Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Waiting...


This hallowed place…

Our brief histories
etched upon our stones,                             
we lie                                                                      
(waiting)                                                              
beneath this earth
on which in life we trod. 
Crosses, rings,
our earthly things
remain, remind, rest
amongst our arid bones. 
We pray eternal
for past sins to be atoned
and await the comfort of our God.

Anna :o]

What do you think happens after death?  

Do you think we cease to exist or do you believe we have a soul; the spirit of who we are that lives on after our death?   Do you believe our soul; our incorporeal self ascends to Heaven after our life on Earth?  If so, which Heaven (so many to choose from – some permanent – some not)?  Which religion has got it right? 

What if there is no God, no Heaven and our souls (if you believe we have one) are stuck here on Earth forever?

Entered at dVerse Open Link Night, hosted by the lovely Grace.  Thanks Grace!

Image: courtesy of Gampe  at Wikimedia Commons.

31 comments:

Claudia said...

our brief histories etched upon the stone...i love walking on cemeteries and read what's engraved on the stones..sometimes heart breaking stories in just a few words and dates.. i have really thought much about life and death lately, sparked by severe sickness and death of people i know well... and if life would end with our death, i would get mad just by the pure thought..so yes...i believe that there is life after death..and i hope..and pray...

Brian Miller said...

if i am stuck on this earth forever, i will make the most of it....if death is the end, i will sleep well...if there is a life beyond i will relish it...i do rather like cemeteries...i find peace there...always have...we had one int eh back yard growing up and i would go there to paint or write songs...

Cressida de Nova said...

If there is no soul or existence after death then we are merely the contents of a compost heap!

aprille said...

Hard to accept that all this sophistication we strive for will just stop one day and be as lost to us as our possessions. Such a waste. But words.... they live on. Words, old pots and trees seem to go on forever. Maybe we have the option of coming back as those. Quite a puzzle and one we don't like to dwell on.

Martin said...

I love your true and concise poem very much.
Wait and see I must say. Though I hope our dreams come true and our souls find peace after we have crossed this threshold.

Manzanita said...

You present so much to think about. It is comforting to believe in a soul that has lived on and on and will continue to do so. And yet I believe in space travel and other constellations and I wonder if the Anunnakis did visit this planet and genetically engineer us in their image for us to be their slaves.

Mary said...

I do believe in life after death. I believe our soul never dies, and some day our body will rejoin our soul. I do think there is a reason for our life beyond just this earthly life. I guess we will all see at some point.

Green Speck said...

There are concepts about re-birth ... but I am not sure if they are true ... however, I love listening to such stories :-)

Sabio Lantz said...

Ohhhh, controversial questions -- stirring the pot, aren't we! :-)

A very fruitful exercise to undertake before answering these questions is to see how our mind addresses them. And when we do, we see that the illusion of dualism is inescapable to the human brain. Thus, it seem to me that the issue comes down to what we do with it: take it seriously, play with it or ignore the lie.

If I must be a ghost, I'd wish to be a happy ghost. If instead I were a garbage heap, I'd wish other creatures find me a treat.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Anna .. I like Brian's answer ... who knows - but we will be useful in death ... earth recreates and there are different times - I sure hope there is something else and I can find out so many other things.

Cheers Hilary

James Rainsford said...

I love the economy and intensity of the language you employ here.
As to your question, my best guess is that death's the end, but I find that strangely comforting. After all what's the alternative:heaven?
That would be like a celestial North Korea. ;-)

Jyoti Mishra said...

how you sum up some one's life in few words..
full of tragedy or love..
I personally feel that there's nothing of us that remains here after we are dead..
hell or heaven doesn't exist..

Bar None Publishing Group said...

Amen! Very descriptive of what may happen next. I've always said, "roll me back into the sea and allow me to be the bottom part of the food chain." We spend far too much time, energy and cash on our demise. Let's live while we're here :)
Cheers,
Mark

Arron Shilling said...

