I’m enjoying my life. I didn’t ask to be here but now I don’t want to leave; seems to be my particular version of the human condition. Think about it; two microscopic gametes meet and decide to live together as one for a lifetime. If it sounds like marriage, well, it wasn’t my idea.
And hey, those gametes came from other gametes, and those from others, you know…all the way back to the beginning of, hmmm, life itself. And before that, before life? I guess the answer is… everything was just stuff. And before that, and before that, and before that…our world was just a dust bunny. Seriously though folks, that’s how it all began, dust bunnies! No wonder they talk about ashes to ashes, dust bunnies to dust bunnies.
After I’m gone, and by that I mean the “me” inside my stuff, I’ll just be stuff again. Slowly, piece by piece, molecule by molecule, all the stuff that’s been borrowed from the Universe will be returned. It’s a good system, I think, a good deal. I get to use stuff Universe has provided for while and when I’m done it all gets returned so other things can use it. What could be fairer than that? When it comes down to it, I’d call that system basically good.
Now a lot of people don’t think dying is good, they think it’s bad. I disagree. I believe recycling is the way of things; it’s sustainable! If the theoretical physicists are correct, every bit of stuff we enjoy today was created in an instant at the Big Bang, all of it. Since then it’s been mixing and matching, merging and dissolving, integrating and disintegrating – continuously and all at once.
This is where the confusion comes in about death, that it’s some sort of black hole – cold, dark, lonely and timeless. You can think of it that way, won’t do you any terrible harm but may keep you up at night and anxious. I prefer to see it otherwise – warm, welcoming, familiar and interpenetrating. I agree with the timeless, infinite thing, though. I like infinity in a Universe.
What happens to the “me” inside my stuff? It’s like asking what happens to the light energy from an incandescent bulb when the wall switch is turned off. The light energy keeps going, and illuminates new places and things. In an infinite Universe there’s no limit to where “me” is going. Einstein understood. Like old episodes of the Honeymooners just now making their way past Alpha Centauri at the speed of light, the energy of “me” will just go on and on. Buddhists understood this too; energy is action, and action is Karma, which is infinite and penetrates everything. The Karma of “me” is, you know, a 100-watt bulb. Ok, maybe 50-watt.
Here’s the scoop; I’m not going right back where I started from, and I don’t mean California. (Do you think it’s interesting that California can be spelled Kalifornia; Kali, of course, being the Hindu deity of destruction, which is the twin of creation). I’m not going back because in truth, I’ve never left; it’s not possible to return to that from which you’ve never left. Get it?
It’s the great perfection of a closed system; nothing is discarded, nothing wasted. Universe does not believe in trash, it’s all good stuff, the best stuff no money can’t buy!