What do you suppose comes next in that sequence that I used to title this here post? We’re born, we grow, we age, we die…and then what? Does anything come next?
I’ve always found it interesting that — as far as I’ve been able to determine — the English language only has a few words made up of four letters, the last three of which are “-omb.” Of the four that I can come up with, the only two that rhyme are womb and tomb — as you know, they’re pronounced “woom” and “toom,” whereas we say bomb like “bahm,” and “comb” is pronounced with a long “o” sound, so as to rhyme with dome or home. Fascinating that two words so associated with birth/life (womb) and with death (tomb) should be so similar in written construction and spoken sound-form, yes? I think so, anyway.
But beyond that little factoid, we’re still left with some of our greatest and possibly most unanswerable existential puzzlers: what happens to us after we die? Is death the absolute end of consciousness? Is it this sort of guillotine-blade of Oblivion that flashes down the instant we expire, severing our flickering selves once and forever after from the tapestries of Eternity? Or do we somehow persist, either in the kinds of afterlife states we’ve pondered through religions and spiritualities for centuries, or even in ways we can’t really even comprehend from these present, mortal vantage points?
I have no scientific proof of anything to offer you in one direction or another. Mostly in this life, when it comes to these kinds of big metaphysical head-scratchers, we’re each of us on our own. We can find vocal support for any view we happen to land on — or wish desperately to land on — but within the inviolable bounds of our heads and hearts here on Earth, we’re kind of stuck with what we each truly feel and believe deep within ourselves. They say you’re born alone, and you die alone, and deep down, no matter what other people might profess around you, you kind of believe alone in a lot of ways, too.
So what do I believe?
Well, I, for one, can’t see death as this wall we run into, or as this hole we fall into, and then there’s just nothingness forever onward after those terminal points. I just don’t believe it works that way. All around us, nature gives us evidence that all of existence is set up in ways that indicate ongoing progressions.
Think about cycles: day and night…rotations of planetary bodies in space…revolutions of those same bodies around central points (such as that of the Moon around the Earth, or the Earth around the Sun)…the seasonal changes these revolutions bring about…the alternating tides that run from low to high and back again… The ends of a given cycle aren’t ENDS, right? Night isn’t the eternal death of daytime forever and ever — we move onward into a new day. Is Winter the end of existence, or at least the end of everything it’s held under its icy sway? Of course not — it just leads into a new Spring, a new season cycle…
Think about the logarithmic spiral, and the many, many ways in which it manifests all around us, in ways both great and small: it informs the creation of shells of marine animals…it describes the approach of a hawk to its prey or of an insect to a light source…it characterizes the progressions of pressure systems within our weather patterns…it appears as the framework for the evolution of far-flung spiral galaxies… spirals such as these may or may not “end” — in terms of our own perceptions, some of them do, but in a more metaphysical sense…do they truly terminate? Or do they continue onward in ways we’re just not equipped to behold?
Think about the concept of octaves. Thanks to the lessons imparted to us by Julie Andrews’ rendition of “Do-Re-Mi” in The Sound of Music, we all know that the primary notes in the musical scale run in a sequence of Do-Re-Mi-Fa-So-La-Ti…which brings us back to Do again. Lather, rinse, repeat, forever and ever, because you never hit some kind of sonic wall at which point music just stops. Sure, our own vocal equipment has limits after which we can’t make audible sound, and the hearing apparatus that we each carry around through the world with us likewise can’t detect sound above or below certain thresholds…but that doesn’t mean sound ceases to exist there. Conceptually, at least, I don’t see how there can be a sort of “absolute zero” floor for sound, or a similar ceiling imposed upon it — I picture music as running onward infinitely in both directions, with a pattern of recurring octaves. Each time we hit “Do,” it’s a different Do, yes…but it’s still a Do. It’s “higher” or “lower” than any other Do, but they resonate together in a sort of cosmic unity, all iterations of each other. So…maybe we spirits are like notes in a cosmic song? Maybe each of us is just one octave-version of a note in some great, metaphysical refrain that’s always playing, and “death” only signifies the point at which this particular sounding of this particular note that we are, gives way to a rest between further notes (and there’s another “cycle” or alteration of a life-thing and a death-thing right there: musical notes, and the silences between them…).
I actually used elements of musical graphic representation and the DNA double helix as my own personal symbol when I jumped into the world of professional occultism because these concepts so describe the nature of our existences for me:
Maybe in some later post, I can even describe a couple of sort of visionary experiences I’ve had that — for me, personally — totally bolster this viewpoint, and further convince me that for our consciousnesses, our very existence is not one that can ever “just end” — existence is a thing of circles and cycles, of wheels within wheels, of fractals and octaves. For now, like I said, I have no scientific evidence of any of this for you, but I feel what I feel, and I believe what I believe, and what I feel and believe is this:
1) We come into this life from out of the womb.
2) We exit this life into the tomb.
3) When we do “die” here, we’ll then realize that while this life was indeed a “life” in and of itself…it was also the womb for the next “life.” Dying here is being born “there,” wherever, whatever that next “there” may be. I kind of presume that the “there” I’m referencing will be a bit more than what our current limited selves can really grok, but not to worry — when we get there, we’ll be ready…
And with those heavy thoughts, I wish you all a Happy Friday, as week cycles onward into weekend, neither ever truly dying, but rather one always feeding into a new version of the other (see how this stuff is everywhere??)…