Like most of you, I have at various times in my life, asked myself the meaning of life, the purpose of life and where does one go after life. The onset of old age has caused me to visit these questions with greater vim and vigour. Not because I want answers to these questions – for I have satisfied myself with answers many years ago while still in my early twenties – but more with the purpose of trying to understand how others have arrived at their conclusion to the meaning of life, the purpose of life and where one go after life. And I do so not with any intent to quibble or belittle their conclusion to these questions but more with the intent of being able to understand how we all differ from each other.
The uncertainties of life’s events invariably brings into focus, for most of us, the most certain event in the lives of all of us – death. Yet as certain as death is for all of us, when we die and how we die is anyone’s guess.
Some of us are driven to try and prolong life for as long as they can and in anyway they can.
Some accept the inevitability of death but believe that there is life after death. They prepare for that life in many ways - through religious beliefs, spirituality, doing good unto others, karma …guided by the belief that what they do in their life now will have a bearing on what sort of life they will have after death.
And some continue to seek for answers even as the ravages of time and old age invariably and inevitably demand that they conclude their search sooner rather than later.
I know that death is inevitable. To my knowledge, no one has returned from being dead. Common sense tells me that there is no life after death. So what do I do to prepare for death?
I have lived my life as I wished with adjustments willingly made when my wife, and later our children, came into my life. Today at 67 I am at a place which can be construed by some to be the result of a life lived without the benefit of spiritual adherence. Some would say that I am now reaping the benefits of an itinerant life lived without much thought for the norms of society…..and there will be some who will asks me how is it that I can think of leaving my country of birth to settle elsewhere?
Believe you me that I have asked all these questions of myself and I know that there is nothing in my life that I would have done different.
And yet I see around me people intent upon preparing themselves for the life hereafter. There are a multitudes of houses of worship catering for many from the myriads of religion that one can find on this earth. Jehovah, Scientology, Buddhist, Christians and that fastest growing religion of our world – Islam, just to name a few.
A devout Muslim, a born again Christian, the ever sublime Buddhist all have within their fold believers eager to go forth and convert the non-believers even as these non-believers are at times inclined to tell them to go forth and multiply themselves!
Who is right? Which God is the God to end all Gods? If religion comes from these God why are men tinkering and interpreting these tenets to serve their own agenda and doing so in the name of these Gods and these religion?
I do not have answers to these question to satisfy anyone but myself. I know enough today to tell myself that life is to be lived as you think fit but be mindful that others too are entitled to live their lives as they think fit.