Tag Archives: afterlife

The Unexplainable Terror

Following on the heels of the other dream post, last night I had a nightmare.  I know, most people’s nightmares are pretty realistic and usually grounded in some sort of reality.  An event that could potentially happen.  No, not me.  The things that scare me to death are just… weird.

In most of my dreams, they play out kind of first-person, kind of third-person.  More accurately, it’s like I’m a cameraman in the dream.  I may interact and be party to the events going on, but there are also a lot of wide shots or overhead shots, or views that I could not physically have if I was there.  It’s actually quite typical for the astral plane, which is not bound to any concepts of the physical plane.  But I digress.  I’ll come back to that in a bit.

The part where the dream centers on is where myself and a few people have been placed in a remote location.  Not exactly barren, but there’s no civilization there.  We more or less know each other but we don’t know why we’re there.  We are informed that a nuclear explosion is expected to happen.  It’s not absolutely certain, but it’s highly likely.  The time frame is also unknown, but it’s expected to be soon.  It’s assumed to be an attack from outside, not something we’re doing to ourselves.  Despite this, no one is really freaking out over it.  It’s all delivered and received very matter-of-factly.

This is the unexplainable part.  After being told that essentially we’re all going to die soon in a nuclear blast, it is explained that is not exactly how we’re going to die.  When the first nuclear explosion happens, we will utilize a different weapon for retaliation.  Not much detail is given about this weapon or technology, but when asked about its effect, the explanation is "time will go backwards for about 30 seconds."

That statement still creeps me even now.  I can’t explain why, but I’ll try in a little bit.

Our group passes the time, inexplicably, playing music together in a band format.  We’re figuring out songs that everyone knows and surprising each other with our musical knowledge and breadth of experience.  During one song, me being cameraman, I have a wide shot of the group playing and suddenly the music stops and everyone has been knocked to the ground.  In the distance, a mushroom cloud starts forming.  The time has come.

As cameraman, still, the scene pans to the left to an open field where I know the special weapon is.  Out of the ground, small (like really small, maybe an inch in diameter) metal tubes rise up.  The number sticking in my head is 60, but there were no way 60 in the scene, maybe 8-10.  And they each shot a small cylinder high into the air.  No huge explosion or report – I’m not sure how they were propelled.  A few seconds later, the payloads came back down to the ground and submerged into the ground.  Again, no explosion, they just buried themselves into the ground near the tubes they were released from.

The weapon then started and it appeared like the payloads got sucked back out of the ground and arced back to their tubes, but the motion was choppy and sequenced.  Not all the payloads came back out and the ones that did made a very clear whooshing/shh-ing sounds as they came back out.  And then.. nothing.  Stillness, a freeze-frame.  And I woke up.

I woke up absolutely terrified.  And what I was scared about was not death or dying, but this concept of time going backwards.  As I’ve spent the day pondering why that is so scary to me, the best I can come up with is that in my dream, the smart people have theoretically devised a destruction method that transcends all life.  A nuclear response is simply not enough.  Destroying all life on Earth isn’t enough, even physically destroying the Earth itself isn’t enough.  This weapon has to destroy the entirety of existence, everywhere.  Because no one knows what would really happen if you could reverse time.  The best theory we have is the event horizon of black holes where time slows to nothing and matter is ripped apart at the atomic level.  What could happen if you went beyond that?

And even that explanation doesn’t satisfy me.  It’s assigning a bogeyman to the concept, but it’s the concept itself that scares me.  One of my post-waking thoughts was a consideration of how supposedly everything in our universe is simple vibrations.  Denser matter (the physical) vibrates at a slower frequency and you move into the astral and higher planes of existence the vibrations become higher.  And my mind thought that a sudden shift in time from forward to actual reverse, would disintegrate our beings by disrupting the vibrations in a way that we could not rematerialize again.

That probably doesn’t make any sense.  Let me try and give it some context.  In esoteric philosophy, there is the belief that at our core, we are a soul (an ego, an id) and we present ourselves on different planes of existence by forming bodies of material native to those planes.  Those bodies would be of the vibrational frequency native to the plane.  As you move up in divinity, you shed each denser body to begin life in a higher-frequency body in the higher plane.  Follow that so far?  So now, what if your ego/id/soul was ripped apart even at its highest frequency?  You would no longer exist, period.  Nothing, no one would exist anymore.  It’s the real end-times.  Not just the end of the physical world, but the end of all planes of existence, the end of existence itself.

