm accident prone, or used to be. Some say I am lucky. I just say I am still alive and function rather well. The first I remember was electrocution by empty lightsocket back about 1949 while standing on the wet sink with my Daddy who was shaving. I imagine Daddy got a shock too when snatching my three year old body from the intense grip of Alabama Power Co. I remember, "Don't do.......", and then all was puffy clouds and bright light until a tingling hot sensation came over me. It was Momma holding me tightly yelling. It was a long time ago. The next time was when I was fifteen and coming into muscle manhood. At State Forestry Camp in Selma where I represented Dad's H.S. Ag Dept., I broke my neck in a field day event; bellysliding on wet grass trying to go as far as possible. On my third go for the win, my head hit first. My minds eye could see from pink clouds and bright light a panarama of the lakeside complete with all the folks. I came back when focusing on myself face down in the wet grass unable to draw breath. That voice that you hear of said that I would have to get up or pass into the clouds with the observer. I managed. I overheard the Emergency Room doctor say, "Is this child still alive?" In hospital spinal traction for six weeks followed by nearly two years of body braces and neck collars got me all better, and I finished H.S. on time. My last out of body event happened at UWF where I was Tech Dir of the Theatre Dept. Wiring a temporary dimmer plug to enhance Carl Betz in 'All the King's Men', I carelessly left a strand of wire unconnected. When I plugged it in I could not release my grip due to the shock and toppled off of my stool cold as a cucumber. It was a repeat of 1949 but with the addition of the players on stage doing the show as I lay sprawled on the floor. There were clouds , the light, and something that told me I was in the wrong place which seemed to bring me around. I have had other similar events happen, but these were really 'out of body' as they say. Serenity, quiet, and wellbeing surrounded me in elephant like pink clouds brilliantly lit with an observer's point of view. The only pain was the feeling of things left undone, "life flashing before my eyes", so to speak. Discussing what the effect actually is is esoteric, who cares. I know it happens, and I also know that no one knows whether or not it happens to those who do not awaken. It must be like the I in the middle of exist. Kicking ass and glad to be alive. True bio.

Finding Fair Hope said...

"It must be like being the 'I' in the middle of 'exist.'" Wonderful!

Thanks, jon, for letting us in on this. Beautiful stories...making you what you are.