Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Scribblings #89 - Scary

As a little girl of maybe 6 or 7 years old,
what would keep me up at night

was the idea of "everlasting life".

For most Christians, this is a reassuring idea.

Who wouldn't want to be suspended in time, surrounded by the comfort and peace and joy?

But for me, it was a pretty black-and-white concept.
My under-developed frontal lobe could not understand
life without end.

I would lie awake at night absolutely terrified of the idea of non-stop life.

Endless existence was NOT comforting.

Despite the promises of light and life,
somehow it reminded me of my first ride in the haunted house (on Toronto's Centre Island), where anything could pop out at me and the unpredictable was worse than the neuro-chemical thrill of adrenaline pumping through my innocent veins.

It was incomprehensible.

It freaked me out.

Maybe it was "too-good-to-be-true".

And then the Biblical counsel-of-fear:

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

The clear message: life or shame.

How is that not scary?

In my 30s I began to contemplate the idea of reincarnation, or past lives or whatever you'd like to call this branch of thinking.

"To be made flesh again"

Somehow this seemed a more reassuring concept and continues to occupy a good deal of my headspace in this my 4th decade of living.

That I could connect in a different body, under a different set of circumstances with life here on earth sent an "ahhhh, finally" sense of ease through my body.

Knowing that this belief has ancient roots gives me validation: Hindus, Jains, some ancient Greek philosophers, modern Pagans, practitioners of Kabbalah, and Gnostic and Esoteric Christians go for this.

So why shouldn't I?

I especially resonate with the Buddhist concept of reincarnation which believes that the reincarnated soul is unchanging.



(Does this mean I get to stay with me, and just get better? I'm no spiritual/religious scholar, and have a LLLOOOONGGGG way to go in my understanding, but if this is true, I'm quite happy to spend time getting better at being me!)


  1. Interesting post! Life and death are such challenging concepts. Nicely done!

  2. I can remember being scared of this concept too. But I was also scared of death. I was caught between the two unthinkables and it caused me many hot sweats and sleepless nights.

    I can see how reincarnation is comforting.