I stopped in the middle of the road and wondered where I was.-
Yet again, Batdorf has me thinking. I suppose it’s all timely as I am emotional from news of untimely deaths of family and friends. If the last year and half have taught me anything, it’s staying current on persistent consciousness of the frailty of our lives. This past week, we lost two people in what I would call connected but outer circles. I realize death is part of life but I also realize that I like many others, walk through life without thinking about it until I stop and realize once its happened.
“Oh, shit this happened”
My mothers passing has impacted me in ways that I am still discovering. On some days, I feel like all of the color left the world and everything seems to be shades of gray. The universe is now the refrigerator to which I hang my art. I don’t know if anyone would appreciate my scribbles like she would. It’s definitely much more than that but I am just saying in passing. Standing at the edge of a box being lowered into the ground feels like a more regular normality vs, living in ignorant bliss of all the time in the world.
Moment in Time
I wrote an autobiography for a college class back in the 19’s as my kids would say. It was a Pre-Erin event and it was interesting to look back on and reflect upon. I was 24 years old fresh out of the active military and a relatively new father. It was a moment of writing akin to taking a break at a rest stop off of a highway. I got out, stretched, used some words, got back in the life and started driving again.
In some examination of my perspective, I just realized that I knew many of the same things I know today but it was mostly theory at that time, where as now, there’s a review of what happened in practice. It got me to think of something that crossed my view recently and this is what I am sharing with you today.
A man supposedly died and went into his life review. Many have said that when you die, you go through your life. I’ve read and heard stories that a minute feels like forever but as your brain shuts down, it goes through your memories and you have a final experience of your days here on earth.
In this case, the man told a different story. He said, that when you die, you go through a life review but it isn’t limited to your perspective. This review provides you an experience on how you made others feel. In other words, you experience both what you did from your view and from theirs in a tacit way. It almost answers the question of qualia, meaning that you do at some point experience in a real way what others experience. I found this fascinating and compelling to think about.
I am not saying this is what happens, there is no proof of this experience. I am asking, what if this were true? The whole heaven and hell thing is not only on its head but it makes things a lot more up close. I can think of so many occasions where I was younger and I wanted someone else to feel my hurt. Now thinking about it this way, I wouldn’t want anyone at anytime to feel any pain. Not to say that as an adult I would have wanted anyone to hurt regardless but now I think, if I’d had this line of thinking before, maybe I would have just thought differently.
If you knew that your creating joy, would then make someone happy and the result of their happiness would have a happiness outcome on you in the end, would you do anything different?
If every smile, frown, hug or punch was felt by you from a multitude of directions and through the lens of all those you touched, would you have thought a different way?
Treat others as ..
The idea of treating people as you would want to be treated is a sociological norm. We say it and many of us try but what if, you knew that treating someone the way you wanted to be treated literally at some point would amount to your experience?
Something to consider. If this is true and you would have this kind of experience upon your death, would you change your behavior? If you were even taught this as a child as part of some kind of religious dialogue, would it have impacted you?
I was talking to a friend this week about Yom Kippur and he said “Forgiveness in this case is between you and G-d, not you and your fellow man.” If you wrong another human being, you must seek forgiveness from that person. G-d doesn’t offer that sort of forgiveness to you. How interesting is it that you may be part of the panel that judges you. You may be the one to judge yourself.
In the world today, we are faced with increasingly difficult decisions. Many of us have some insight or ideas on right and wrong. In this case, the creation of happiness or sadness and how our actions impact others. Will you feel what it felt like to be hugged and kissed by you at some point in your journey? I don’t know but it is something to think about in the days ahead.
What do you think?
Also, please forgive any grammar or writing issues.. I just wrote freely and pushed the button…
Much love — Howie