But, that’s just a weird, funny, unexplainable idea.  I mean the planes of existence concept isn’t even widely considered valid, and no one even knows what time is all about.  Some sources say we’re a unique species that is bound by time, where other, higher forms do not have that constraint.  Oh well.  I guess time will tell what comes of this.  It’s just a dream, right?

I See Dead People

There are some weird things that happen to me while I sleep.  Those that believe would instantly identify it as clairvoyance, and I’m inclined to agree.  However, when people think of being clairvoyant, they think it’s some superpower and you can simply teleport wherever you want and do whatever you want.  In my experience, it’s nothing like that.  You’re not really in control, it’s just like life; you aren’t aware that you are somewhere else or somebody else.  I have three memorable instances, one of which is personal, but the other two are not.  And those two, in true October fashion, are spooky.

The first one (which is actually the second time this happened to me) was a dream where I was walking in the woods.  I can still see the scene in my mind.  I know just how the terrain was.  if I visited the area, I would recognize it.  I was alone and was walking along a very slight hill.  Then, further down the hill, I saw a bear.  Naturally, I was freaked out, but I knew that I had to remain calm because if I suddenly bolted and ran, the bear would give chase.

Unfortunately for me, the bear had noticed me too.  I started walking calmly in a diagonal direction away from the bear, not backwards.  I did not turn my back to the bear because I knew that would be deadly.  To my horror, the bear started walking in a line that would intercept my path.  I couldn’t turn and run; I couldn’t really change course.  It was obvious what the end result was going to be.  And soon, the dream ended.

Imagine my surprise when a couple of days later I saw a news article about a hiker killed in a bear mauling at a park.  And it happened on the same day as my dream.  Pretty coincidental, right?  The article stressed how rare and uncommon bear maulings were.  Makes it seem a little too coincidental.

The other night, I had another “dream” while falling asleep.  No idea why this came into my head, but I was thinking about going overboard on a cruise ship.  One memory was that I slipped on the deck and slid through the railing and over the side.  Another memory was that I was yelling “overboard” and wondering if I should yell “man overboard” if a woman had gone over.  I recall throwing a safety ring and wondering if doing that was even useful because the ring had a rope attached, so it would just be dragged along with the ship, away from the victim.  My last thought was throwing some life jackets from the storage bins on the deck.  Then I started wondering how I could give a report of this incident.  I wasn’t sure if “Port side” was the left or the right of the ship.  And then the dream ended.

And the next morning, I saw a news article that someone had gone overboard on a cruise out of Texas overnight.  What another coincidence.  Unlike my bear dream, where I read about it a couple of days later, this was just the previous night.  Sure, people fall off ships all the time.  And speaking of time, the emergency call to the Coast Guard was at 8:45 at night.  I normally go to bed around 9:00 or so and usually flop around a lot before settling down enough to sleep.  So that would suggest my dream wasn’t real-time and would actually be a recollection.  However, that’s 8:45 Central Time in Texas, and in my time zone, it would be 9:45, just about the time I would be falling asleep.  Was I the guy sliding off the deck?  Was I the person calling for help and throwing things off the ship?  Was I there while this was happening?

So what if this is a real ability?  Is it useful?  Is it enviable?  Not that I can see.  First, it’s not controllable; it’s totally random.  Second, there’s no context of anything.  I wouldn’t be able to call a park ranger and say, “Someone was killed in your park yesterday by a bear.”  What park?  Where?  How do I even know it was real?  It’s only useful in hindsight, when you can’t have any impact on the situation.

Gone Girl

I was waiting in line to check out and the people behind the counter were talking obliviously.  You know, some people just don’t realize they’re talking in public.  I wasn’t really paying any attention to them until I heard, “Yeah, they found her body out back.”  And I, and probably anyone else that would have heard that, understood that we are talking about someone who died.

On my way out of the store, I started thinking about how curious our language is and how we say things that have a very specific meaning.  Also, that those things we say have a deeper philosophical meaning.  She said, “they found her body”, not “they found her”.  It’s a statement that says your body is a part of you or belongs to you, but it is not you.  It’s like “they found her shoes out back”, but no one would ever say, “I got halfway to work and realized I forgot my body.  Mondays, right?”

