Tuesday, May 7, 2013

17800. Gregory St. John

A pitiable little sentence, this one. I could get into theories about it, but I won't. Okay, maybe just one. I see someone undergoing a long illness, resigned to fate: "If I don't see you to morrow, I'll see you in heaven."

It's not original, of course, as there are stories all over the internet of people saying it, both in shows of faith and premonition, and it may even be Biblical. But I think if nothing else it shows a strength of spirit and an understanding that mortal life truly does end. It's that leap of faith that I'm not yet willing to take that Gregory believed in, that something better, something else, waits for us on the other side of that moment when we power down for good.

Science Fiction writer Douglas Adams covered the topic deftly in one of his non-Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy books, about a detective named Dirk Gently. He said the beauty of death and belief is that if there is nothing on the other side, and if you have predetermined notions about heavens and nirvanas, that's what your last thought may be, about finally reaching that place. And if it is the last place your mind goes, that's where you end up. In that sense, you get your wish.

Ah, the great mystery of it all...

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