posted on Oct, 21 2010 @ 09:39 AM
Excellent thread and OP, thank you for sharing your insights. As a Christian, my perspective has (seemingly) always been that the way that we live
our lives is a test, graded upon death on how we treated others, and whether we helped build them up, or whether we were indifferent or went out of
our way to hurt them.
But I've also struggled a bit with that, because it seems... futile. If it was successful, if everyone bought in, and everyone lived by Christ's
teachings of love God, love each other, the world would be a wonderful place, but it seems unfathomably unlikely. At the time the Christian Church
was at its apex, the corruption of men caused the church to do horrendous things.
I recently read a book by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, who wrote that perhaps life is less of a test, and more of a learning experience, and that death
comes once you have experienced what you need to learn. Not for something else to experience things through us, but for us to grow in some necessary
fashion. In the book, which she wrote as she was dying, Kubler-Ross said that, in her case, she'd been a care giver all her life (she was the
founder of the modern hospice movement,) and she'd live until she'd experienced someone else taking care of her, as she had done.
I kind of like that notion, but the problem that I have with it is how our necessary experiences are determined. My wife passed away in March at the
age of 46, and one of the things that makes me sad is the things that she will never experience. Seeing our daughter graduate from university
(assuming that she does, lol) the traveling that we planned, retirement, grandkids, and so on. But I'm also kind of happy that she won't have to
experience the ills of life, menopause, protracted illness, getting old, putting up with me :-)
So, was living a long life not an experience that she needed? I have, as one can imagine, suffered immense grief over the past seven months, continue
to do so, and will likely for the rest of my life. Did I need to experience such a deep loss at such an early age? Did my wife not need to suffer
such grief? (though C.S. Lewis speculated that the dead do experience the grief of loss.) In part, I think that I did... my grandparents passed away,
and two friends of mine died at a fairly early age, and beyond the shock, it didn't affect me, it took the death of my wife to drive in the hammer of
Reincarnation kind of accounts for the differences in needful experiences, but without accumulated memory, that just doesn't make much sense and,
like you, I see too much of life, even a blessed life like I have led, to be rooted in pain and negativity to want to live on this earth over and over
Thanks again for the OP and thread, excellent food for thought.