I have spent too many hours in cemeteries not to have made somekind of peace with the idea of buried bones. My uncle was a gravedigger and he was one of the most chilled gents i have ever known but i never asked him his secret . . . but i guessed it was facing death on a daily, almost practical basis that awarded him a calm sense of normality: whatever death is, it is beyond our understanding . . .

blackwildflowers said...

Death is the thing that makes life possible, and you give a sense of its continuity in the scheme of things here--things like the earth and stars, which persist without dying are only real in a time we can't encompass--I think what comes after death is a continuous recycling of atoms and molecules, and who knows what rules govern it?

rowantaw.com said...

This made me think of Dostoevsky''s short story "Bobok", where the dead lying in the graves have failed to notice that a living person is above them, and unaware of him they strike up a conversation with themselves.

rumoursofrhyme said...

Big questions you're asking Anna. I do believe in resurrection, but not just for the soul. That idea was imported into what has become Christianity from neo-Platonism; shame really, because it has messed up so much theology and got the church to where it is now.

The poem is really well crafted; I had someting similar in mind, but so far I haven't managed to get it down on paper - I still like the old-fashioned ways at least for the early drafts :-)

Brudberg said...

Old churchyards are so lovely and even if you don't believe in resurection it's a place to remember the dead and get a glimpse back in history. Great poetry.

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for your kind comments folks.
1)

Claudia ~ I like cemeteries too, reading the brief histories, wondering how ‘they’ lived – but think them desolate places also. I think this life is all we have, do not find that uncomfortable and do not fear death nor want it (yet). I live my life to the full – make it my heaven…

Brian ~ you have nicely covered all the bases and this is a sound way of thinking. I get the impression you live life to the full and bounce back when you are knocked down. Veering off on a tangent perhaps – I am constantly amazed how you leave thoughtful responses to posts here there and everywhere. Yours skills at time management must be phenomenal. Mucha admiración!

Cressida ~ and if this is so, as it is for all flora and fauna, our remains becomes rich nutrients for new life to come from the soil. I would be happy with that.

Aprille ~ you are right, words do live on and this is the beauty of books and the written word wherever it may be, and art and music and all the wealth of our senses. We leave our mark in future generations, our history in DNA and in a sense live forever. I am happy with that too.

Martin ~ thanks. We will have to wait and see!

Manzanita ~ did quite a lot of research re death and rebirth and heaven etc before posting – although the poem was written some time ago – and I get the impression being a ‘soul’ would be a pretty desolate existence – no means to touch, to communicate and if this were somehow gotten round – being immensely happy would become the norm and thus boring and we would (perhaps) yearn for difference…

Interesting stuff here re the possibility our existence have roots from out that thar space.

Mary ~ there is comfort in this belief for it gives us a reason for our existence. It is my belief we are here to procreate the species – why I don’t know. You are right in that we will see at some point – but maybe not if death is all that comes after life…

Green Speck ~ I do wonder about re-birth, err on the side of caution, not swatting a fly lest it be my grandmother…But there again have no problems eating chicken or a carrot…they might be my grandmother too…

hyperCRYPTICal said...

2)

Sabio ~ oh I did research so very well and had my eyes truly opened regarding beliefs round life and death – lots of stuff that troubled me re religion – but that’s another story – too many questions to ask of others.

My impression is that I ignore the lie. (I would hope other creatures found me a tree too.)

Hilary ~ Brian’s is a pretty ‘covering all bases’ response and I guess brings peace of mind and happiness of (the meaning of) existence. I would like to live forever (now) – but probably will change my mind when and if I tire of life, but I am not afraid of death nor yearn it…

James ~ thanks. I too believe death is the end and my final sleep will be eternal – I can live with that! Celestial North Korea – I think this very apt!

Jyoti ~ I agree with you. I think this life we have now is our heaven or hell – depending how the cards are stacked.

