June 30, 2009

Imagine an eternal afterlife in which you can do nothing more than wander around observing the scenes of your own life.

Now, what should you have been doing differently in life? Less time on the internet, for sure. But you probably should be doing just about everything differently.

I posted that on Facebook 2 hours ago.

(So I am confessing part of how I whiled away 3 hours.)


Paddy O. said...

"Now, what should you have been doing differently in life?"

More diavlogs?

Wait a second, now I'm confessing a part of how I whiled away 3 hours.

The other part was spent studying French, so all in all, my eternal reflections on this particular morning are probably going to move on to the next scene.

William said...

For most people that's a description of hell. JFK Jr could spend all eternity staring at the aircraft controls and writhing in agony. I would be blessed with an endless series of failed gestures to contemplate with pain and regret.

nansealinks said...

that is purgatory. so you waste time finding people who like you so that they will pray for you so you will get out of purgatory.

the other possibility of ending purgatory is being in a powerful position and just saying it is gone. then purgatory is poof over. but only for the people in that powerful position. They really didn't get purgatory to stop exiting for everyone, just for themselves.

way to go. now no one knows where all those poor souls are, if they got out, and who the hell has the map!

waste time on all those map places on the internet. that's where the pocket computing device comes in handy. the handy triangulation device.

Listen to me, or can't you hear me?

tim maguire said...

At first I thought I should be spending more time with naked people, then I realized I need to spend less time at work, and then I realized I would starve to death. I couldn't win.

It would be a crappy afterlife for all but a handful of trust fund babies and entertainers.

traditionalguy said...

That thought does sharpen one's appreciation for the joy of giving away love which experiences always create the best memories. Again, all our days spent just beating a deadline to pay our bills and trying to save-up money forever seems not to be that smart after all. But we do need to earn the money and have some free time to be able to give something away. Somehow I know that socialism will kill all that off for us once only the State has anything left to give to anyone. Like JTP, I only favor re-distribution at my choice, which is my free act of love.

k*thy said...

What, like Albert Brooks, in 'Defending Your Life'? Funny movie. I used to worry about having to do that - watch replays of my life, that is. Exhausted, I gave it up a few years ago realizing it was quite a waste of time.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Here's a movie you might like:

After Life


Sorry, my sncient version of Blogger won't take the HTML link.)

Kirby Olson said...

Time wastes us, while we waste time. But something will survive time, too, and then I guess there will be lots more time.

NKVD said...

Eternity anywhere, doing anything, is hell.

The good part of life is knowing that it is finite.

I had friends who believed that when you die you spend eternity with your family. Jesus God have mercy - if that is the case I hope we have weapons. Those motherfuckers are going to pay, I tell ya!

nansealinks said...

eternity ends for some when souls get dementia.

that's good and bad

it is also atheism.

i'm not done yet.

tim maguire said...

It occurrs to me that St. Peter has the universe's worst job. He is eternity's bouncer, always standing at the door, never gets to go in.

Ann Althouse said...

@Richard Yeah, I've seen that. The dead get to pick one scene from their lives to take with them into the afterlife.

Ann Althouse said...

"I had friends who believed that when you die you spend eternity with your family. Jesus God have mercy - if that is the case I hope we have weapons. Those motherfuckers are going to pay, I tell ya!"

People who say they believe that either don't actually believe it or don't have the imagination to picture what it's like. Ask them: Well, but after a billion years of it, and you know that you've only just begun, how are you going to feel? If they say I will love my family forever and ever and ever... that is really annoying!

"It occurrs to me that St. Peter has the universe's worst job. He is eternity's bouncer, always standing at the door, never gets to go in."

And imagine the whining he has to listen to!

Rob said...

I look to being pure consciousness without a corporeal body free to roam the infinite. Free to spend eternity co-creating with God. That is why It created us. Creativity is our greatest gift.

I'm not in any hurry to get there.

magpie said...

I love both "After Life" and "Defending Your Life" and I've had more than one conversation about what moment, if you had to pick only one, you would want to keep forever. It does help put things in perspective.

This post is good timing for me, too, because I've hit a "life is too short" moment and thinking about all this helps to confirm that it's time to move on.

Sisyphus said...

This concept is very similar to, perhaps even effectively equivalent to, Nietzsche's concept of the Eternal Return.

Nietzsche considered the eternal reliving of one's life (along with all possible variations of it) as a great thought experiment, but also as a terrifying one. He wrote "What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: 'This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more' ... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: 'You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine."

In some sense, the challenge of living a life worth reliving infinitely is both impossible and yet the highest of goals. It is the epitome of Sisyphean struggle, and to achieve a life worth eternally reliving in all its parts would indeed be to reach the top of the hill, with the rock safely level at the top.

traditionalguy said...

The Word from the greatest of the Hebrew Prophets was that men and women are not married in Heaven. So the family may not be the same thing there. I imagine everybody in heaven is age 26, and in great shape and just enjoys a happy life playing games there. Not that there is any thing wrong with misery, weeping and gnashing of teeth in outer darkness.

srfwotb said...

I'd think you'd want to watch MORE videos if that were the case, so you'd have a complete library of distraction when you get there rather than endlessly rerunning your time at the office -even if well spent in eternal terms doing small kindnesses.

I know that feeling makes me kind of evil, but so be it. It's not like free will makes it automatically feasible to support yourself in an interesting, dramatic and eternally fulfilling way.