Hello Goodbye

As Jo’s car travelled through the air towards the oncoming lorry he knew that this was it. He was toast.
Time didn’t slow down for him and there wasn’t a slow motion replay of his life. There wasn’t even time for a banal or irrelevant thought such as about the washing up or penguins.
Just a brief moment of dread.
And then?
Less than a second of avalanching high speed metal as it sliced through his body and crushed into his head
And then?
No pain. No longer any sense of body. No feelings, no sight, sound, dread.
But still awareness.
‘Hello, goodbye, Jo said a voice.
He no longer had ears or a head yet somehow there were words. And they were familiar. He felt he had heard the voice before, known it was there all along. Like a presence in a dream he had experienced over and over. A dream he only dimly remembered.
He was awake now wasn’t he? He wasn’t dead?
‘You aren’t dead, and you aren’t awake, and you aren’t dreaming’ said the voice. The words just appeared in consciousness. Like sycamore seeds spinning gently down to earth. Again he had a strong sense of déjà vu. Of course, of course! It was comfortingly familiar.
‘Remind me who you are’ he managed.
‘I am you and you are me and we are all together.’
‘A quote from the Beatles?’
‘Yes the Beatles – who are also you and me.’
‘We’re the Beatles?’
‘Yes, and the egg man and the walrus.’ The voice was laughing. ‘We are all things. We’re not separate. There is no ‘you’ and no ‘me’. ’
‘Run that by me again – we are all things….!?’
‘There isn’t a ‘me’ to run it past. Jo doesn’t exist separately and never did.
‘You could have fooled me. It felt like I was alive.’
‘Yes in a sense ‘you’ were fooled by ‘us’. ‘We’ sent Jo and billions of other minute parts into life for a purpose.’

It was coming back now. A blissful sense of being one, and of being nothing at the same time. God how could he have forgotten? He remembered the peace so clearly. A lake so still that the reflections are perfect. You could rotate it upside down and not know the difference. Jo was ceasing to be aware of Jo.
‘So, there’s nothing to worry about?’
‘No’ said the voice. It was smiling now.
‘And the purpose is?’
‘The purpose is, and was, to create. To create beauty out of the void. To do this ‘we’ had to transcend cause and effect. ‘Your’ life was part of that creative process. Here’s how it works: a minute part of the whole ‘volunteered’ to think it was separate. At the point it volunteered it submitted to amnesia and a sperm and an egg joined up and Jo was conceived. So there was an unjoining and a joining up at the same time and everything remained in a sense the same. The lake reflecting perfectly, above and below – it’s all the same. It was also at this point that the minute part began experiencing ‘time‘ as separate from ‘itself’. ‘We’ are actually infinite and eternal – and not separate – and time is just an adjective that is used to deconstruct us and describe us as a process. It is only the minute parts that experience time.’
‘But what was the reason for Jo – and the other minute parts?’
‘This is how something came out of nothing. It is the cumulative effect of billions of minute parts acting in apparent separateness. We send off the minute parts on their voyages into apparent separateness in order to generate the real separateness from nothing that we have achieved in the universe. The minute parts have to believe that they are separate in order to experience ‘free will’ – those infinitesimally small junctures where they can make apparent choices, in time. It is the accumulation of those moments when they actually do transcend the conditions of dependence that has created the universe. Over time there have been an infinite number of them – so although they are infinitesimally small they add up to something – because time itself is infinite – and in a sense ‘our’ construction.
Sorry you had to suffer though, Jo. This is the inevitable result of feeling separate. Everything is actually tranquil and together but the minute parts don’t usually know this. Welcome home Jo. Hello and goodbye.’

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2 thoughts on “Hello Goodbye

  1. OK Wyon, this comment continues our discussion about your death-tinted glasses. I write it here as “Hello Goodbye” seems to fit into the equation. Your explanation is seductive. It confirms the old maxim “Be happy while you’re living, you’re a long time dead!”. I get hat you are tauting something much more ethreal than being happy for one can exalt in the awesomeness of life even in suffering (“Welcome Sufering”). Taken a step further your thesis seems to say that the pharaoh’s or modern Christian’s views of death are pacebos which detract from our need to savour every living moment wihch we are given. So, I accept your urge that we constantly remind ourselves to savour our existances and even your suggestion that you (we) may need death-tinted glasses. But then, I wonder why this poignant and well-wrtiten story about an existance after death which appears to transcend the awesomeness of the living world around us.
    Bottom line is that I still dispute “Death-tinted Glasses” although I think that I now understand your meaning. For my part I remain in awe of all specie’s overwhelming urge to procreate. I can see that you could fit this into your death-inted glasses equation as the need ot prolong or share the awsomeness and miracle of this world though the creation of other beings wtith whom we share our enjoyment But death-tinetd glasses…
    Yes you are also right that Madi’s birth does focus me on the wonder and delights of new ife, but also be reminded that I, as someone ten years your senior, am acutely aware of those death-tinted glasses they rermind me every morning when I arise with aching bones.
    This excursion into philosophy may be further than I need to go so cheerio and savour your day,
    love, Jane
    PS On another level completely do you know a way to get these “comments” spell-checked? As you may recall I am a lousy speller and am also a poor typist (artihtic fingers refuse to type where they are supposed to). The combination makes writing here take a while. JS

    • Thanks Jane for pushing your arthritic fingers to make an interesting response and I am glad to receive any reply as the matter is so close to my heart.
      I feel the need to underline here though that I am not being proscriptive. If you have alternative routes to ‘awesomeness’ then go with them. That’s fine by me. Or if you dont want to pursue awesomeness at all, that’s also fine by me. Its only an invitation I offered not an instruction or a rule book. If others choose to live their whole lives without contemplating death (I know this isn’t you) – for whatever reason – then who am I to judge? Each to their own separate path, and we are all different. I am only saying what works for me.
      I think there has scarcely been a day since I was 13 that I havent thought about death and overall I have found it immensely helpful. But thats just me. I also dont know if it will continue to work for me and if, for example, thinking about death would continue if, say, I was diagnosed tomorrow as terminally ill. Maybe I would want to do anything but think about death in that instance. Having said that, it has been my predominant experience (for me personally) that when I dont square up to things it sows problem seeds for the future…but again, thats just me.
      You are right also in interpreting that I am not after happiness as an end goal in contemplating death – just wanting to look at what is and accept whatever effects that has (often but not always awesomeness – sometimes it leads to a sense of cosmic indifference or futililty – the goal in contemplating death being to square up to reality rather than to try and secure or hold on to a particular state of mind or anything ‘ethereal’ that arises)
      I am also not saying that there is no life after death. For me contemplating death is seperate to what happens afterwards, which personally, being an agnostic, I believe I cant know – also not proscriptive (!)
      The short story ‘hello goodbye’ is fiction – I am not suggesting that that is what happens after death or what I believe in. Its just one possibility in a huge range. What I was trying to do (rather unsatisfactorily) was to offer an explanation for the fact of existence at all. For how something gets created out of nothing. Which is not something that I have seen any religion explain (postulating God isnt enough for me because it doesnt resolve who created God.)
      Finally I havent found a way to spell check on this blog. One route is to use word first and then paste.
      Lots of love to you Jane

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