When we talk about people, we are usually unintentionally talking about their soul or spirit.  Statements like “Is he still with us?” or “No, he’s gone” are usually not talking about the physical aspect of a person.  And I sort of find that weird that this concept is accepted among the faithful and the not.  Even among the most atheist, there’s still a believe that when you’re dead, you are apart from your body.  I would guess that even if they don’t believe in an afterlife or a spirit, they can’t just erase that person from their memory, so in a sense, that person does live on, at least in their mind.

And although it’s a little contrived, this language lends support to the concept that you are not your body.  Your physical appearance isn’t what defines you.  People that believe in auras and astral bodies would wholeheartedly agree with that.

The Long Lost Tail Of Rump

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve become petless.  Last night I had a browse on the website of my local SPCA, which was sad – reading the stories of how these cats came to the shelter.  Then I followed that up with a browse of my county animal control website, which was sadder in that the pets didn’t really have backstories, just how old the cat was and how long they’d been at the facility.  I concluded with browsing the “lost pets”, which left me rather broken, because these cats had no story at all and only a single portrait taken in their arrival carrier, looking despondent and/or scared to death.

Part of the reason the “lost pets” section affected me so much was that I have a personal experience with it, which reminded me that I have yet to write my tribute to my lost companion.  So without further delay, here is her story.

On Halloween of 2005, I went outside on my way to the neighbor’s house for a small holiday get-together.  Just outside, in the driveway, was a cat.  My neighborhood has many stray cats running around, so it wasn’t anything too unusual.  I squatted down and called to the visitor and to my surprise, she came running right over and pressed against me.  None of the other cats have ever been interested in attention before, so I found this strange.  She let me pick her up, so I did and carried her across the street to show my (now ex-)wife.  A dog that was at the party scared the cat out of my arms and I just shrugged the whole incident off.


The next day, my ex tells me the cat is now hanging around at the house.  I wasn’t interested in another cat, we got one for free when we bought the house.  But unfortunately, the ex had fed the new cat already, so I suppose she’s ours now.

We made plans to get her all caught up on her shots before we brought her into the house with the other cat.  I made the vet appointment for later in the week.  However, the next day, the new cat stopped coming around.  The food went untouched for a couple of days and my ex started getting worried.  I was less worried, thinking the cat had just gone back to her original family, or someone else adopted her and took her inside without the same level of preparations we were making.

The ex couldn’t be talked out of this, so she started going out and looking for the cat and talking to people she met, asking if they’d seen a cat around that had no tail.  A couple more days of this and someone tipped her off that a house at the end of the street traps the neighborhood strays and turns them in to animal control.  The ex calls animal control and asks about the tailless cat.  Unsurprisingly, they are of no help on the phone and say we have to come to them to find out if the cat is there.  So that becomes the priority for the next day.

dsc02115We arrive at the animal control shelter and they take us to the incoming cages.  In these long cages are numbers of cats.  We see the first cage, not there.  The next cage, not there, just some kittens climbing the chain link.  The next cage, not there.  We get to the last cage (the one I assume is the last stop before the back room) and call her hastily-chosen name, “Rump”, and one cat, in the back of the cage, gets up and quickly trots to the front, shying away from her hissing companions.

To say we were happy is quite an understatement.  To look back and consider the situation, it was really miraculous – that we got there just in time to prevent Rump from being euthanized, that Rump recognized us immediately after only spending a couple of days with us, and that Rump knew we were there to get her.

wp_20160416_001We were then shown into an office where an officer discussed the case with us.  The officer asked if Rump was our cat.  We said, no, she’s a stray, but we have a vet appointment for her.  The officer told us that we can’t adopt her because she’s feral.  This perplexed us.  How did they make that determination?  Apparently, Rump was not very pleasant with the impounding officer.  Her intake photo (the one that ends up on “lost pets”) showed her screaming at the camera through a cage.  The ex indignantly told the officer that’s how any cat would feel if she was being manhandled by a stranger.  I tried to be a bit more diplomatic and asked if there was any other way we could adopt her.  There was no adoption route for Rump, but we could claim her as our pet and we would have to pay fines and fees for the impoundment.  We would have to provide proof of vaccinations and neutering.  Additionally, I would have to attend a “responsible pet owner” education class.  I agreed to all of it.

dsc02089I signed a lot of paperwork and paid a fair amount of money to release Rump from prison, then it was off to the vet.  As it turns out, the vet appointment I had made earlier was that actual day.