Thinking of the Christian religion – for those whose life is hell now and do not know of this religion, therefore do not know Him – the thought of these innocent folk being cast into a further hell does not bare thinking about…

Mark ~ love your response – and I second it wholeheartedly!

Arron ~ ‘whatever death is, it is beyond our understanding...’ And so it is. We can only wait and see… (And take comfort in our own beliefs…)

Blackwildflowers ~ I agree with your thoughts on death – we become part of something else and thus live on – even if we are unaware of it.

Rowantaw.com ~ I haven’t read Dostoevsky’s story and will endeavour to do so. I have sometimes wondered if we have a ‘soul’ when visiting a graveyard, trapped forever beneath the earth – hence the poem…

Rumoursofrhyme ~ ‘beliefs’ have got tangled across the centuries leading to much confusion. Our beliefs give meaning to our lives and hope of what might follow death.

Brudberg ~ thanks. Churchyards are full of our history captured in the deaths of those who have lived and gave us this life and our future. We should always remember – but we don’t and memories fade across generations…

Anna :o]

ayala said...

I believe our souls go on. Nice piece, Anna.

lovemorestudio said...

Anna, what a thought provoking post. I especially love the line "remina, remind, rest", for me, that says it all. As for the philisophical questions at the end, I say, whatever it is, whatever becomes us at death, is beyond us to know until that time. So best we celebrate every moment we have while we inhabit the earth ALIVE :) ~peace, Jason

deeps said...

thats philosophical and thought provoking...

often time faith and belief keeps us more alive and our ride down here worthwhile :)

what is life if it ends with the last breath?

Ghadeer said...

Definitely this life isn't the only thing there is. How depressing would that be.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

This really made me look inward and explore my beliefs. How thought-provoking!!

mefeedyoume said...

I think this life is the only thing there is. That’s why responsibility in every action is decisive. There won’t be another opportunity

Todd Alan Kraft said...

I like "Crosses, rings,
our earthly things
remain, remind, rest
amongst our arid bones. " Were do we go? I guess I'll find out when I get there.

Dave King said...

I think death is a part of life, and I think life is an unconquerable force, but beyond that I go only tentatively.

joanna said...

succinctly profound, Anna.

Stafford Ray said...

Having stated life in the Exclusive Brethren sect, it was a profound relief to realise that the god of our chosen people was infinitely unlikely to be any more than a human construct. Suddenly after years of being told that 'the flesh was sinful', ie sex and just about anything that produced physical pleasure, I realised that I was as the animals, that is, evolved to be exactly as I am with all my compassion, love and need to maintain certain moral standards built in.
Of course, nobody raised with that level of guilt gets off scott free so the need sift the real from the mythical has been a life long challenge that continues.
So, what about immortal souls, resurrection and afterlife?
My conclusion: We live a life and we die. We 'live' a short extra life in the memories of those who loved and knew us, then if we did something extraordinary that was recorded we live on in that medium.
However, when our hearts stop and brains stop we are no more capable of self awareness than a carcase in the butchers' shop.
The soul is an interesting concept, but I believe it is no more than a name given to our awareness of self that is necessary for the being to function as an individual in its society and its environment.
So is it exclusively human? Apparently not. That feeling seems to be common to all higher animals including my dog. Maybe she also has a soul, so I had better get her baptised so she does not suffer the eternity of hell fire the Brethren have promised me! :-)

mindlovemisery said...

This is so beautiful, your talent as always astounds. Have you ever read the Tibetan Book of the Dead or seen one of those nifty documentaries on it? My mom and I have always dreamnt of death and have predicted many deaths. In my dreams many nights I am helping spirits cross over, teaching them how to, allaying their fears and so I have glimpsed at times pieces of the other side and the Tibetan Book of the Dead comes the closet to describing what I saw. When I first saw a documentary I was just astounded by how close it was to what I had understood and experienced. I don't really know that I cross spirits over in my sleep but the dreams are very vivid and leave strong impressions! I believe in reincarnation