—–How are we going to be able to refer back to this life, this time spent here? How will we phrase it, frame it, describe it, and with what language, and where will we be, when we enact, or you might say reenact, this particular evocation?
—–I called a conference of my closest friends, to discuss the hypothetical situation of any of us making it through imperious death, intact, and, thus, able to recall this world as we saw it. Someday, I said, you are going to look back on this from a different vantage point. No one objected, though no one screamed approval, for such a thesis. It simply quieted the room. Disquieted the souls, or maybe inflamed the spirits. So then, in order that we discuss this in strict confidence, as gathered friends of mine, I closed the shutters on the windows–a mere symbolic action–and advised with a gesture that all speak softly. Patting the air, I made everyone to relax, and put on some music a couple rooms away, and my wife had already prepared some guacamole, to go with the chips, and already flowing beer. Which we brought out on big trays, or handed around in single ministrations. It was wonderful, the mood I managed to establish this time–not so different from other times, among my closest friends.
—–“What will we say about life?”–was the question on the mental placard before us all. Will we say, when I was alive it was so different? And then, from our new vantage, try to articulate that difference? I mean, hey, you have all projected this kind of situation, I know you have. I mean life always requires a constant standing back, just to say, where are we now? Just on that new beach deeper in your head. Admit you’re spinning, like in immortality, friends. I didn’t need to be talking, I already had them on the rug– just by putting things so flatly. Experimentally, my closest friends and I are always doing this–pitting ourselves against the unknown. Delving . . .
—–We might find ourselves saying, yeah, it was way more intense, over there, because not knowing where I was, I was constantly on the alert, like I might get killed or something before I really had time to adjust. I wanted to forget about it and just have a life, but some angle was always required, some spark to get started, some quirk to adjust the perspective, some nettle, some burr–yeah, life was mostly an analysis of life, I would have to say. My friends were all very smart people, most people are in my experience, very much smarter, at least, than their own experience. Ha! Another indication of a master dealer. Pretty soon everyone was talking.
—–You have to drown it out just to have the beckoning life at all. You reflect most meaningfully right from the beginning. There never was a time that was simple, oh no, it was always quite complex. But the topic here is, if we are going to survive to another life, one consecutive to this, to put it stupidly, like after this one, or along side it, or encompassing it, you get the drift–then we are going to be planted there in the new place, while recalling this place. Though this other place is unimaginable, still it is required for this utterly simple experiment that we be the same person, there and here. Linked. This is transparent, obvious. We are guaranteed another stage in consciousness, that is all I am saying. From what vantage? I don’t know. Why people don’t talk about this more? I don’t know. What is it, taboo? Not really . . . it is only the subject of everything that lasts in the expressions of history. And what is up to me, the personal host of the occasion, to bring it up, tonight of all nights. What a wonderful flexible group I have here assembled, bouncing around, and fading into chairs, filtering out into the night.
—– Right now, in this mystery, we are so cut off it is amazing. There is no perspective, no vantage point, one cannot get outside one’s own awareness, which seems often like it has a view of what is happening , but then shrinks and is utterly bounded. The outstanding fact is there is no memory of anything previous. We think back like to a dead end. Super consciousness, yeah, try it, when you think back it is like ceiling drops on your head. A limit is imposed in your ability to formulate the merest beginnings, the scraps, the premises, the commandments, of what another life could be. We are so cut off, it is amazing. And don’t tell me, I wagged my finger!, you aren’t capable of following this. It is no elevated study, it is base elemental. So, this is skeletal, just the drubbing you get being born at all. Or not born, but slipped into life like some package delivered ready made, though immature. You get the drubbing, you know, like coming to consciousness, like going out for practice the first day with the team, which is like awakening in a sweat from a terrible dream. Everybody is always halfway in life, or rather just a notch before the middle, or after–you know what I mean? Nobody is wise, and yet everybody is so drenched with experience, of one type or another. And so everybody has enough in their craw, in their lunch pail, their knapsack, to discuss this most elementary of questions. Which I keep hauling back in.
—–What will we say about life, when we get the chance the look back on it? I look at my friends and they are so embarrassed! It is quite clear this is exactly what they have been thinking about, for about for as long as any of them can remember. They are sunken in thought, and impaled on the subject. I have taken the lid off tonight. Bring out the beer, and open the shutters. My friends are hoarding the truth! Midnight is arriving, at the same time as the dawn in my thoughts, and party metaphors are abounding, for everything is like everything else.
—–Now that we are settled on what the brow beating general question is, this question of how we shall navigate an unseen bridge between this life and another (unfathomed) one, I will say something else. I will say, and I will just say this without being concerned anymore how many people are listening, that this, now freely admitted question, is quite separate from any question or opinions about the meaning of present life. It is just a fact that there is another life.
—–Nor is this group of my closest friends, surely, creating expectations for what could only be a flimsily imagined successor. Nor is the investigation of this question any kind of commentary on the relative truth of . . . either life! It is simply dealt with as a given, that there will be such a passage, for each and all of us.
—–“You shall have another existence”, says the host of the party, throwing this remark over his shoulder, as he is walking out of the room. Does an uproar ensue? No, everybody bows their heads; singly and in unison. A beautiful chorus! And then there are a few snickers. Then a general approbation, and a return to relative sanity. When he comes back, he comes back to an unchanged reality. Sure, he has more to say. Or maybe he is strangely silent. Gosh damn it, who can really shift very far from where they are? Life is sure complicated, and it isn’t your fault, but it is to your advantage that is is. This may be the vantage–this very warp. Insofar as one is aware, he is talking to himself. And I say you shall have another existence, simply by virtue of the fact that this one is insufficient to your vaulting awareness.
—–I say, this life is incomplete and therefore shall be completed. All shall traverse the abyss, because it is there. Sometimes I take a position, before it is well formulated, in order to elicit a response, and then it turns out I am way behind. Everyone has long been onto this, this theme and its . . . ramifications! Does one think it is not certain, because one has not been directly informed? Did I think that? Like from the absolute paucity of clues in experience, or the stupid theories of science? Now I am clued in. I say it is obvious there is a sequel, in a changed form of existence, precisely indicated by the absence of clues, and the dead on conclusions that even inanimate matter itself is . . . infinite! The door is shut, and it is shut on something, and for a reason. Life is such a sealed mystery there is a guarantee of special providence.