I found out Rump was already spayed and she got her shots, which kind of doped her up for the rest of the day.  But she was now allowed inside and was given a soft bed to sleep in, closed in on the lanai.  This was her space for a while until the vaccinations settled in and also until she got used to seeing our other cat.

wp_000077The existing cat, Bubbles, was never very fond of Rump, and the feeling was mutual.  Rump would stalk Bubbles throughout the house and worst of all, when she was in the litter box.  This went on for a very long time, despite the few times where they would actually tolerate each other enough to be on the bed at the same time.

Rump’s experience with being a stray, combined with sharing the house with another cat caused her to do a lot of stress eating.  If there was food, she was going to eat it.  Bubbles used to be fine with leaving dry food down all day, but with Rump in the house too, Rump would eat it all.  I assume Rump was constantly in fear that there wouldn’t be another meal or that Bubbles would eat it all, leaving nothing for her.  It was impossible to convince her otherwise.  As you would expect, Rump became very plump.

Time went on, and my ex moved out and moved on with her life, and Bubbles eventually became old and had to be put to sleep, leaving Rump as the sole queen of the house.  Without Bubbles, her diet became normal again and she went down to a less obese weight, but remained flappy.

dsc02080Rump was always a dog-like cat, as most Manx cats are reported to be.  One of her most distinct behaviors was leaning her haunch against your leg, like a dog.  She was a rough-and-tumble cat, playing rough was enjoyable for her.  She could get mad at you, but would make up with you the very next second.

Rump loved everyone she ever met.  She was very kind, friendly, and outgoing.  She enjoyed being the center of attention; the more people that were around, the more she would show off – racing in and out of the room or leaping between countertops to get attention.

Rump was a loving companion for 13 years and had a personality that showed two cat-skeptics that cats can be affectionate and trusting instead of aloof and brooding.  All in all, a good life for everyone involved.


I dig a well / I dig it deep / And for my only love / I plant a cedar tree / The best / The best we ever had
Cedar Tree – Indigo Girls

It Must Be Said

Grief is a strange phenomena.  It’s more than strange, it’s insidious.  It lies in wait and pounces when you least expect it.  And sometimes it refuses to come out no matter how much you demand it to.

The grieving process is exceptionally singular.  No one can do it for you.  No one can tell you how to do it properly.  There’s no training for it, it’s simply a core emotion.  It would be hard to say grief is instinctual, since it’s closer to an expression of our individual personality.

So indulge me for a short while as I try to work through some of this difficulty and achieve some closure.  As much as I would love to write the tribute first and deal with the messy circumstances afterwards, where they could be reviewed sans emotion, I feel that ignoring the details of the experience might be akin to letting a wound remain sealed up to fester, instead of opening it up and airing it out to heal.

The grief I am processing is the loss of my cat of 13 years, Rump.  Her actual age is unknown, but she was an aged cat and had been showing signs of slowing down.  But with each of my three cats I’ve had in my life, the end is always brought about by a sudden physical disability that requires euthanasia.

Rump’s first sign of trouble was a few weeks ago when I noticed she was becoming very picky about what wet food she wanted to eat.  Around the same time, I noticed she wasn’t eating as much, or any, of her dry food.  She lost weight rapidly and her sides became sunken in.  She also became less social.  These symptoms also happened with my first cat, Mess, and although I’d never had it diagnosed, I assumed it was kidney trouble.

Very soon afterwards, Rump could not stand up on her hind legs and her right rear leg seemed weak.  Thinking the end was near, I started the golden treatment.  She was fed tuna fish twice a day, which she enjoyed immensely.  The fresh intake of food started filling her out and her leg strength came back.  This inspired hope, so I scheduled a vet appointment to see if her current condition was treatable.

The vet said that the hind leg issue was simply arthritis and the lack of eating was due to pain from an abcessed tooth.  They would need to extract the tooth, which was a fairly routine procedure and cats typically bounce right back after 12 hours.  So the surgery was scheduled and performed.  Along with the tooth extraction, Rump was caught up on all her shots.

When I picked Rump up from the vet, I was told she shouldn’t eat or drink for a few more hours, and that she was probably still a little dopey from the pain meds and anesthetic.  I followed their directions for that night.  Later that night, she got a little food, which she devoured.  I was a little concerned about the unsteadiness she was exhibiting.  She walked very unbalanced and was very distant.

