No, it’s not another Douglas Adams inspired posting or anything remotely related to the greatest computer ever made until they made the earth… or does it?
Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking about life, what it is, what it means and where it’s all going to. Must be that stage of life already. 🙂 John Lennon once wrote and performed, “imagine there’s no Heaven, it’s easy if you try”. Such a true statement but let’s consider the flip side, imagine there is a Heaven, that’s not easy if you try!
So many religions in the world advertise the concept of an after life, a residual space that exists after our souls are taken from this world, a holding bay for eternal rest. Most of these religions also speak of a Hell, or some form of eternal damnation. Trying to understand just what these places might be is mind boggling and frankly, inconclusive.
The notion of a Heaven type place is somewhere for souls to reside and for happiness to prevail after a life that was well-lived and faithfully consumed. The notion of Hell, paints a picture of eternal pain, suffering and no redemption for those who have lived agsinst the will of man/God and not served as harmoniously as they could have. It was with this basic abstraction that I started to think: What if, as Belinda Carlisle once said, “Heaven is a place on earth”?
Imagine that the soul lived on only because it was remembered as the person it once was: The stories, legends, and family tales that surrounded the life of a person was their existence after they had passed on from this world. Once the body has gone, the spirit is carried on only by those who remember, no change is possible thereafter. Is it conceivable to think that perhaps how somebody is remembered dictates their respective Heaven or Hell?
If a person lives an honest life, serves it and others well and passes on leaving a good legacy. That person will be fondly remembered by those who knew them, stories about them will keep their spirit alive and always in good regard. Conversely, a person who has lived a bad life will be doomed to a memory that has nothing fond or proud to remember them by. Always will they be remembered for their ill deeds, their sorrowful life and their unfavourable attributes – doomed to an eternal imprint that cannot be changed in the minds of those who carry their existence in stories of persona non gratis. Is this to be their Hell?
Maybe the meaning of life is that we serve others to serve our own memory – not to be forgotten or remembered for the wrong reasons but to be embraced and carried on in high regard. Our eternal happiness, voiced and aired by the opinions and vocalisations of those who remember, appreciate and celebrate our existence. To ensure that our brief time on this planet is not to cause friction but to give others a reason to carry on so that they too may be remembered and celebrated. Our Heaven, our after life; existent in the minds of those who live beyond us – indelible. You may say that I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one…
Intriguing thoughts Johnathan. I wonder though what happens in the case of someone like a suicide bomber who may be remembers as a hero and martyr to many and as the ultimate in evil by many others. Would the extremities of feeling cancel out? Just a thought…
Good point James. I had briefly pondered on that subject matter, and to be honest I still am but have not not formed a complete conclusion. The background of somebody’s life is certainly a determining factor in how they are remembered. The cancellation that you speak of would certainly be a flaw in my posting but then again, there has to be some mystery remaining. 😉 Thanks for the comment though – set me off on another thought stream again.