Sunday, April 29, 2012

There should be deep thoughts here

but there aren't. Because I've been distracted by the Avengers. Again. I swear, something like normal programming will resume...eventually. Like maybe next week. I make no promises though.

But here's a random thought:

Humanity invented the afterlife because we're afraid of the dark. Go.

And for more proof/evidence/excuses for why I can get nothing done?



  1. That second picture is made of awesome. There's so many other great people in the movie I kind of forget about him, but he is pretty great.

    I'm amused that one of the "You might also like" posts is about Loki the cat. Smart bloggy tool!

    I like your random thought, but have nowhere to go on it really. Instead, I'll respond with a question! If humanity invented the afterlife, does it exist?

    1. Yes, yes it is. Respect the Renner! He is just such a giant, adorable dork and I don't know how I'm going to survive this movie, I really really don't. The people near me may not survive, since I will explode.

      Just more proof that the internet is *alive* and watching us.

      Hmmm...that depends I guess. Do you believe that if something is believed by enough people with enough force of will that it can be created by that belief? If so, then yes. All the different versions of the afterlife do or have existed at some point. But then the question becomes, what happens to those afterlives and the people residing within them once the religion that spawned them dies out and no one believes in them anymore?

    2. Well, if there is an afterlife created by belief, then there are people (after)living in it. And that means that they can believe too and there's a lot of spiritual power built up in that afterlife, so it's still going to be there even if it's not believed in by people currently living. If it's an afterlife that allows them to come back and talk to people who are still living, it's even possible that people might start to believe in it again after the belief has died out on earth, like with Babylonian neo-paganism. (Or really, all the reconstructionist traditions, I just like the Babylonian example because it's so old and I think it's neat that gods who have supposedly been gone for so much longer are being worshiped today.)

      If I'm remembering your post right, I think you said something similar to my beliefs about the divine. That it existed before humanity, but humanity pulled out the aspects that we could understand and gave it a sort of physical shape/mask that made it easier for us to interact with the divine. Maybe the afterlife is the same. I think everything makes an impact, the whole physical and spiritual universe is connected and every experience matters and lasts forever in some way. So maybe the afterlife was originally more of just a fingerprint, but a lot of belief helped to shape the world and turn it into something more active and specific.

    3. I guess then that begs the question, is the belief of the people who are dead/living in the after life enough to keep it going? Or does it require the greater energy available from living beings in order to maintain itself? Which then...if old religions are being reconstructed, the old gods worshipped again, if they *had* blinked out of existence (let's say), they would they all just suddenly appear again? The deceased faithful in each afterlife I mean.

      But a fingerprint is really rather highly shaped and specific, isn't it? Each one is unique. Anyway. I think, in general, that the divine did preexist man, though I question whether or not it would have bothered to consciously create anything. It's possibly just a natural function of *being* as a divine being. That things get created. And then, once things did exist, their belief began to impact the divine and shape parts of it so that we could grasp it. Chicken/egg thing or something. I'll be honest, I haven't put much thought into it since (honestly) I don't care about the afterlife all that much. I never really did...

    4. It's interesting to think about. I have opinions, but obviously I don't know. So I also don't worry about it much, at least not about getting it right as far as beliefs are concerned. Obviously the idea of an afterlife comes into play for me since I pray to ancestors sometimes, but I don't pretend to know what that means exactly and I'm not sure it matters.

      ...Yes, I suppose a fingerprint was a bad word choice. :D I didn't really think it through that much. What I meant was, we leave a trace. If nothing else, the world is changed because we were here and did things to and in it. And then with more energy/belief put into it, I meant that those traces might be brought to life and instead of the traces being mindless and abstract, they might start to become active again and take on more like the forms they had in life. And the same could go for gods, or whatever else. *shrugs* I have no idea if that makes any more sense, just the best way I can describe the vague thoughts I have about it.

    5. That's just it for me, basically. I believe that there is an afterlife, I just don't think that I know what it's like or anything. So I don't really worry about it. It's kind of like worrying about what will happen if the world blows up, or the Mayans were right at 12/21/12 is the end of the world. So what? What're you going to do about it? It's inevitable and you can't stop it, so why worry about it?

      That does make more sense, yes. :) It's interesting. So it wouldn't be as though the old afterlife concepts/gods ceased to exist, maybe more like suspended animation/hibernation? Or as they were subsumed into other belief systems, their natures changed? Then separated out/changed back as they were remembered and worshiped in older forms?

  2. So you believe that if we think something, it exists? Like I think I'm Captain Awesome, therefore, I am? :D

    Interesting thought about the afterlife. I didn't know you didn't care much about it. You are content with just living and enjoying this life and whatever happens next is no concern. That's pretty cool, I guess.

    As for being afraid of the dark, some people like darkness. I like it OK if there are twinkling stars and a pretty moon...but maybe you meant pitch blackness.

    1. Not necessarily. I think it's an interesting possibility, if we're talking about metaphysical things. After all, just because I (and many other) believe that the Loch Ness monster exists doesn't mean that it does, or that if it does our collective belief caused it to exist.

      But let's think about heaven and hell, for a second. And just strictly the Christian versions of them. I know that not all Christian's believe in the same image/kind of heaven or hell, but in general, most of them believe that there is a good place where once will go, after death, to be with loved ones (who have presumably also been good enough to get in) and God. We have some visuals, and though I don't believe that those are meant to be actual descriptions of what heaven looks like, let's just say that they are, since plenty of people believe that they are. Streets of gold, etc. etc.

      Now, the spiritual/metaphysical realm/the afterlife existed before people started to imagine specifics about it. What I'm saying is that, perhaps, since human beings are at least in part a bundle of collected and directed energy, that perhaps if enough of them believe the same thing, it can affect the 'landscape'. There's evidence of this concept in the people who cause physical changes within themselves based on willpower alone. They *believe* hard enough that a thing happens.

      As for my lack of concern with the afterlife, it's just really that I've never been able to get up much fear or anything about going to hell. I think that there is something after death, but I don't know what. I don't think that anyone does. Even the people who have died and then come back are filtering what they experienced through their lives and cultural norms, etc., then boiling that down through the limits of human comprehension and language. My thinking is that as long as we focus on doing good here, then whatever comes next shouldn't be 'bad'.

      True, some people like darkness. I happen to be one of them. But we very rarely ever experience *true* darkness anymore, do we? And it's been a long time since there were things in the darkness that regularly were trying to eat us. After all, we've inherited the concept of the afterlife from the people who *did* have to fear the darkness. And I'm thinking that they were trying to figure out what happened after people died and they pictured it as being 'night'. There's a lot of imagery that supports that. Well, if it's night, it's dark and not as empty as you'd like, and frightening. So, voila. An afterlife.


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