My core settings are not entirely human. My genetics are different than 99% of my fellow humans. I’ve lived most of my life, from early childhood, disengaged from the three-dimensional Human Experience. Not connected to life by strong beliefs, desires, and attachments. Watching my Mind create my life as a Producer might, with minimal direction. I’ve kept a loose grip on my rudder and have passed though with as little wake in my path as possible. I’m certainly not proud of my species. Mankind’s hubris has taken us down some very deep and disturbing rabbit holes.
Ernest Becker won the Pulitzer Prize posthumously in 1974, a year after publishing The Denial of Death. Here’s an excerpt from the previous link….. “Becker argues that the arbitrariness of human-invented immortality projects makes them naturally prone to conflict. When one immortality project conflicts with another, it is essentially an accusation of ‘wrongness of life’, and so sets the context for both aggressive and defensive behavior. Each party will want to prove its belief system is superior, a better way of life. Thus these immortality projects are considered a fundamental driver of human conflict, such as in wars, bigotry, genocide, and racism”….. “Another theme running throughout the book is that humanity’s traditional “hero-systems”, such as religion, are no longer convincing in the age of reason. Science attempts to serve as an immortality project, something that Becker believes it can never do, because it is unable to provide agreeable, absolute meanings to human life. The book states that we need new convincing “illusions” that enable us to feel heroic in ways that are agreeable”. Is it “heroic” to use every means available to extend our lives as long as possible? Do we have a “heroic battle” with disease, age and forces beyond our control, with the “victory” being an extra 7 months on life support?
Is our legacy the material goods we leave as an inheritance? Do we want to have influenced others, having had a hand in the direction of their life’s path? Becker’s courageous proposals make it evident that our fear of mortality and creatureliness drive our desire for legacy and the semblance of purpose, importance and immortality.
How does a painter or an author decide when a work is finished? When do they stop changing and creating more?
If we’re to be authors of our meatsuit adventure, is our body of work to be ended by nature or happenstance, or by ourselves? Why would we leave our eventual transitions beyond our control? Does the artist ask others when his/her work is complete? Our Minds tell us to keep working. We are special. We’re not finished yet. More layers are applied to the canvas…. new perceptions both for the artist and those who may experience the unfinished work for themselves.
What is the perception of our lives by those who had shared our human experience? How different are the individual descriptions we might hear from our own perception? Is it any different than the variety of perceptions and meanings that we attribute to an abstract painting, a movie or a book?
Are our lives never finished until our brain function ceases and “we” are dead? Does the life force which animates our meatsuits and uses our brain for it’s command centre, release and “return to stardust”, in Carl Sagan’s words? Could that be our “soul”?
Sure it could. And the entire entourage of the Mind’s grasp of our limited three-dimensional reality wants us to believe it is what is real, and will always exist. We may imagine that “we”, meaning our Mind/brain, will continue and >>>>we fill in the blanks with beliefs here<<<<<<. Perhaps our consciousness, our essence, has nothing to do with our meat suits.
When our Mind/brain finally shut down entirely, our human experience ends. Stories about light at the end of the tunnel and others are Near Death Experiences. There are no verifiable accounts of actual returns from death. (So nope, not Jesus) “We” (our Minds) would like to believe “we” continue on with full consciousness and all the answers about the universe and “what’s it all about” will be revealed to us when we “pass on”. This involves a wide range of beliefs, certainly including religion, which makes an insipid attempt to explain, and likely, paint death (using more pleasant terms like “ascend to heaven”, “return to your Creator”, “pass on”) as a reward…. oh, wait for it…….. as a reward for accepting the beliefs, dogma and practices of the religion in question. We accept them as our Truth, our Reality, our purpose in life, usually because they’re comfortable…. the scripts for the various scenes we’ll be performing are all written by what our minds accept. All the answers without the awkward creatureliness that is disturbing to our Minds. Which of these pictures are more pleasing to our Minds?