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In the Sweet By and By

Eric’s grandmother’s funeral was today. It was actually quite a lovely service, but I do struggle with the experience of being an outsider from a religious standpoint. The family isn’t overly religious, including the dearly departed, but ministers will talk quite a bit about Jesus if you let them.

I think the part that bothers me is that, in a small way, I really do sort of wish I could believe that we all get to go home to a loving deity when we die. But I can’t ever believe such a thing, so when a guy stands up there telling me about it, I can’t help feeling like a child whose parents are feeding them the story about how the dog has been sent to the farm.

Anyway, they’re good people, my in-laws. I’m glad to know them. And I am grateful to all of you for your kind words of comfort over the last week.


Jul. 27th, 2006 07:45 pm (UTC)
But there's no farm. Not one we can take our consciousness to. Maybe the energy that animates us gets to return to some Cosmic Sameness, or something, but there's no way there could be a "me" to experience that.

I hold that we cannot know if there's a farm or not. I also hold that we don't understand consciouness/identity well enough to tell if there'll be any "me" there.

I am irked equally by statements of "heaven exists and is exactly like this" and "death is oblivion."

Ahhhh, agnostics: the bisexuals of the theological world. The theists diss you for not singing along to their hymnbook and the skeptics diss you for wanting to sing. :)

Not without neurotransmitters or neurons.

Personally, I don't ascribe to what some long-haired philosopher called "nothingbutness" -- I don't think we're just the sum of our gooshy bits.

I could, of course, be completely wrong.

So I don't believe there's a farm, and I get a little angry with people for trying to comfort me with lies, however beautiful they may be.

I can understand that: not a fan of lies. However, I offer that the lie here is the beautifulosity of the farm. (The simple existence of the farm being unprovable.)

I myself dislike it when people throw their particular vision of heaven at me to comfort me, but I find myself wondering if they phrased it as an "I hope so-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand" or an "I feel that so-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand" rather than "So-and-so is in HappyFunTimeLand right now, drinking pinot noir and playing the timpani" if it'd bug me as much.

Note that I'm not trying to change your mind about anything, or force my views on you. Just talking about my personal feelings. If you don't think there's a farm, bully for you. I think there's a good chance that there's a farm out there, but I have no idea what it's like, and get ticked at people telling me how it is rather than how they hope it is.





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