Monday, March 09, 2009

After Death, Before Birth

Riffing off of Seeking Lemonade, who was kind enough to contribute to the comment section of my March 5 post:

Seeking Lemonade said...
So, Stuart, a question. When I am dead, will I know what being dead is (or will I, since I will be in a state of deadness, not know)?

Whatever happens after death, how could we be any less existent than before we were born? And look what happened that time! There we were, minding our own business, not bothering anyone, not even existing fergawdsake... and through no fault of our own, boom, we appeared in this world.

If it happened once it can happen again. It makes more sense to me, anyway, that if we got born out of nothingness one time, it won't be the only time. I mean, it's not like there's any rush. We've got infinite time and infinite space to play with here.

There's nothing to stop us from appearing and disappearing, over and over. Zen Master Seung Sahn would say, "First you were zero. Then you got born, so now you're one. Soon you'll die, and you'll be zero again." In the end, we're back at the beginning.

Peaking on Salvia Divinorum, I once had flash before me all the various ways that existence could be divided: Good/Bad, Light/Dark, Masculine/Feminine, Happiness/Suffering, etc. Like a Yin/Yang. It culminated with a vision in which the entire universe (multiverse?) of name and form was on one side, with total complete vast emptiness on the other.

For a second, it was like sitting on the fence, ready to fall into either side, existence or non-existence. And I felt profound indifference. If I added up everything on the Existence side, the sum was Zero anyway. Perfect balance.

But then it seemed like the Emptiness choice was kinda deceiving. Even if non-existence lasted for eons before I popped back out, it'd be like going into deep sleep. From "my" perspective, it would pass in an instant.

Besides which, I had a tickle in the back of my mind, vaguely remembering that a couple of friends were "baby-sitting" my body while my mind tripped. I wouldn't want to disappear and leave them worried or bored. So here I am.


Anonymous said...

"So here I am." Zen in a nutshell. What else is there?

SeekingLemonade said...

Hi, Thanks for the mention.

I posted some more comments on this topic at

Now I have a slightly different question:

Why do people care what others believe? I know people "make something and enter the ocean of suffering", but it's incredible how much this happens....

Why is it so threatening when some believe something different that what others believe? Why do people kill others just because they believe something different?

Anonymous said...

In reply to the above post I think people identify themselves with their beliefs i.e. I am a christian or I am a male or I am Polish. People identify themselves as their thoughts or ego. As I think so I am. therefore when you challenge someones beliefs, whether spiritual or racial or sexual etc., you are not only challenging their beliefs you are challenging who they think (the key word) they are. At least that's my understanding. A good meditation is - who are you when there are no thoughts about yourself?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post. This is something I have personally been contemplating for some time and would fit nicely with a cyclic model of the universe. Even though I believe each existence would be totally unconnected with the previous and the form it takes would be infinite, depending on how each new big bang distributes its laws and whether if at all life can be supported within that new universe. As we know without personal existence there is no time, so whether it takes billions upon billions upon billions upon billions of years before a big bang produces the right conditions again for life, it may as well be but a blink of an eye before an existence in whatever form is once again experienced. This would mean that every possible permeation of life will be experienced at least once.

Cosmic Mariner, destination unknown! x

Anonymous said...

It is extremely interesting for me to read this blog. Thank you for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to them. I would like to read a bit more soon.

Youbetcha said...

No one knows. Repeat: No one knows. As for mankind's belief in a creature that would create creatures in his likeness and then have them murder, rape and torture each other like a video game for him, I find the concept repulsive and disgusting.