|Life, Death and Time|
by Philippe de Champaigne (17th century)
Do you expect to continue in some way after death? I'm not asking how that might come about, the question is - do you expect something else to occur to what you think of as "me" after breathing your last?
I expect total personal extinction, which of course is not an expectation at all because it is akin to expecting nothing – just total cessation of me. Like a kind of dreamless sleep, but rather deeper than usual I suppose.
I find this view comforting because extinct is how I prefer to think of loved ones who are now dead. I would not like this clean and unambiguous state of total extinction to be muddied with other possibilities. I certainly prefer it to a kind of transmutation into another state where we are ourselves but at the same time are obviously no such thing.
In the end, I suppose these are personal matters, because inevitably we apply them to those we once knew and loved - at least I do. Matters sometimes worth articulating perhaps, but not often and not stridently, because they tend to be fixed points in our lives. It really isn’t worth disturbing these fixed points for the sake of controversy, even if disturbance of something so personal was at all likely.
After all, there are more than enough concerns on this side of the grave for us to worry about what may lie beyond. Extinction suits me - but perhaps not yet.