My close friend and I got into a discussion of “life after death” – and like everyone through the ages, we reached no conclusion. Do I believe in God? “God,” of course, is a word that man made up just as he made up names for everything around him. I do believe in a “universal power” and I’m not sure that anyone can look around at the miracle of a flower and not know that there is something bigger than man that controls our little universe.
Religion is also a man-made phenomenon. Man has always gathered in groups and in his own primitive way, prayed to the “Gods” hoping that his fate would improve. I once had a housekeeper who was a devout Southern Baptist, and a very honest woman. She was totally convinced that only those who believed as she did would go to “heaven.” So I asked her what about the Jews and the Hindus and the Mennonites and the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah’s Witnesses and all the other so-called religions. She didn’t mince words – all t hose people were going to hell. No question in her mind. They were doomed. I can’t believe that. Regardless of what religion we profess, or if we acknowledge no religion, I think we are all in the same boat.
One thing that I observed when tramping around the South Sea Islands was that every one of them had a list of “dos and don’ts” that was almost identical to the Christian Ten Commandments. Now we know that Moses didn’t make it to Bora Bora, yet all of those islands had commandments that were unmistakably a list of what man should, and should not, do. So how did that happen? And these commandments were in effect long before missionaries came to those islands.
Well, my friend and I decided that we hoped there was something after death. I don’t think we will recognize mom and dad as we knew them in this life, but I’m hoping that when I die I won’t wake up the next morning and be “dead.” After all, just living life is hard – there has to be something better than this.