Tuesday, 10 January 2017

An Unexpected Hereafter

When Europeans crossed the Atlantic, they did not find what they expected. If there is a hereafter, which I doubt, then it is very likely to differ from what anyone expects. In CS Lewis' The Great Divorce, there is just as much disagreement after death as before it although the spiritual and moral issues remain eternal.

In Alan Moore's Jerusalem (London, 2016):

"'Wiz you expecting it to be like this when you wiz dead?...'
"'Of course I wasn't. I don't reckon anybody thought that it'd be like this. None o' yer main religions sussed it...'" (p. 511)

"...innumerable monks of different dates and different orders, all with very little to debate except how wrong they'd got the afterlife..." (p. 540)

I expect that some readers will be amused at the monks' expense but will be any better equipped or prepared? If there is nothing or if everyone forgets everything, then we will not be able to tell the monks that they were wrong.

I may be getting some of these details wrong but it seems that, in Jerusalem, a departed soul can:

linger invisibly in the mortal realm;
time travel in that realm;
re-experience all or part of its mortal life;
linger in the ghost-seam between the mortal realm and Upstairs;
go Upstairs;
while Upstairs, walk in either direction along a long balcony or causeway;
at intervals along the causeway, look down through apertures into the mortal realm, now perceived as four dimensional;
descend into lower realms, then re-enter Upstairs at an earlier point in its history;
thus, time travel Upstairs as well.

"This is most strange," as Horatio said to Hamlet. How do all these times and motions fit together? If apparent motion in three dimensions is really extension along a fourth dimension, then is motion along the fourth dimension extension in a fifth dimension?

No comments:

Post a Comment