Religion: The Fine Print Of Death

I lost my 8 year Old rescue Cat Kevin recently. It was heartbreaking, I spent the last few hours with him but I think he had already gone into a Coma when I got home.

As I sat with Kevin, watching his frail little body slowly giving up, the little twitches here and there, the irregular breathing which more than once stopped…and started again, through the tears and the sadness arose curiosity. What will Happen to Kevin when he passes? Where will this Cute Orange Tabby Cat and his ‘larger than Garden’ personality go? Is he scared? Is he in pain? will he really be in a ‘better place’ afterwards? Will he cross the rainbow bridge?

Its the ‘unknowing’ of death that is most disturbing, the fact that none of us really know what happens when we or animals die. Which is why we fear death so much and why it causes so much distress to us, which is quite ironic though. Because if there is One thing that we are absolutely sure of in life, its death. And we have our entire lives (if we are lucky), to prepare for death.

What happens when you die? Well among many things you don’t wake up again. There is the darkness, the unknown, things happen around us even though we are not around, people carry on, the earth still spins, the economy goes on, my pets will miss me but they will be ok, my loved ones will cry and grieve but they will not seize to exist. They say that it is not the knowledge that the “party will be over someday”, that makes us uncomfortable about death, but the knowledge that “the party will continue without me”. This is Ego.

If you really think about it, there is another situation where the world, people, pets and economies go on while we are completely oblivious to it. When we are sleep…but we still sleep. This is because we have proof that we will wake up after the sleep. It has happen to us and we have seen it happening with people, pets around us. So we don’t stress much about going to sleep. But just imagine, if tonight while you are in bed, someone (the news maybe) tells you that we can no longer be sure if we will wake up after we sleep. That there is a chance that we will not wake up at all, or that we might wake up somewhere else or as another person or animal. Would you be so comfortable in falling asleep now? I don’t think so.

When a loved one passes, we wish that we knew that they are OK, wherever they are. I was telling a friend that I wish there was some fine print in our life-agreements. Like some knowledge planted in our unconscious, which explains exactly what happens when we die and that its all ok in the end. We will not be aware of this on a conscious level, but it will be hardwired into our system. Like our beating heart, breathing, mental faculties etc, we will not know how they operate of even if they are there, we just believe that its there and its working. Like the small print on agreements, no one really reads it, few know that its even there but nevertheless, it is part and parcel of the agreement and helps execute the functions of it. Something that we can just believe in and which we can call upon when the time is right to execute that part of our life (or death).

Then I realised, we DO have that kind of a fine-print, Religion! This is why it was invented. So that we can believe that there is something after we die (whether it is eternal life, reincarnation etc), it IS that fine-print that no one reads but just accepts is part and parcel of the main contract. Its the safety-clause of the life-agreement. It helps us just believe that ‘this or that’ will happen when we die so that we can just carry on with life. We only evoke this clause when something tragic happens to us i.e have a close call or someone close to us dies. Until then, its all just taken for granted.

No wonder few people really LIVE according to the religions doctrines that they subscribe to, its not for THIS life of earth, its for after we die. So that we are safe and comfortable and happy. So that we can continue this illusion that we have created for ourselves in this life. Oh the madness.

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Thushan Jayaratne

Thushan Jayaratne

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Communications Thought Leader • Humorist & Satirist • Personal Growth Hacker | Sri Lanka