Before bed, I checked up on Rump again, since she wasn’t coming to me, still being anti-social.  I was told the meds should wear off by 11 or so and it was around that time.  But when I comforted her and gave her attention, she just had a distant gaze.  One moment she turned sharply and stared down the hall, like she saw something.  Then she walked away from me and sat in front of the sliding glass door, staring at her reflection.  It was the most foreboding behavior I’d ever seen from her.  It was when I started to worry.

Rump did not come to visit me that night in bed.  When I woke up, she was sitting in the bedroom doorway, guarding the room.  Before leaving for work, I gave her a full portion of wet food, which she cleaned up in a hurry.  Her gait was still unstable, her back legs were weak.  I was happy to see her eat enthusiastically, but was concerned about her legs.

When I came home from work, Rump did not meet me at the door.  I called for her and she didn’t come.  Remembering how Mess began hiding when his legs started giving out, I started searching the house, dreading what I would find.  I found that Rump had been in the bean bag, because there was a puddle of urine in it.  Incontinence is a death knell, so my worry started settling into emotional preparation for what was to come.  I looked under the bed, I looked in the closet, then I noticed that Rump was curled in her bed in the bedroom, right behind me.  She didn’t make any sound of acknowledgement.

She had also urinated in that bed and had no interest in climbing out for me.  I picked her up, which brought out a pained meow and stood her up on the floor.  Her front right leg was paralyzed and her back legs were extremely weak.  Rump immediately went back into her bed and curled up.  So, this is it.

I called the vet, who told me to call a 24-hr vet hospital since their doctor had already left for the day.  I called the vet hospital and briefly explained that I needed put my cat down.  They set me up with an appointment in an hour.  It would take me about that long to drive there, too.

Rump was loaded up in the cat carrier because she proved mobile enough to jump – jump – out of her bed as I was carrying her in her bed to the car.  A stubborn bitch to the end.  The drive was long and somber.  Rump was quiet the whole way and rubbed against my fingers that were poked through the cage door.  At one stop light, I thought I could open the cage door and get my whole hand in there to pet her.  Nope, as soon as the door opened, Rump started pushing her way out.  Stubborn!

In the exam room at the hospital, I opened the carrier.  Rump charged out and I explained to the assistant that Rump just had surgery yesterday.  The assistant said, “And this is the result?”  It’s something I will probably never forget because of its (probably unintended) insensitivity.  I never intended to blame anyone for this.  Rump is an old cat and there are certainly risks with surgery, plus getting a heavy load of booster shots.  You can only hope for the best.

Rump and I waited for the vet to come in seated on the bench seat.  At times she was docile, other times, she wanted to roam.  I kept her by my side and tried to keep her calm.  The vet came in, checked Rump out and confirmed what we were going to do.  Then he took Rump back for weighing and installing an IV catheter to administer the drugs.

She was brought back to the room and I continued holding her on the seat.  The vet came back with a wee pad and a large pink towel that I could wrap Rump in.  He explained that they would be taking care of the billing soon, which is something I felt down about.  The last couple of times I’ve put my cats down, they perform the procedure, give you your time, then you leave and you get a bill in the mail, after a respectable period.  This paying in advance stuff was slightly hurtful for me.

At this time, Rump was alternating between sitting at my side against me and lying on her side on the bench.  I leaned down and listened to her chest.  No purring and a quick, light heartbeat.  She didn’t exactly seem “with it”, just dazed and staring.  On some level she was probably happy for me to be there, but I don’t think she was able to be interactive.  Rump then decided she wanted to be on the table, so I hoisted her up to the table onto the towel and she laid down right away.  I wrapped her up in the towel, to which she did not protest.  It’s not something she would ever have allowed before.

Once on the table and wrapped up in the towel, Rump fairly surrendered.  She stayed motionless and occasionally, I would check her heartbeat.  It seemed to be fading quickly.  I thought if the doctor doesn’t hurry up and get in here, Rump is going to go all on her own.  Then it struck me.  Maybe I had misheard everything.  Maybe this was the euthanization and Rump was going to fade off to sleep slowly.  That’s radically different than anything I’d been a part of before.  I stepped out of the room and asked if that’s what was going on.  A vet tech came back and clarified that no drugs had been administered yet.

When I went back into the room, Rump had her head raised, but put it right back down when I came back to her side.  She stayed still as the doctor eventually came in to clarify once more the procedure and the choices I had made.  And we went forward with it, what’s more to say?

