www.whyville.net Nov 27, 2011 Weekly Issue

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Matinal Soliloquy

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Ever since I was a little girl I was taught that there is a next world. We have something within or about (I don't really know where it's located in our bodies, exactly) but it's sort of an essence. A soul, they call it. We theoretically think and feel with it. It might be our conscience, or our own true selves. I have no idea.

I like to think of it as a feather, or as water, or chiffon. Something that is graceful and flowing; ebbing. Maybe it takes the shape of our own body, maybe it's a little ball of light, or maybe it doesn't exist at all. But the point is: some people say that after we die, this thing comes out or off of us and goes somewhere else, somewhere distant. Other people say we will be judged by a big entity according to our living actions, others say we go to a nice place with all the people we have ever loved, others say we just rot underground, others say, others say, others say.

But what do they know, really? What do they know that I don't? What makes them so special that they know what happens after we cease to live? Why do they get to tell us what to believe, or how things "really are"? Why do they think they deserve to know all this when most of us don't have a clue?

One thing I really don't understand is why we are here. I know that we are here to live. But what is living? "Life" is such an abstract word. It even sounds weird, coming out from my lips. Living. What does it mean? I don't want a literal definition. I just want a concrete explanation of what it consists of, exactly. Is life a reality? Is it just a dream? Are we just some void project that God discarded because it came out wrong? I know what living means in the literal sense. I know that in order to live, our vital bodily functions must be up and running. We must inhale and exhale, we must be able to process thoughts and we must have a pulse. But is that it? Are we just machinery, only designed to function?

If I live, I think. If I live, I speak, blink, breathe, walk, run, eat, kiss, write, read . . . If I live I do things. If I'm living then I must do work. I must do something. If I'm inert, I'm not living. But then if I live, I also die.


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