Shortly before his death the famed film critic Roger Ebert wrote a note to his wife Chaz that said, “this is all an elaborate hoax.” When she asked what was a hoax, he responded that he was talking about, “this world, this place…he said it was all an illusion.” During the week before he died Roger talked to Chaz about visiting a place with, “a vastness that you cannot even imagine. It was a place where the past, present, and future were all happening at once.”
The interesting fact regarding Mr. Ebert was that for much of his life he was an atheist.
Recently I was watching the weekly television show on the National Geographic channel entitled the Story of God, with Morgan Freeman as the host of the program. On the first episode Mr. Freeman was interviewing a physician who had studied numerous after death experiences. This physician stated categorically that there is solid evidence that people who have clinically died, including no brain function, upon being resuscitated report their awareness beyond their physical body.
Public speaker Anita Moorjani told Maria Shriver on the Today show, “I believe that I died, yes-that I crossed over into the afterlife and back’ and she went onto say it was like, ‘ being in a really unlimited space and time.” Ms. Moorjani is the author of the book ‘Dying to be Me.’
I have been a member of the Christian faith for most of my life. The promise of an after life is inherent in Christ’s teachings. Many of the world’s religions promise either an after life or a reoccurrence of another earthly one.
The popular movie The Matrix had the astounding proposition that much of what the characters were experiencing was computer generated and not their actual lives at all.
I have often heard it said regarding the prospect of an after life that people hope there is one…but no one has ever returned to tell us if it really exists. Perhaps they have…and we were not listening?
One of my good friends and work colleagues for many years told me that he was a christian primarily because he did not want to go to hell.
Do we really accept that the majesty of the universe was simply a random chemical reaction?
In the play, As you Like It, William Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts…”
“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 KJV
What do you think? Have you had an after life experience? Do you know someone who has had such an experience?
I recently watched the German made movie Look Who’s Back released in 2015 and based on the Timur Vermes novel of the same name that was published in 2012. In the movie Adolf Hitler returns from the dead and finds himself laying on the ground of where his World War II Bunker was and he is staring at the sky. As Hitler interacts with random Germans throughout the film they first are astonished by his dedication to character, as they assume he is performing a theatrical stunt, and subsequently find themselves guiltily laughing at his over the top bigoted statements. But slowly more Germans, who according to the film reviews I read were often real people, begin to agree with Hitler’s xenophobia and commit their allegiance to his purity of race ideology.
The insidiousness of the transformation of regular hard working good natured people into agreement with how much better their society would be if they could simply rid themselves of the undesirable races was chilling.
Hitler’s coy transformation from a person considered to be a stunning comedian…to a political following and movement morphed so adroitly that if you were not paying attention you would not have known when it happened.
At one point Hitler enumerated the many frustrations that the German people were undergoing, such as; youth unemployment, old age unemployment, and an influx of refugees as this “being a time that I can work with.”
How uncomfortably close this movie hit home both in the similar issues confronting Germany and Europe and the United States. I was reminded of the Hannah Arendt book about the Adolf Eichman trial “The Banality of Evil.”
The sameness, the mediocrity, and the Conformity of the protecting of a large number of hard working, church attending, similar in political ideology and ethnicity is easy and comforting…as long as you are in the protected group!
The real Hitler was first thought of as a dangerous joke. He traveled from that to the beatified savior of Germany…the Fuhrer. When did the transformation happen…where were the good, industrious people who loved God and loved their neighbors…as themselves?
The concept of time travel has always fascinated me. The idea that if Einstein’s Theory was correct time may indeed be the fourth dimension. Quantum Physics is mind expanding. I wonder how I missed it when I was in school.
When I retired I found that I had the time to connect with some old friends that I had not seen or communicated with in many years. When Mary Jane and I re-connected with our friends from the early seventies, Margo and Jeff, it was as if we had traveled in time. Our former association and friendship was as if there had been no gap of twenty-five years. We have traveled with them on several occasions and thoroughly enjoyed their company!
Facebook is a wonderful vehicle for bringing old friends together! I was able to communicate with my old friend Jim A. from our school days. He is such and nice person and someone that I have always admired. We have talked about our mutual affection for target shooting.
Jane B. often comments on my Facebook posts and how she enjoys them. I can remember her from my first day of first grade along with Debbie C. They were so nice to me and made me feel welcome in the beginnings of my education experience…and I had more than a little trepidation at the outset having not attended kindergarten and recently moving from Chicago and my mother and father experiencing domestic problems and shortly after divorcing.
Recently I have communicated with my old friend Jeff D. Jeff has experienced some serious health issues. However his attitude is inspiring! Jeff is one of my church friends from the early seventies. Whatever Jeff tells me…I take to the Bank…as the old saying goes. As we talk in 2016 Jeff seems to me just as he did over forty years ago…a very sincere, candid, caring individual. Jeff is a Marine veteran. I have such great respect for the Marines and the high standard of excellence that they uphold. Jeff is wonderful example of the excellence of the Marines!
As I talk with these old friends I am transported back to our origins…to the feelings…and thoughts and joys of that time.
I have often heard it said that just prior to a persons death…that their life flashes before their eyes…I can believe that this is the case. I think that our life experience is a seamless narrative from birth to death.
Jonathon’s Birthday Week! Another great Jonathon Brooks blog!
There are two main types of people when it comes to birthday celebrations. The first type says, “It’s just another day.” The second type says, “It’s the event of the year!” I turned 32 on Tuesday. I’m the second type of birthday personality.
This year’s celebrations were exceptional! Since Tuesday was the official day I also planned celebrations for the Saturday before and after. The Saturday before I celebrated with friends at Longbranch Cafe and Bakery in Carbondale. My friend who runs this coffeehouse baked a cake for the occasion. It was an Italian cream cake. One word: Astounding! So we shared cake and laughs. It was a great time.
On Tuesday over 200 Facebook comments rolled in in style carrying wishes for a happy day. I was and am thankful for all of these kind folks in my life. Honestly, if that many people wanted me to have a…
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