The procedure itself was quite peaceful, since Rump was already so close to the end.  There was no struggle, gasp, or sigh.  And of course the immediate mourning came on, but it was relatively brief.  I headed home with an empty carrier and waves of tears.

Which brings me back to the grieving process.  In this case, I never really have had a total breakdown.  I will get a wave of sorrow, which brings on the sobbing, but then I straighten back up again and continue on.  Relating to current events, it’s more like the Kilauea volcano and less like the St. Helens volcano.  And until the pressure subsides, there will be unexpected lava flows.

Something I’ve been trying to keep in mind is a concept explained in Theosophy.  The phrase I use for the concept is slightly crass, but is meant to reduce the seriousness of death: “back to the bucket.”  To impossibly simplify the lessons of Theosophy, there are two things to consider.  First, humans have a soul that evolves over many lifetimes through reincarnation.  Souls are unique personalities, shown that every human on earth is unique.  Second, animals are still evolving into unique personalities and until they reach that point, have a “shared soul”.  The analogy is that animals are born and a portion of a single soul is instilled in them from a “bucket”.  The animal lives its life and when it dies, all that it has learned and experienced is returned to the bucket for all future incarnations to learn from.

So, when you comment that your pet “has personality” and you notice how your pet forms relationships with humans and seems to genuinely care for humans, you are witnessing the evolution of an animal soul.  If you have participated in that growth, by showing care and compassion and demonstrating trust and forging that relationship, you are contributing positive experiences to your pet’s next incarnation, when they go “back to the bucket.”

Considering that Rump found and chose me 13 years ago, which was about a year and a half after losing Mess, it’s not unfathomable that she chose me based on experiences from the same bucket as Mess.  It’s also not unfathomable that I will see her again in her next life.

Upon Death

There’s a lot of people who are a little or maybe more than a little disturbed by my acceptance of death.  It’s just not a fear of mine and I have no issue with its eventuality.  I’m not even going to try and avoid it.

With such a straightforward view of death, it would make sense that I approach it in a straightforward way.  Everyone keeps harping on the point that you have to have a will.  Yes you should have a will if you own any significant possessions, and of course I do have one.  But there’s another document you need and I imagine many people don’t think of this.  It’s the “Upon Death” document.

Quite simply, this document explains what needs to be done after you die.  It’s like a corporate succession plan.  It can be the document that makes your departure much easier to bear for everyone left.  Think about it, aside from the feeling of loss of your company, what’s the biggest worry people are going to have?  They’re going to worry that they don’t know anything about you and don’t know where to begin to fill your shoes.

The Upon Death document needs to clearly spell out a few things to get people up and going.

  • Your mobile phone PIN and all your passwords
  • All your financial accounts/insurance policies
  • Where to find more documentation
  • Non-family members (business clients) that need contacted
  • How to do things that you did exclusively


If you’re doing it right and you are using a password manager, this one is easy.  Just give the master password to your password manager file.  Otherwise, you are going to need to list out all the username and passwords for the sites you visit.  At a minimum, you’ll need to provide your email account password so your successor can reset passwords on other accounts and access your email to complete the process.  Also, don’t leave out your phone PIN, if you use one, and your username and password to your computers.


Again, if you’re doing it right and you use a Personal Finance Manager (PFM) like Quicken or Money, you just direct people to that file.  It should have all your account numbers in it, ideally with contact information also.  Most PFMs don’t have good support for insurance policies, so include any policies in the document.  Don’t forget many banks have a small life insurance policy on their account holders, so check and see who has them and who to contact for them.  Your employer may have a life insurance policy as well.  Help your successor as much as possible here.


If you have contacts outside your family, let your successor know what needs done now that you are gone.  Maybe you work for an organization and you have some of their property or equipment.  You need to get that back to them.  Maybe you are a consultant and you may have uncompleted work for them.  You need to get the latest work to them.  If there’s anything some needs to take over, your successor has to pass along that info.  You need to tell them what must be done and how it is to be done.


This one is open-ended.  If there’s stuff you did that no one else knows about or you know some tips or secrets that need passed on, here’s where you do it.  Maybe the A/C unit freezes up and you’re the one that always fixes it.  That needs explained.  Maybe you manage the home network.  A basic overview can be of help here.  Maybe you can give suggestions as to who would be best to handle tasks in your absence.  Maybe one friend is good at mechanical issues and another is good at computers.

