Sounds morbid but the older I get the more I think of being closer to death. I think everyone must think of this at one time or another after they pass 70, then 80, then, well, then 90 but I’m not sure after 90 that people don’t just change and think of living another year, or two, or to some age goal they arbitrarily set for themselves.
I don’t worry about death–I know it will come some day and there are some days I would not mind as much as others. These are the times when I wonder why I have been so lucky to have lived this long. As the third oldest living male in my family (the oldest cousin is a super jock and still playing basketball at the age of 77 or 78, and the next oldest is a sloth-like creature who lives the solitary life of an alligator with his mate and daughters. I am neither a jock, nor a sloth, altho lately I have been sitting more and walking less and despite self-promises to change, I am still finding excuses.
So in a one-sided email to a friend who is, for reasons of anonymity, closer to death than I probably am, I asked if they thought about death and an afterlife and what they imagined if any were, what would they be. I used to say that I once wanted to return as a woman so I could make love all day and night and not worry about erections, but then I thought it would be better to come back as a dog in a Jewish Household, but somewhere that changed to being a first-born son in a Vietnamese household. That last thought carries too much responsibility with it, as it is your job to support the family and take your parents into your home as soon as they decide they don’t want to work anymore. I could have done it for MY parents, for they were truly special people, but I couldn’t think of any two other people in the world I would want to do that for.
So, what’s left? If I consider what I read in Dr Brian Weiss’ book, MANY LIVES, MANY MASTERS, to be true, then I WILL be back again and again, perhaps as a woman, or some other configuration, until I get it right (what’s “IT”?) and I will keep transcending levels, moving up or even down if I did a crappy job in a particularly heinous life. Maybe, just maybe, I will eventually achieve that something which will allow me to move into a different plane entirely. If this is true, then certainly it will be an interesting journey.
The wonderful movie, SOMEWHERE IN TIME, starring Jane Seymour and Superman, showed the characters being brought together after death in their young bodies, beautiful and sexy. That would be the ideal, wouldn’t it. After all, returning as another person in this corpulent body with the wrinkles and sags would not be pleasant. I would hope that G-d, who has been really great to me ALL my life, wouldn’t do that. I want the body of Superman, aka Christopher Reeves (I forgot his name before!), one of those usually gentile appearing bodies with a 6-pk of Abs, defined muscles, and a solidly squarish chin. Even in my best, strongest, lightest day (when I left my Kibbutz) at 160 lbs, 6 ft tall, hard muscled body I had no definition, no six-pk. I’ve been the blob, now please can I be “The Bod”?
People have explained to me that Dr. Weiss’ book parallels Buddhism, and that the top level is really enlightenment. If so, that’s OK. When I lived in Thailand I went to so many Temples that some enlightenment had to rub off on me.