Tuesday, February 28, 2012

On Death.

I have a friend whose cat just died.

I've told her what I always tell people: death seems so cruel, in how it separates us from our loved ones. But many of us do hope to be reunited with our loved ones, and I do not think this is just wishful thinking.

Consider our own consciousness for a second: the fact that we are here, experiencing our lives -- having our "I" that experiences everything -- is miraculous. We can't explain consciousness, in the sense of our self-awareness.

In fact, in the realm of modern epistemology, one could even say there is very little evidence that other people are conscious. Philosophers call our sense of this the "theory of other minds"...we assume other people have their own minds, and their own consciousnesses, because we ourself have that.

So if someone tells you there is "no evidence" for consciousness after passing on, tell them that -- by the standards of modern epistemology -- there is "no evidence" for consciousness in the living. (Indeed, some of the more reductionist philosophers might even consider it embarrassing to their own hypotheses that humans are actually conscious!)

But in the realm of our own self-awareness -- when we don't reduce ourselves with scientific arguments regarding packets of matter and energy -- we know "we" are here, now, experiencing our lives. And it seems to me that an ultimate definition of God would be "that from which our consciousness came from." I can think of nothing more "Alpha" than God, from which our consciousness came -- and I can think of nothing more "Omega" than re-uniting with God, our source, in Whose Image we are created.

I'll spare you the discussions of miaphysticism and other understandings of "hypostatic union" and just point to a Wikipedia article:


And if we are all to be reunited with God, then it stands to reason that we will be reunited with each other. I won't pretend to understand how that will work, but I'm satisfied that God is so unbelievably awesome that (S)He has that already figured out.

Good luck, and God bless,