Finally, let someone know this document exists.  Keep it with your will.  If you have a safe deposit box, keep it in the envelope with your will.  Banks will let next of kin do a will search on a safe deposit box, where they can take the will out, but can’t get anything else until they can claim ownership of the account.

In summary, this document is filled with the things you would say from the afterlife if you saw your family and loved ones struggling to figure out everything that you did for them when you were there.  Everyone says, “I don’t want to be a burden” when they are living.  Few people think of how to avoid being a burden after they die.

Coming Back

Recently, I’ve had a slight uptick in my interest in reincarnation.  Reincarnation is something I’ve believed in for some time now.  If you’re curious about it, you can read a few books like Many Lives, Many Masters and Elementary Theosophy, or read case studies of verified reincarnates at http://www.iisis.net.

The Internet is making rediscovery of past lives all the easier, and I was wondering if there should be created a website where a person could voluntarily submit their information to be discovered when researching past lives.

Some of the data points that could be recorded would be:

  • Facial photos at different ages
  • Birthmarks or significant scars
  • Phobias
  • Date of birth (and death if submitted by estate executor)
  • Natural talents or skills

I could see that someone could set up their own profile and set a “publish date”, so their personal information wouldn’t be searchable until after an expected death.  It seems like most people reincarnate between 50-100 years after death, so you could set a publish date far into the future.

One of the issues is, what will the website be in 50-100 years?  Will it be around and if so, it will be run on whatever the current technology is for the era.  Fascinating to think of that possibility.

The larger issue is, what would anyone get out of this?  It seems that reincarnates don’t really care about their past lives.  It’s probably a nice curiosity, and may be beneficial in working through irrational fears, but for the most part, your lives are not a continuance of a single life.

I think the broader message that needs to be made is that reincarnation is a real thing.  And by realizing and accepting this, racism, classism, sexism, and hatred should subside.  After all, you have no guarantee of what body you are going to come back into.  What if Nazis knew their next life could be that of a Jew?  What if Boko Haram or any other Islam extremists knew that they could come back on the other side of the fight?

Dream Log

Had a weird dream a few nights ago.  So weird, I had to keep reminding myself about it so I wouldn’t forget it like most dreams.

I was on this trip or tour or excursion with a bunch of people to a massive art project.  It was in a huge, multi-story building and the project was by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.  The building was probably 12 stories high, but for whatever reason, we were going to start at level 9.  The idea was to work your way down to the bottom while taking in the sights.

The sights, as designed by the artist, were simply rooms presenting a different scene.  These scenes represented the gamut of emotional responses, from boring, to humorous, to shocking, to familiar, and on and on.  Very much something David Byrne would come up with.

The thing about the exhibit is that it was such a massive building, you couldn’t see all the scenes in one visit and that was how it was designed.  You would be on a guided tour and maybe the guide was showing you scenes in a particular order to create the expected emotional responses, not unlike how a song evokes emotions, or in longer form, a concert.  Still, very Byrne-esqe.

One of the ridiculous, obviously-a-dream details is that because there was no defined path through the building and you couldn’t tell your way around from room to room, a path was created with mud that had the consistency of chocolate pudding.  You would just walk through the muddy path, following the guide.

Well, another tourist and I decided that we didn’t want to miss out on any of the rooms in the exhibit, so we were going to break from the pack and see as much as we could.  It was understood that this behavior wasn’t discouraged, so we did it.  After seeing a couple of other rooms, we wondered how we were going to keep track of which rooms we’d seen already.  I had the idea of smearing some of the guide path mud on the door so we could identify which we’d seen already.  It was a good idea and we continued, eventually lagging behind and losing our group.

Now alone, I started to get a little concerned about being in this huge building where the rooms connected without any sense and some looked very similar to others so you couldn’t exactly make your way through it with memory.  Then I noticed that the group’s muddy trail was drying up and disappearing…

As that fear was building in me, I turned to my companion and asked if the desk we were at was the same one we had seen just a little bit ago.  I looked closely at it but couldn’t tell if I had smeared some mud on it or not.  And it this point, I kind of knew we were lost.

I woke up shortly after that.  As I kept reminding myself of some of the details, I started coming up with more things that could have happened, but I think those were probably influenced memories.

If I Only Didn’t Have a Day Job

To go along with all my other damn posts about missing out on inspiration because of life,  I found this in my drafts – a beginning to a short story I wanted to write.  It was going to be about how life is sort of a game played by spirits in the afterlife.  Your spirit controls your body and tries to make it live as long as possible.  Real-life Sims, I guess.  Steve meets one of the “monitors”, who supervise “gameplay”…

“And then the ambulance just rolled away with no lights or anything.  Much different than when the person is still alive, huh?”

