I was walking across my supermarket parking lot and saw a fellow from afar and thought, “Hey, there’s (whomever).” And then I caught myself and clarified my mind and realized the person I thought this guy was happened to be dead.
As time goes by this happens to me more often. You know, the body count of acquaintances gets bigger and sometimes you forget who is still living this side of the grass. The realization is sometimes disconcerting.
I don’t mean to be callous about the idea of mortality, mainly because it’s something that happens to all of us. Death, that is. Nor do I intend to be unduly morbid. But, it is a simple fact that the dead are, in a word, ‘dead’.
Elvis has left the building.
The most disconcerting event I had with regards to the earlier incident was once being in yet another carpark and I saw a guy who made my heart jump. He was the spit of my father; a virtual doppelganger for the old man. But, since my dad had died a couple of years earlier, it was merely a matter of kind of uncanny resemblance. Yet, the incident has always stuck in my mind.
Some might be driven to say it was a spiritual manifestation of Dad. You know, a ‘ghost’ of some sort. Naw, it wasn’t. Just a resemblance and perhaps my father had been on my mind. That happens when you miss somebody.
I don’t believe in ghosts or spiritual visitations any more than I believe in UFOs and ETs paying a call and having their sexual ways with us. Speaking of that sort of thing, I was always enchanted by the idea of succubi coming to violate me in the middle of the night.
I don’t believe the ‘white light’ tales and people coming back from the dead.
I don’t believe out-of-body experiences. Yeah, I smoked that stuff a few times way back when but all I got was sleepy and stupid.
I don’t believe any of those things..
But, my non-belief doesn’t imply non-existence. That’s a whole other matter.
I’m not sure where I sit on the God issue, for example. I don’t know if I really can credit the idea of some spiritual overlord who gives a flying fart whether or not I take his name in vain. If there is a God I would doubt that He/She/It is quite so ego motivated. “Smite that bastard, Peter! For the third time this week he’s taken my name in vain!”
I don’t know. I’d like any concept of a godhead to be more ‘big-picture’ oriented rather than caring what kind of an edifice we visit to pay our respects and whether or not we have genital tinglings over the neighbor-lady hanging our her wash in short-shorts and halter top. You know, stuff like war and environmental despoliation should maybe be higher on the list of concerns.
That said, I have been known to utter prayers.
Just to be on the safe side.
And to give thanks. I do believe in gratitude.