Although he tried to make it sound humorous, there was little in his voice that indicated it.  There was only a dull monotone that sounded like the shock hasn’t passed yet.

“But Steve, it really wasn’t your fault.  From what you’ve told me, it isn’t.”

And that part was legally true.  No charges from the police.  No insurance hassles.  The woman had pulled out in front of him and he…

“Yup.  I couldn’t do anything.  Couldn’t do anything but kill her.”  Steve wasn’t making himself feel any better by relating his story.  Wasn’t that what was supposed to happen?  “Get it out” and all?

His sounding board, Paul, had no comforting retort for Steve this time.  He could only sit and silently provide support.  Paul had known Steve for many years.  Although they weren’t what you would call best friends, they would get together often enough to keep a friendship strong.

Paul was exactly what Steve needed right now.  Someone who wasn’t too close that would be shaken by his recent accident and the effect it had on him, but also someone close enough that would actually care about him getting over this.

“It’s shit like this that makes me question everything in life, Paul.  Why her, why now, why not me?  You talk to the religious types and they say ‘God has a plan for everyone.’  And you talk to the non-religious and they say ‘That’s life, dude.’  I have to say, there’s gotta be something in the middle.”

Paul looked down at the mug of coffee in front of him.  “Let him talk it out,” he thought.

“I started reading a lot lately.  Looking for some reasoning.  I came across this thing called Theosophy, which is supposed to explain the whole life and death process, without religiousness.  Or at least that’s what I got out of it.  I read other books about after-death communications.  So I have all these ideas about karma and purposes and reincarnation, but even considering all that, it still doesn’t make any sense as to why.”

Paul looked back up at Steve.  “Why what?”

“Just, why.  Why did it happen.  When you think about ‘God’s plan’ or predestiny or even some weird cosmic theory that someone dies so that someone else can learn a lesson.  There’s the big debate about free will in there, too.  It just seems… random.”

A figure in the booth behind Steve spoke up.  “It’s calculated.”

“Excuse me?”  Steve half turned around, not sure whether to be annoyed at the eavesdropping or intrigued at the stranger’s certainty in his declaration.

“It is calculated, or I should say, pre-calculated.  The outcome isn’t really known, but the scenario is a generated one based on known factors,” the stranger explained in a matter-of-fact way.  “The outcome will change a lot of future events, events that were pre-planned, but get adjusted with current data.”



Just a little behind the times on this one.  I’ve heard a lot of this “YOLO” thing going on, and after some consideration, I’ve chosen to redefine it.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Theosophy, the main point of it is that, as souls, we are constantly evolving through the process of reincarnation.  With each life, we are put here to learn lessons and pay back Karmic debt built up over previous lives.  As you go through these lives, you build inherent skills, which are displayed as natural talent; wisdom, which is shown as common sense; and other intangible skills like spirituality and tolerance.  “You can’t take it with you” is only for material goods.  Your soul’s qualities persist.

So, accepting the teachings of Theosophy,  you can imagine there have been souls who have been through many different lifetimes.  Some have learned their lessons well and gained all the skill, wisdom, and wholesomeness from each lifetime.  Others haven’t learned and still continue to be cruel, greedy, and intolerant.  The world is full of both types of people, you can’t doubt this.

But the world is also full of many more people.  More people on this Earth than ever before.  More bodies, more souls.  These bodies must be filled with young souls, those who have not had the experience of many lifetimes to learn how to be good.  Many that have to pay back Karmic debt through lack and suffering.  Some that are learning from their current situation, and a lot that are not.  It takes a long time to learn some lessons.

You can see this in the attitude of the younger generations.  You can see it every day in so many people.  It’s a sense of desperation.  Even driving in the city, you can sense the desperation in how people drive.  They must pull out in front of you, because they feel if they don’t, they will never get in.  Never.  That’s how the world is behaving.  Now or never.

These people don’t understand that this life is nothing.  There will be so many more lives to enjoy if you live this life right.  If you don’t, you’ll make up for it next time.  And hopefully, you’ll learn it that time.

So, for all the desperate people and their rally cry: “You Only Live Once!” I respond knowingly, “No, You’ve Only Lived Once.”